My father was a beautiful writer. Back in his late teens he won nation-wide essay-writing competitions. I don’t know whether they have such a thing these days, but back then I understand they were quite prized. But like most of us Dad’s writing skills were put on the back burner as the demands of raising a family and earning a living took over. He worked at two jobs whilst he was building up his legal practice and between the law and being a part time DJ in the evenings with local Geelong radio station 3GL, his writing stopped. For a man like my father, this would have been soul- destroying. He died too young for me to discuss it with him but, like many of his parts, this is one of them that I would have loved to learn more about.
My father is not alone. It seems that there is a writer in many of us, at whatever level of capability. Often writing is the only way we can show our true thoughts and explain what we are thinking rather than trying to verbalise it. We often read that there is an autobiography in all of us and each of us has our own unique story to tell. Like so many, I believe this, but procrastination has won out to date. But look out!
Now to the nub of this slightly protracted introduction. Writing. One of the beautiful gifts given to man and possibly one of its most underused. It seems that some of the greatest writing came from another era when man had “time”. But as we know, not only did time become a rarer commodity in my father’s years, it has become even harder to find in the 21st Century. Who tried to tell us that technology would free up our lives? It’s gone at an ever-increasing rate the other way. With every device we have available, together with all the information that comes with those devices, we have no time.
There is also the issue of “dumbing down”. The skillset that came with writing letters seems to have fallen away with the sending of Emails- instant and to the point. And as for the 140 character Tweets and Texting, a whole new language has evolved which shows a tendency towards kindergarten.
But perhaps we might be saved! People are expressing themselves through Blogging and reaching out for a market that never previously existed for them. This is no different to any author- they write both fictional and non fictional works so that their voice can be heard.
The more you read Blogs, the more you get amazed by the talent that people have. They just needed a vehicle to express it.
The release of the latest Footy Almanac 2012 is another example of people, just like you and me, finding their voice in the public domain. It is described as a book of fair dinkum, proper footy writing by fans, for fans. (hang in there non- footy lovers!!!).
The Almanac is a game-by-game account of every game of the season. Importantly, all the writers are unpaid amateurs who have a passion for writing and football. It’s full of fan-joy and fan-misery. I must declare that I have been a contributor over the past 3 years.
The only reason the Almanac “works” is because the writing is so good. It is original. It is real. Since releasing the first Almanac in 2007, the Almanackers Website has given hundreds of bloggers the chance to express their sports fanaticism on a regular basis. The Almanac is no longer about AFL football, it is more about life and sport. And even more than that, it is about people having the opportunity to express their feelings and emotions through beautifully crafted writing, and having an audience!
If you haven’t seen or heard about it, check it out The Footy Almanac 2012 on their website. You’ll be impressed: http://www.footyalmanac.com.au/almanac-shop/buy-an-almanac/
Disclaimer: Whilst I am a contributing writer to The Footy Almanac, I am not paid for my contribution to the publication – I do it for the love of writing and sport. Neither I, nor LifeAgain have been encouraged, paid or perked to write this post. We’re all about being 100% honest and transparent.