‘Do something less surreal? I ain’t big enough yet, I got to keep impressing people.’
– Shadrach Kabango.
Today I received notification that I would be attending the upcoming TEDX event in Brisbane’s South Bank on December 6th. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the initiative, TEDX is a non for profit offshoot of TED (Technology Entertainment Design), a ground breaking forum where great minds come together to celebrate ‘Ideas worth spreading’. For an aspiring author to be invited to attend such a prestigious event is a huge honour. For said author to be someone with a God complex who constantly refers to himself as a wolf with a bloodlust to savage the industry he loves is something rather exceptional. To be permitted the opportunity to be one of three hundred attendees at the event is a momentous opportunity that will just about close out a chaotic and highly rewarding 2014 for this blogger, author, social commentator, and student.
Sometimes one can become bogged down by the now. Living in a daily grind we often feel stagnant in life, and it’s not until we cast a little hindsight over our journey that we realise how much has changed, and how much we truly have to be thankful for. When I started this blog I was in a bad way. I was mentally and physically unwell and couldn’t seem to break out of the vicious downward spiral that had me caught up in perpetual self-loathing and anger. I was broken, I was bitter, and I was so desperate for a way out that after an extended hiatus from writing I turned to my craft for help. I wrote my first post and I poured my heart and soul onto a page. I wrote and I wept. And as the words tumbled from my mind, I found the inner confidence that had eluded me for so long.
Fast forward two years and that confidence has taken me further than I ever believed possible. I’m still not a published author, but my writing has taken me to some extraordinary places and I’m incredibly thankful for everything that I have achieved. It’s so easy for us to become so fixated on an end result that we fail to take into account the beauty of the journey itself. It would be easy for me to beat myself up for failing to see my novels make it into print – despite setting myself that goal every single New Year’s Eve for as long as I can remember. But the truth is that I have come so far from the broken boy who sat at his computer begging for solace from his own demons.
In the past twelve months I have travelled across the globe, met some incredible people, shaken hands with royalty, dined with literary alumni, sat in on a firearms demonstration by the CIA, and have now been invited to witness a collective of brilliant minds take to a stage and inspire the world to be great. It’s a list of experiences that I will forever cherish, and none of this would have occurred if it wasn’t for me taking that first step and writing that initial blog.
There are times when I feel like giving up on my dreams. Some days I wake up and feel as though I have spent years running myself into the ground for nothing. I feel as though by not having a book sitting on shelves in bookstores around the world I have somehow failed myself. But then I stop and look at just how far I have come, the experiences that I have been fortunate enough to have through writing, and the endless possibilities that lay before me and I find myself more determined than ever to create. I’m not stagnant. I’m moving, but I’m doing so in an industry that has no clearly defined path. The literary industry isn’t as clear cut as most. There are no sure-fire paths to success. If you want to make it as an author you need talent, grit, and a whole lot of faith and luck.
The path of an author is best identified as that of a subatomic particle; you are in a state of constant movement, yet completely motionless at the same time. You’re movement is your continued development of your craft, it’s the relationships you forge, the events you attend, literature you consume, opportunities you seize, and so on. But you’re motionless until your work hits a shelf. And sometimes that paradoxical state of motionless movement, that subatomic particle like state can frustrate. But the process is beautiful, the frustration so enthralling, and the gift of being able to create so intrinsically rewarding that you would never want to live any other way.
I’m a writer and I’m a wolf. I have an overactive mind and dreams of changing the world. It seems only fitting that the context of the TEDX forum I am attending is Question Everything, something that I as an aggressive creative type, do on a daily basis. To be fortunate enough to attend the event is a huge honour, and another milestone in my development as a writer and as a man. And with 2014 fast drawing to a close after so many wonderful moments, I cannot wait to see what the next twelve months has in store for me.