Annie Evett, Thaumaturg, Purveyor of fine words, Weaver of tales.
or “Fake it, till you Make it.”
Unlike so many of the writers you will ‘meet’ over the next few weeks, it was never my dream to be a writer. I have no childish scrapbooks crammed with crayoned stories, or lovelorn teenage poems filled with angst. This admission alone has caused me deep embarrassment and shame – as if to say it’s only acceptable to be a writer if you were born one. Despite feeling like a fake, everything I did, studied and pursued has equipped me to develop into the writer I am now.
I am the creative force behind CYOA – Choose Your Online Adventures, a writing project spanning the globe under tight timeframes which pushes the concept of collaboration further than most have dared. A self-proclaimed activist for the resurgence of the short story as a ‘proper’ writing pursuit, I have been fortunate to have a number of my flash fiction tales published by a variety of publishers in anthologies. I write both fiction and non-fiction and conduct workshops and presentations to share my knowledge and journey. I’ve been a Write Anything weekly columnist for three years and a passionate advocate for [Fiction] Friday and #SpokenSunday as conduits for creativity.
It was Write Anything that allowed me the space and confidence to write fiction. Captain Juan was my first foray into collaborative writing; with fellow columnists Jodi and Paul – and I’ve not looked back since.
I’d planned becoming an archeologist but I was told that everything had been dug up and there was nothing else to discover; so best I get back to reality and plans (i.e. marry a farmer and have a horde of children).
A sympathetic English teacher encouraged me to audition for the school play; I won the lead role and my love of the theatre and acting was born. My pursuit as an actress and teacher of drama gave me a solid grounding in seeking alternative perspectives, beliefs and views. It is through my experience as a drama teacher that I have the skills to conduct workshops and speak in front of groups. My teaching skills have also allowed me to be the creative conduit for the CYOA projects.
My previous Write Anything posts have reflected research I have undertaken to gain a better perspective or understanding of a specific topic, genre or skill. I am passionate about sharing knowledge and the various journeys writers take and plan to continue in this vein.
As a writer, I maintain my passion for character, the detail and intricacies which set a living person apart from a generalised or stock standard cliché. Writing or in acting, depth of a character carries the action, bringing truth into the plot; no matter how bizarre. My personal goals this year revolve around gaining more publishing cred, promoting collaborative writing and the short story form. I have deepened my appreciation and knowledge of the writing journey with editing roles, my latest a foray into a quarterly Literary Fiction Publication – Cats with Thumbs.
There have been numerous writers and musicians who claim that they are simply ‘translators who take the notes’. I swing between believing that and what novelist E.L. Doctorow once said – that ”writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.” So in effect, I’ll keep writing till the voices tell me to stop.
Honouring my roots allows me the freedom to explore lost civilisations, to question humanity and challenge societal ideals. I fight my fear of being found out as a fake. Writing now shapes my day. Every conversation I have or overhear, every news story, photograph or image I take in provides fodder for the next article or story. I hope you join me on my journey.