For twenty years I had typed letters for other people to sign. Suddenly out of a job, aged forty, I wrote four short stories in five days, sold one, and began my collection of rejection slips.
ABC-TV advertised for plays. I wrote Autumn Roses , which was accepted. I aborted this beginning of a television career by going to Papua New Guinea to research a book, and was diverted by an Englishman on a bicycle.
For eight years, I lived in Madang and North Queensland, beyond the reach of television writing. In 1981, when I renewed my endeavour to write for television, there was enough failure to redirect me towards live theatre. Alive and Kicking was produced by Playbox in 1991. Don’t Bother Me Now, I’m Dying was produced by Waverley Theatre in 1996.
Twenty years of typing other people’s words, instead of creating my own, resulted in a slow start. The floundering around and hack work, muddled through earlier, might have brought forth a more successful outcome. Instead, I have flirted with different forms of writing and now, nudging eighty, have written my first book.
The ultimate deadline is a terrific incentive to find the necessary energy and inspiration to write another.
Books by Judy Bierwirth
There was a cardboard carton filled with notes, pages, scraps of paper . . . the bits and pieces of life.
Read more about Late Entry