My name’s Mandi and writing saves me on a daily basis.
I’m a beach loving, green smoothie drinking, gym clothes wearing, fun loving, addicted to writing woman.
Writing is my life.
When I’m awake I think about the stories I can explore; stories that consume my life; stories that make me feel good.
They even plague me in my dreams and I often wake with scenes that I use in my writing.
Writing is like breathing to me.
But it wasn’t always like this.
When I lived at home with my parents in the safety of a city that was familiar, my life was uncertain, I was uncertain. I never kept any of my deadlines and always had snippets of writing around the place. In notebooks or spare notes in my phone but I never had anything complete. It wasn’t until I took the leap and left the safety of the nest and rebuilt myself in a different city. The City of Literature stole my heart and with it my fear and hesitation. I started learning to trust myself and my writing and started to get things done.
Before my move I was scared and cautious.
I was my own worst enemy.
But stepping out of my comfort zone I could finally break through all of my procrastinations and hit my targets.
I had a love for something bigger than my life and escaped to whenever I could. At the age of twelve I read my first book cover to cover and fell in love with being able to escape into another world, one where I could manipulate and watch others without being hurt; one that was secret and no one else knew about. It was after that fateful novel that my love for English and the written word began, before that I hated all sort of English, I skipped learning grammar and punctuation in favour of drawing and sports.
In my Year Nine English class I came up with the idea that would plague my thoughts for years to come. I was asked to rewrite it from memory in class after the initial draft and I fell in love. I had to know about Lucy, Travis and Liliana and their adventure together, but as any fourteen year old would remember, it’s not easy being a teenager who liked to read books and write stories, while trying to keep up with friends.
The turning point for me came when I was seventeen and in Year Twelve English where my teacher made me believe in myself and take what I wanted by the horns. After sharing another snippet from the story, written in a way that was adapted to a short story, Mr B checked my wrists to see if I had any real life experience from my short story. My body was shaking with the excitement that I could touch someone like that, that I could make them feel like that. I applied for a Bachelor in Creative Writing and when I didn’t get in, I almost gave up, but that was rejection number one.
At eighteen I went to Uni thinking I would be fall in love with psychology, even when my head was on the novel that I wanted to write about the three best friends who I knew almost as well as my own best friends. After failing a course in my first year I figured out that psychology wasn’t for me and instead thought I could try my hand at social work. I applied for it, but even as I looked at the English courses for the next year, I was wistfully thinking about the books I would read, the characters I would meet, the stories I would get lost into and it won out.
It was, at nineteen, that I decided it was time to get serious about this novel of mine. I made the effort to better my writing, I read whatever I was given and hated most of it (don’t even think of bringing up Jane Austen’s name in my presence), I tried to stretch myself and do new things with writing. I pulled myself out of the all dialogue-plagued narratives and added descriptions. I played around with time jumps, tenses, point of views and found that I had a love of pink pens and editing.
And even after all of that I managed to just miss out on being able to get into honours and continue my studies. So I took some time out and wrote a good chunk of my novel. I got to 90k because I gave up. I was so close, but I just couldn’t do it.
Then I found the degree that changed my life. Being based in Melbourne wasn’t a problem for me, I had family and I was in love with the City of Literature before I really understood it. Being here, immersed in the culture that I fell back in love with my novel and writing. I met new friends, I lost old ones but I found something I had been missing.
The first draft of my novel with the Idea.
It was there, ready and waiting for me to pay special attention to it, to give it the time it deserved and had patiently been waiting for.
Before this I struggled for years to sit down and write my first draft of my upcoming novel Faded Fragments. It was always I don’t have enough time or there are better things out there, but really it was the belief that I had no story to write, that was the real issue. When I finished the first draft cover to cover in November of 2013, everything changed. The world opened up and I learned about what I could do.
Motivation and perseverance are two things that every writer needs, whether you’re a novelist, blogger, rpger, coloumnist or journalist, it’s essential to your writing. Next your internal editor needs to be given the flick, at least in the first few drafts. You don’t need it.
Writing saves lives. It brings out the best in people and can be the best pain reliever out there. I’m here to show you how writing can help you and how you can get finished with those projects that you want. I’m living what a I preach and while my debut novel is in the works, I’m writing my second and heading into it head on.
If you’re just like that, if you need that push to get something going, come and join my dreamers. You won’t be disappointed, I promise you.
With a Bachelor of Arts from Flinders University and a Bachelor of Writing and Publishing from Melbourne Polytechnic and a nearly finished Masters degree to my name, I have an infinite amount of tools and knowledge that helped me grow as a writer and a person.
Work with me. What are you waiting for? In me you’ll find an accountability partner and someone will keep you on your toes. We’ll love, laugh and cry together as we reach those important milestones. We will get those works of art finished and something we will proudly get done together.
I’m a lover of Instagram come and play with em over there: https://instagram.com/mandikont