The pros and cons of life as an isolated writer
Writers are supposed to hole themselves up somewhere far off and remote, right?
Surrounded by nature and the elements, in the middle of nowhere, nothing to disturb their creative scribbling.
Marion Day would half agree, as she considers for five-hour round trip to civilisation from her home in the outer Marlborough Sounds.
But living in a beautiful remote location such as Clova Bay, in Pelorus Sound, had many pros and cons.
‘‘The pros are that isolation allows you to write uninterrupted,’’ Day says.
‘‘Another plus is I am able to write in the natural beauty of the Marlborough Sounds.
‘‘The cons are that because I live so remotely, the five-hour round trip makes it difficult to join weekly writers’ groups, attend fellow authors’ book launches or writing events.
‘‘That’s the lonely side of living out here. I think we are naturally social animals, and I see a lot of depression with other people who are remote out this way. It can be hard.’’
Day’s contribution to children’s literature has seen her ‘highly commended’ in the Enterprising Rural Women Awards, which showcase the success of women operating businesses in rural locations. Seldom is a writer recognised. ‘‘I decided this year, why not try? Nothing ventured, nothing gained,’’ the 61-year-old says.
Writing for nine years, Day has six published children’s books and two successful New Zealand biographies entitled Injun Joe, The Legend of Smoking Joe Collins and Blood Brothers: The Exploits of Steve and Chris Podjursky.
For Day, living remotely means maintaining a daily routine of writing and managing her massive garden.
‘‘In the morning I jump out of bed, snatch a cup of tea and write, up to 2pm if possible. Then it’s outside into the garden for a couple hours.
‘‘Then it’s back inside to edit my day’s writing. At night I try to watch some TV or read to rest my mind. I love reading and have a huge collection of books on every subject imaginable.’’
Day grew up on a dairy farm in the Bay of Plenty. When she told her partner in 2009 that she wanted to become a famous writer they both laughed.
‘‘After all, I was a cattle and pig farmer,’’ Day says. ‘‘I woke up out of a dream almost, and thought, ‘that’s what I want to do’. I only had sixth form high school. No training at all. I had to learn, and make all the mistakes by myself.’’
Day says she plans to remain in Clova Bay with her partner, despite the remoteness, with two new books expected in 2018; children’s book Skiddies, and the fourth book in her nature series The Butterfly and the Tui.
Marlborough Sounds writer Marion Day has been ‘highly commended’ in the Enterprising Rural Women Awards.