On Being Adventurous
One of my earliest memories is waking at sunrise, and taking Sammy, our black Belgian shepherd, for a meander. The sun glowed behind us and through my thin cotton nighty, as I walked down our long gravel driveway, towards the highway.
I’m not sure exactly what happened next. I have a vague memory of someone stopping, and talking to me. But I am not sure if that happened, and if it was them who drove up to tell my parents where I was, or if my parents just came and found me.
A few years later, bored of afternoon weekend naps, I shook my younger brother awake, and insisted he come with me to town to buy lollies.
I made business cards, so was old enough to write. I figured if we were pulled over by a policeman, and I got too scared to talk, I could show them our business cards, which I had contacted, in case it rained.
We walked about three or four kilometres, along the highway. A neighbour spotted us, and drove back to tell my parents.
When I was twelve, I sent myself to boarding school. I was one of the only boarders who wasn’t crying when my parents drove away.
The point of it all? I have always been ready for an adventure.
Late Wednesday, I was flying back from Sydney. I sat in Sydney airport, finger hovering over the Send button.
See, I’d been working on a new version of a story that had already been requested by a top US agent. I was emailing the agent with the new version. It was a little risky. But as my finger quavered over the keyboard, I thought to myself, ‘You know what? Be adventurous.’
And so I pressed Send.
The agent wasn’t interested enough, unfortunately, so my adventure petered out. But it made me realise how often this sentiment is my driving force.
‘You know what? Be adventurous.’
It’s what goes through my head so often, before hitting Send. Last year, I sent away an insane number of manuscripts. And each time, I had the same thought. So often, my adventure ended in a cul-de-sac. But then, occasionally, it ended with a book deal. In one case, a four-book deal!
I do prepare for my adventures. They aren’t as whimsical as my four-year-old adventures. But then, maybe even at four, I had it all worked out.
I work hard on my manuscripts. I do my research. I know I am sending to the right person.
But there is a certain amount of bravery required. Or is it bravery? I don’t know. Sometimes, I feel like a bit of a Bear Grylls, making my way around some wayward island, and it’s just luck that I make it home alive.
Are you an adventurer too?