Here's to missed opportunity

Tim Winton has released a new book. His writing has, to a degree, felt a bit formulaic since The Riders, but I put that down to being just his style. I still enjoy reading his prose and the minimalist way he draws in the majesty of the worlds of his characters.

Winton got his start as a writer as one of the winners of The Vogel Award many years ago.

When I was 18, I had aspirations of being a writer (I still do, actually). Each year, I set myself the task of working on a writing project I hoped would evolve into a novel I could enter into the Vogel. Each year I would get a few months in, and run out of steam. I had the motivation to be a writer, but not the experience or discipline.

As I approached my mid-twenties, I started to get sidetracked by work etc, and the yearly projects became bi-annual. Not long after that, I reached the upper age limit for being eligible for the award and came to conclusion I’d missed my chance.

Then for some reason they increased the age limit to 35, and I started telling myself I could have another tilt at it. When Winton released his new book, I was reminded of that goal, and I resolved to make my submission to the next one.

As it closes at the end of May, it’s too late to set myself for the 2008 competition. I was in the middle of thinking “there’s always next year”, when I realised there won’t be, because I will turn 35 in February.

I had a second chance to at least make the effort, and I let it pass me by.

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