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I Am Not a Writer.
by Susan Filson



Editor's Note from Karen Adler: I asked a friend to write a piece on how she had used the arts to help her through difficult moments in her life. Susan is an extremely brave and resilient woman who has, in the last five years, weathered the death of a  much-loved son through cancer as well as a diagnosis of cancer herself.  Susan has travelled extensively with her botanist husband, Rex, and describes herself as more of a reader than a writer. A stalwart of the local Writers’ Group, even though she does not consider herself to be a writer, this is what she wrote anyway.
I am not a writer, but I do a lot of writing.

‘Susan, will you write a letter to Thingy-Me-Jack about . . .?’ ‘Susan, will you write up the event for the local paper?’ ‘Susan will you do the grant application?’

Oh, the challenge of finding persuasive words, the “just right” synonym; the joyous hours pouring over dictionaries (I have many) discovering “new’ words or searching through tomes of quotations and sayings (I have many) to choose an expression or quote which will reflect my ideas or getting side-tracked in one of my thesauri (hardcopy of course – forget the Microsoft Word Thesaurus, utterly useless unless I am feeling lazy or rushed).

Whenever a story is demanded of me, it is always a travel or humourous anecdote. How wonderful to relive the beauty of icebergs calving from the glaciers of Greenland, the excitement of bear hunting on Baffin Island, the thrill of fulfilling a long held desire to visit Alex Munthe’s San Michele, or the wonders of vast caverns with their crystal clear lakes in the Nullarbor caves.

Over the years our family has had many “interesting” people who have provided us with funny stories which we delight in recounting. It is a pity that there is not so much laughter in the world. I find it fascinating that we now “have to have” organised groups who get together to laugh. What is wrong in the world, that the members are unable to discover their own laughter?

The fairy wrens, fly catchers and willy-wag tails take great delight in plucking the hairs from our back-door coir mat. So Susan purchased a brand spanking new one. Put it close to the door leaving the raggedy edge one on the outside. Great idea. But. Those pesky, cheeky friends think that Susan has provided the new one for their benefit. They loudly chirp their thanks as they produce new scallops. I laugh each time I see them – it didn’t take much effort to get the better of me.

I am not a writer, but I do a lot of writing.



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About the Author

Susan Filson is a retired librarian, a lover of books, of travel and discovery. She has travelled the world extensivley and is involved in her community - the country town of Stroud in Australia - in a wide variety of ways.




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