Failing your way to success

SJ’s parents sold her to a mad scientist when she was just three days old and she was raised mostly by the lab mice.  She credits this upbringing for her passion for hard to pronounce cheeses.

She has always loved writing, and for most of her life was an extremely dedicated writer for approximately five days out of every year, however after a tumour, that she christened Earnest, was discovered and successfully removed, writing became a full time commitment.

 

Sarah-Jayne

Paul: Welcome Sarah Jane. Welcome to the podcast and thank you for coming along. Sarah-Jayne is an author and lives in Kalgoorlie. Is that right? Kalgoorlie or Goldfields 

Sarah-Jayne: yes, Kalgoorlie Goldfields. And I'm originally an Esperance girl. So the whole Goldfields fields Esperance region is kind of home. Okay. So, 

Paul: Yeah, so living out in the Goldfields and welcome along Sarah, I wonder if you'd start by just introducing yourself, probably you can do a better job at the night end and telling us a little bit about your background and what, what led up to being an author

Sarah-Jayne: yeah, sure. So writing's always been my passion. I've always, always loved putting stories together ever since I was a little kid and always knew I was going to be a writer one day and have this big writer life and. But the thing I didn't do was I didn't didn't work at it probably as much as I need to.

So I'd say it was probably a bit of a hobby and we get busy with other life and, and so I didn't I always liked writing, but I didn't do a lot with it. And then I got to a. Particular time a few years ago and looked around and thought, well, where's this life I always thought I was going to have.

And then that penny sort of dropped. It's like, oh, I have to actually work at it. I have to finish things. And yeah. And, and then do all the other work that goes with it. So Yeah. So I I, I really knuckled down to say write my first novel, but really it was the third one I'd started. The other two were still in the drawer of unfinished projects at about 50,000 words.

But original sin. I took me about four years, but I did finish it. And then got it published. And then basically embraced this writer creative life. And I am very, very happy. It's it's not always glamorous, but I love whatever. 

Paul: I love that. Just a quote on your website where you say, I love writing even on the day.

So I hate it. I just say so relate to that because I think in their creative endeavor can just really be like that kind of, you know, it can drive you nuts when you, you love doing what you do. But some days you just hate it. 

Sarah-Jayne: Yeah, I do. I think it's a bit like that, that old saying a bad days, fishing is better than a good day's work and it exactly relates to how I feel with writing.

Yes. 

Paul: Yeah. And I, I thought that was a great great. Okay. So you mentioned also in your your, your, about section, which I thought was wonderfully written, which you'd expect for an author, but you were raised by led breads, led my sorry, rice by the lab, rice and head of a father of a mad scientist.

Sarah-Jayne: Absolutely. Well one of the things that I was finding is that I'm trying to get myself out there and that is when you're starting. Nobody knows who you are and basically nobody really cares and you're trying to stand out against so many. Other things that can grab people's attention, not just other authors and writers, but everything that we, we basically consume for our entertainment.

So I thought, well, no one probably cares if I'm, I've got a biography that says I live in California and have two dogs I need something that might catch people's attention. And I have a bit of a background in stand-up comedy as well, and, and I've never been known to take myself too seriously. I thought I'd write something that might get people's attention.

And if they like that, then they might be inclined to read my books. Well, I did. 

Paul: I thought, oh, 

Sarah-Jayne: it's almost a hundred percent true apart from a little bit of a creative license in places. And. Yeah. The only other outright lie there is, it says I was a bad waitress, but I'm actually a very, very good waitress can be had a bit of time 

Paul: again when you put your mind to it is.

So I think this is true. I've read quite a lot of people's about pages. They are in actual fact, the second most read page of many of most websites, I believe is the ABET section. So something. Business owners to give some thought to it reads, read your about page and see if you can't Polish it up. So many of them are just written.

Like, you know, oh, we do this and we sell that and we dah, dah, dah, and then more the services page than the about page. So cute. Kudos to you. Good one. 

Sarah-Jayne: Thank you very much. It, I basically come from the, from the coming from the point of view that pretty much everybody out. Is not interested and might be bored very easy.

I have a very short attention span. So you've got to make the most of what you can in that really short amount of time to try and grab their attention so that they they absorbed what you want them to. 

Paul: Yeah, absolutely. No. Excellent. Excellent. So you mentioned another character in your in your past, by the name of Ernest who who came into your life.

Tell us a little more about that. And what specifically, what the, so what, what about, you know, what was, what was it and what was the impact? What was the effect of that on your chest? 

Sarah-Jayne: Sure. So a few years ago now had a bit of a surprise. When am I was, I was getting a routine second. From a doctor on something that was supposed to be a waste of time and involve getting an MRI.

And I yeah, what I went in for was, you know, completely fine, but they they found this a rather big, scary white plop in my head that was putting pressure on my brain. The technical term for it is vestibular schwannoma. And it took me a long time to learn how to say that. And I still don't know how to spell it correctly.

And yeah, so it was benign Schumer and I decided to call it Ernest because it was a lot of reasons, but earnest a seemed a lot less terrifying than a big, scary white blob in your head. So, and it was easy to refer to it. The thing is Ernest and had a going away party for earnest before I had the operation which was a very big operation and probably took 3:00 AM close to bet six to several months to get.

Proper again, I'm often with things like that, recovery, you kind of think you'd like to think of it as a straight line and you get a bit better every single day, but it's more like a really big squiggly ball of yarn and you have good days and bad days. And yeah, but as I say wasn't, it wasn't cancer.

It was benign. It was successfully removed and I was extremely lucky. They found it when they did. Cause it had basically run out of room.

Paul: And an amazing and a positive story, but I'm wondering, what was, did that have, did having that experience seven effect on your journey, your trajectory, if you like, was that a bit of a, a pivotal moment for you in the writing side of things? 

Sarah-Jayne: Well, that would make a really good story. Wouldn't it. If you were writing this as a as a piece of fiction, that's exactly how you tell the story.

But it's funny. I basically, I'd actually had my little epiphany about having to work for this life that I wanted to about a good or almost 12 months before we found out about owners. So I'd actually just started to make that commitment to. Riding, as often as I could getting things finished, really I'm chasing that life.

And then we found out about it and us, which kind of put a real crimping things. Basically put everything on hold for awhile, but then but yeah, during recovery it was something good to focus on. And it probably because of that experience is probably why I did end up staying committed to to chasing my creative life.

I don't know if I would have been. Committed and sticking to it. If I hadn't had that experience, 

Paul: I guess, as I say, there's no second time around, is there, you know, you get, you get one shot at life and that's it, isn't it? 

Sarah-Jayne: Well, yes. Yes. True. And also I do, I do subscribe to the. Every new day is like a brand new page.

You, you know, you can always start rewriting it or put in another direction. It might take you a long time to turn things around or a blaze a new path. But you know, if you don't make those decisions at 20, you can still make them 30 or 40 or 70 or 80 every day. Every day is that fresh? It sounds corny, 

Paul: but it's true.

Take us back to that 12 months before you discovered the the tumor and the decision that you made to get started, what what inspired that? What made it was there? Was there something that actually changed for you then? Or why did you make that decision then? And not a year previous or a year? 

Sarah-Jayne: Yeah, I, I think it was just one of those things, is it?

And it wasn't a very significant birthday or anything like that, but you just start to get to us. I've got basically just got to a certain age and looked around and thought, well, I don't have this life that I expected that was just going to appear. So if I don't start doing something about it, it's never going to appear.

I basically asked myself the question of like, Well, if you know, what do I need to do to make this happen or what circumstances have to unfold for this to happen? And that's when I, I started a it's not easy to do it immediately. It takes time, but I try and end. I had my regular job in life commitments in that to, to juggle, but basically I just started to go, right.

Well every day, One thing, no matter how obscure or random, but one thing that, you know, world of Lafary's or stuff like that that might actually help contribute. So I always, I I've wrote another page. I bet another article I made a phone call. I made a post online just something to keep working towards that.

Paul: To me, I think too often we get sold the idea of overnight success and the success story really rarely when you scratch the surface, is it ever an overnight success in a 

Sarah-Jayne: a hundred percent? I've, I've had many conversations with people who tell me that their overnight success took them 10 or 20 years or yeah, overnight success.

You know, he took, took half a lifetime or, you know, several years. I mean, might there might be people out there who do it overnight, but I haven't met them, but if they had like to share their secret, 

Paul: I'm still looking. Yeah.

And the ones that that do confess to have that overnight success are actually just trying to sell a program or something. So it's actually just marketing stuff. 

Sarah-Jayne: I was gonna say, that's a really good point is that there's a lot of people out there we're working very hard at creative draining, but there's there's a lot of people out there who can help us or mentor us or help provide opportunities.

But there's there's also a lot of scam artists out there and the more passionate you are about something sometimes it can be the more susceptible you are to unbelieve someone who's peddling something, you know, 

Paul: You've got the dream. You just want the outcome. Yeah, it does make you vulnerable.

Definitely. Yeah. And unfortunately I see that a lot. So no, they're really good point. Really good point. You, the work that you're currently doing, can you share anything about what you're currently with? 

Sarah-Jayne: Yeah, sure. So I'm riding the stool, my main goal, and I I've got two books out original sin and dire conditions, but the, and they're all, they're both standalone novels.

So is this third one that has been finished, but it's only up to the second draft, which means it's really, really bad right now. So traditionally I do about seven or eight drafts. It's a bit like for me, it's a bit like the try and make it good. All in one go it's it's an overwhelming job.

Every draft is sands a little bit more. Sounds a little bit more until it's basically lack of. Hopefully, yeah. Ready for consumption. So that's always out working in the background, but I have found there's a lot of other creative opportunities out there that I'm definitely scratched that each for me, both brighter and just being producer as well.

So I'm currently working on some scripts for Geraldton a historical ghost book. So it uses a bit more of the darker history, a bit more than myGov and the scandals and it's, it is a walking tour, but. Well, we don't guarantee you and you can see any real ghosts. There will be some live performers who will tell some of those stories as a first person point of view.

It's just a different way to experience it and get to know a little bit about history. So I'm hoping to have those already by November. So that's, that's one project and I'm involved in a another product that doesn't involve me writing, but we're looking at am hearing Kalgoorlie working with the community to get a bunch of submissions, to have some unique artworks installed in some of our more overlooked and underutilized places.

So people are used to seeing big sculptures and giant murals, but we're looking at some of the smaller or more just curious type. Type installations and paintings that just totally basically transform things from the ordinary to the extraordinary. And that's going to be something we're working on in the next six months as well.

And when I say we, I've got to have a wonderful group of people, different creatives that I work with at different times. And that's something that's been wonderful since I started, am working full time with my books and that you meet other people, we talked about some of the dodgy people out there, but you meet a lot of wonderful people as well, and they have different skill sets in there.

Teach me and mentor me and we, we can do some great things together. 

Paul: Excellent. Yeah. That's it like a community app project? Is it, 

Sarah-Jayne: do you mean? Yeah. Excellent. That'd be exciting to see that happen. Cause I I'm not in any shape way or form a visual artist. I have zero creativity there, but I very much like seeing what other people come up with.

Yeah, no, 

Paul: I, I, I enjoy I'm. My background is a photographer and. So I've had the pleasure of photographing a great many artworks 

Sarah-Jayne: different reasons, doing conventional form of visual art. 

Paul: It is, it is. The journey we've sort of covered the journey. Where would you like to go? And if we had a crystal ball looking down, do you have anything in the future that you like or things that you've set as a sort of out there goal or for yourself?

Or what, what would you like to see 

Sarah-Jayne: with, oh yeah. Million books selling a million books a year. Of course. You know, but realistically, yeah. What would I say is my ideal crave life is actually, I love having a home base I'm unloved category in Esperance net, but also as, as everything's been growing in that that reaches expanding I love the, the opportunities to have other reasons to go to other towns.

I do do like to travel, but don't always think, oh, I should go here or I should go there. But when there's these other creative opportunities, it's like, oh, awesome. I'll go there. And. And then I get to explore and have a look at the place and get to see new things as well. So my ideal life career looking forward is just having yeah, having, having the the work to be able to have a wonderful home base, but also every other month be going somewhere else, somewhere new meeting, new people, doing new things.

It's an interesting 

Paul: thing. Isn't it? I wonder I'm guessing, listening to you say that, that there's probably a lot more people like that too. I've looked at. That's sort of the gray nomad lifestyle, if you know what I mean. And I look at that and I go, you know, that I reckon that would be fun for about a week, you know, and then go over it.

And then I I'd be, I'd be wanting a project or something to do. So listening to you say that it's, I'm going okay. So here's a way of, of making my travel have purpose and meaning. Because if I can combine my travel. With some project or an art project, or what have you, you know, documenting my journey or whatever it might be along the way.

Sarah-Jayne: We just want the best of all the worlds. Why not great experiences? None of the other ones. 

Paul: Yeah. Well, why not? Why not go for that? Absolutely. Is there anything, sir, Jane, that we haven't touched on, or I haven't asked about that you think is important to share? 

Sarah-Jayne: Well, if we're talking to other people out there who have been thinking about doing some of these things themselves, or I suppose I'm not an expert, but I just say we'll just have those conversations with different people.

Find out what it is that you really do, like, and then start doing something. Something every day to try and get to that. So whatever that might be and it wa well, if you live in another, you might be one of those people who have the overnight success, but don't get discouraged. If it doesn't have a straightaway or it seems like a massive journey just do that one thing, no matter how unlikely that one.

Might be on its own. But still in the realm of creamy and imaginations, that that one thing could possibly get you a step closer to to what you want to be or what you want to be doing or the kind of life you want to be living. Yeah. And I would say keep having the conversations. It's amazing what comes out from just random conversations, conversations with friends, people you aren't that familiar with.

When you have a, a conversation start talking about the things that you're passionate about and listening to what other people are passionate about. I think I ended up walking away most times at the ideas for, for new projects, which I can't possibly take on, but I do feel that that yeah, it, that is something that can absolutely.

Get you further along is yeah. Sharing your passions, but listening to what other peoples are as well. 

Paul: Yes. Something that I found, I don't know if you find the same thing, but it's, I get trapped in consuming other people's content, you know, reading, reading, other people's work watching, you know, enjoying other people's videos and social media and so forth.

It's sometimes a sort of a distraction, I guess it takes away. And I have to, I have to shut myself off and go, no, I stop enough, enough consuming. You're going to create, because. Because we are created a salary, that's the thing is, and so we have to be dedicated to that creating process and not get distracted with too much consuming.

Sarah-Jayne: But yeah, it's a balancing act though. I mean, I, I find this times when I'm writing completely absorbed in a book when I could be writing myself, but. It's, it's funny when you hear some people go, oh, I don't ever look at stuff other people do, because it just sounds absurd. If a musician was to say, I don't ever listen to other people's music or a painter says, oh no, I never go to a gallery and look at other people's work.

It's just, that's insane. It's like, why would you not absorb as much as you can see what other people are doing, whether that inspires you or gives you ideas to go in a totally different direction? I love, I love reading just in general, but I also love reading and seeing how that particular author.

Created the story shaped it or how they've sucked me in and go, oh, that's an interesting way. They've done that. And then I just dove back into the story. Tell 

Paul: me if I'm wrong here. I, when I write myself, not that I do a lot of writing, but when I do I take. Sort of overwrite and then I go back and then with sort of pair it back then and take em, take away everything that doesn't need to be there.

Is it, is that kind of a principle or have I just stumbled across it or am I overriding? 

Sarah-Jayne: Well, I. I, I don't think I can speak for everybody. Obviously you haven't personally consulted everyone. I've found definitely that is the better way for myself anyway. And it sounds like it is few. I, the thing I'd know most specifically about myself is that I spoke about the drawer of unfinished projects and it is really full to bursting with some really amazingly well begun projects that were refined and polished.

But they remained you. And since I started working my creative journey, actually nothing has gone back into that drawer because now rather than trying to make it perfect, I just rip it out. This was when I said you know, the, the third book is finished, but it's really bad. I'm not exaggerating.

There'll be times when I have three paragraphs saying the same thing, because I like the way all those words work. And I also don't write linear if I get to a point where am I? I don't know what to do next door. I just don't. That capacity, that data, right. It, I might just go, this needs to happen here.

Or these two people need to have this conversation or this detail needs to be revealed. And then I just bounce to the next bit, which I am ready to write. And yeah, it's just rip it out. So it's on the page and then yeah, the rest of that problem is second. Problem to solve. And second draft, maybe we'll get to some of those notes and not be very happy with first draft me.

And then same again. I don't like to get too overwhelmed with how big the task is to make it what, what I'd consider good. So second draft is you don't just chips away at it, polishes it back in and then says, no, that problem is third draft May's problem. And so on and so on. And that's for me, that's the process and how I have it.

Finished and up to standard pieces of work. So yeah, what you explained is like a hundred percent works for me. Don't know if that works for everyone else, but I do know for the first half of my life not finishing things and now I almost, yeah, I seem to finish everything. 

Paul: Yeah. I saw you.

You'd done a little bit of work. Or it mentions some work that you did some workshops. Do you do, have you done much in the way of doing writing workshops or writing courses, you know, teaching courses for writers, anything along those sides? 

Sarah-Jayne: Yeah. Well, I have done a little bit the ones you're referring to was mostly, I got I was got some successful grant funding to go through the Ravens thought shy area and all the small towns there and the different.

Which was great. You're talking with kids as young as six, and then as old as I am at 15. But what I've done well to date is not so much strictly writing workshops there. I can call them more creative development because while I work in the medium of writing, what they're D those workshops are designed to do is just to spark that creativity in people and, and kids, and just to get them, get that as imaginations firing.

We do some writing exercises. We also do some other creative games and exercise because I love playing games. And I think a game game players are a wonderful way to learn things and you're too busy having fun and you don't realize you've actually learned something. But yeah, my workshops focus more on trying to spark that creativity get, get the kids in adults working how to, how to shape a story, how to come up with it, and then they can take those skills and apply it to whatever their real passion is.

So if it is. Painting or music or rapping or sculpting reading, like everything tells a story. So sparking that imaginations what's, what's the most important part of doing that. And sometimes we need a little bit of help sometimes, especially metals. We just need a little bit of permission. We have to give ourselves permission.

Yeah. 

Paul: Self permission. I was just going to say that. I think sometimes it's getting out of our own way. Isn't it? 

Sarah-Jayne: It really is saying, oh, it's okay. Sit here and be bored and let the ideas run through my mind until I come up with something. So, yeah, I'm a big believer in giving yourself permission to just, just enjoy to be bored.

Just to just be. 

Paul: Yes. Be a child again. Absolutely. Yes. So, well, thank you very much for joining us today, Sarah Jane, and I wish you all the best with your next book when it gets to its final draft. And look forward to that. Thank 

Sarah-Jayne: you very much. Well, have an absolute pleasure having. Yeah. 

Paul: I'm glad to hear that.

If people want to find out more or look you up on a line, whatever, to chase you down and stalk you, where's the best 

Sarah-Jayne: place to get. Yes, well across all the social media is, is where we need to be these days. As long as you can spell my surname, right? You can pretty much find me cause I'm SJ eels, which is w E L L.

As a.com, which is my office page. I'm on Facebook and Instagram though. I love a good pun. I am on the right path is in w it. And that Sarah Jania was what SJ. L's so pretty easy to find if yeah, if you can spell the surname correctly and if you do, what do I there's, there's some sample chapters on the website.

So if you like what you you read or you press with the bio there's links and you can get, get books online. Well, I, 

Paul: yeah, I can highly recommend them to you guys going to check them out and enjoy. So thanks again, surgeon. Great talking to you and we will talk again. 

Sarah-Jayne: It's absolutely wonderful.

Paul, thank you so much.


Paul: Welcome Sarah Jane. Welcome to the podcast and thank you for coming along. Sarah-Jayne is an an author and lives in Kalgoorlie. Is that right? Kalgoorlie or Goldfields 
Sarah-Jayne: yes, Calgary Goldfields. And I'm originally an Esperance girl. So the whole Goldfields fields Esperance region is kind of home. Okay. So, 
Paul: Yeah, so living out in the Goldfields and welcome along Sarah, I wonder if you'd start by just introducing yourself, probably you can do better job at the night end and telling us a little bit about your background and what, what led up to being an author
Sarah-Jayne: yeah, sure. So writing's always been my passion. I've always, always loved putting stories together even since I was a little kid and always knew I was going to be a writer one day and have this big writer life and. But the thing I didn't do was I didn't didn't work at it probably as much as I need to.
So I'd say it was probably a bit of a hobby and we get busy with other life and, and so I didn't I always liked writing, but I didn't do a lot with it. And then I got to a. Particular time a few years ago and looked around and thought, well, where's this life I always thought I was going to have.
And then that penny sort of dropped. It's like, oh, I have to actually work at it. I have to finish things. And yeah. And, and then do all the other work that goes with it. So Yeah. So I I, I really knuckled down to say write my first novel, but really it was the third one I'd started. The other two were still in the drawer of unfinished projects at about 50,000 words.
But original sin. I took me about four years, but I did finish it. And then got it published. And then basically embraced this writer creative life. And I am very, very happy. It's it's not always glamorous, but I love whatever. 
Paul: I love that. Just a quote on your website where you say, I love writing even on the day.
So I hate it. I just say so relate to that because I think in their creative endeavor can just really be like that kind of, you know, it can drive you nuts when you, you love doing what you do. But some days you just hate it. 
Sarah-Jayne: Yeah, I do. I think it's a bit like that, that old saying a bad days, fishing is better than a good day's work and it exactly relates to how I feel with writing.
Yes. 
Paul: Yeah. And I, I thought that was a great great. Okay. So you mentioned also in your your, your, about section, which I thought was wonderfully written, which you'd expect for an author, but you were raised by led breads, led my sorry, rice by the lab, rice and head of a father of a mad scientist.
Sarah-Jayne: Absolutely. Well one of the things that I was finding is that I'm trying to get myself out there and that is when you're starting. Nobody knows who you are and basically nobody really cares and you're trying to stand out against so many. Other things that can grab people's attention, not just other authors and writers, but everything that we we, we we basically consume for our entertainment.
So I thought, well, no one probably cares if I'm, I've got a biography that says I live in California and have two dogs I need something that might catch people's attention. And I have a bit of a background in stand-up comedy as well, and, and I've never been known to take myself too seriously. I thought I'd write something that might get people's attention.
And if they like that, then they might be inclined to read my books. Well, I did. 
Paul: I thought, oh, 
Sarah-Jayne: it's almost a hundred percent true apart from a little bit of a creative license in places. And. Yeah. The only other outright lie there is, it says I was a bad waitress, but I'm actually a very, very good waitress can be had a bit of time 
Paul: again when you put your mind to it is.
So I think this is true. I've read quite a lot of people's about pages. They are in actual fact, the second most read page of many of most websites, I believe is the ABET section. So something. Business owners to give some thought to it reads, read your about page and see if you can't Polish it up. So many of them are just written.
Like, you know, oh, we do this and we sell that and we dah, dah, dah, and then more the services page than the about page. So cute. Kudos to you. Good one. 
Sarah-Jayne: Thank you very much. It, I basically come from the, from the coming from the point of view that pretty much everybody out. Is not interested and might be bored very easy.
I have a very short attention span. So you've got to make the most of what you can in that really short amount of time to try and grab their attention so that they they absorbed what you want them to. 
Paul: Yeah, absolutely. No. Excellent. Excellent. So you mentioned another character in your in your past, by the name of Ernest who who came into your life.
Tell us a little more about that. And what specifically, what the, so what, what about, you know, what was, what was it and what was the impact? What was the effect of that on your chest? 
Sarah-Jayne: Sure. So a few years ago now had a bit of a surprise. When am I was, I was getting a routine second. From a doctor on something that was supposed to be a waste of time and involve getting an MRI.
And I yeah, what I went in for was, you know, completely fine, but they they found this a rather big, scary white plop in my head that was putting pressure on my brain. The technical term for it is vestibular schwannoma. And it took me a long time to learn how to say that. And I still don't know how to spell it correctly.
And yeah, so it was benign Schumer and I decided to call it Ernest because it was a lot of reasons, but earnest a seemed a lot less terrifying than a big, scary white blob in your head. So, and it was easy to refer to it. The thing is Ernest and had a going away party for earnest before I had the operation which was a very big operation and probably took 3:00 AM close to bet six to several months to get.
Proper again, I'm often with things like that, recovery, you kind of think you'd like to think of it as a straight line and you get a bit better every single day, but it's more like a really big squiggly ball of yarn and you have good days and bad days. And yeah, but as I say wasn't, it wasn't cancer.
It was benign. It was successfully removed and I was extremely lucky. They found it when they did. Cause it had basically run out of room.
Paul: And an amazing and a positive story, but I'm wondering, what was, did that have, did having that experience seven effect on your journey, your trajectory, if you like, was that a bit of a, a pivotal moment for you in the writing side of things? 
Sarah-Jayne: Well, that would make a really good story. Wouldn't it. If you were writing this as a as a piece of fiction, that's exactly how you tell the story.
But it's funny. I basically, I'd actually had my little epiphany about having to work for this life that I wanted to about a good or almost 12 months before we found out about owners. So I'd actually just started to make that commitment to. Riding, as often as I could getting things finished, really I'm chasing that life.
And then we found out about it and us, which kind of put a real crimping things. Basically put everything on hold for awhile, but then but yeah, during recovery it was something good to focus on. And it probably because of that experience is probably why I did end up staying committed to to chasing my creative life.
I don't know if I would have been. Committed and sticking to it. If I hadn't had that experience, 
Paul: I guess, as I say, there's no second time around, is there, you know, you get, you get one shot at life and that's it, isn't it? 
Sarah-Jayne: Well, yes. Yes. True. And also I do, I do subscribe to the. Every new day is like a brand new page.
You, you know, you can always start rewriting it or put in another direction. It might take you a long time to turn things around or a blaze a new path. But you know, if you don't make those decisions at 20, you can still make them 30 or 40 or 70 or 80 every day. Every day is that fresh? It sounds corny, 
Paul: but it's true.
Take us back to that 12 months before you discovered the the tumor and the decision that you made to get started, what what inspired that? What made it was there? Was there something that actually changed for you then? Or why did you make that decision then? And not a year previous or a year? 
Sarah-Jayne: Yeah, I, I think it was just one of those things, is it?
And it wasn't a very significant birthday or anything like that, but you just start to get to us. I've got basically just got to a certain age and looked around and thought, well, I don't have this life that I expected that was just going to appear. So if I don't start doing something about it, it's never going to appear.
I basically asked myself the question of like, Well, if you know, what do I need to do to make this happen or what circumstances have to unfold for this to happen? And that's when I, I started a it's not easy to do it immediately. It takes time, but I try and end. I had my regular job in life commitments in that to, to juggle, but basically I just started to go, right.
Well every day, One thing, no matter how obscure or random, but one thing that, you know, world of Lafary's or stuff like that that might actually help contribute. So I always, I I've wrote another page. I bet another article I made a phone call. I made a post online just something to keep working towards that.
Paul: To me, I think too often we get sold the idea of overnight success and the success story really rarely when you scratch the surface, is it ever an overnight success in a 
Sarah-Jayne: a hundred percent? I've, I've had many conversations with people who tell me that their overnight success took them 10 or 20 years or yeah, overnight success.
You know, he took, took half a lifetime or, you know, several years. I mean, might there might be people out there who do it overnight, but I haven't met them, but if they had like to share their secret, 
Paul: I'm still looking. Yeah.
And the ones that that do confess to have that overnight success are actually just trying to sell a program or something. So it's actually just marketing stuff. 
Sarah-Jayne: I was gonna say, that's a really good point is that there's a lot of people out there we're working very hard at creative draining, but there's there's a lot of people out there who can help us or mentor us or help provide opportunities.
But there's there's also a lot of scam artists out there and the more passionate you are about something sometimes it can be the more susceptible you are to unbelieve someone who's peddling something, you know, 
Paul: You've got the dream. You just want the outcome. Yeah, it does make you vulnerable.
Definitely. Yeah. And unfortunately I see that a lot. So no, they're really good point. Really good point. You, the work that you're currently doing, can you share anything about what you're currently with? 
Sarah-Jayne: Yeah, sure. So I'm riding the stool, my main goal, and I I've got two books out original sin and dire conditions, but the, and they're all, they're both standalone novels.
So is this third one that has been finished, but it's only up to the second draft, which means it's really, really bad right now. So traditionally I do about seven or eight drafts. It's a bit like for me, it's a bit like the try and make it good. All in one go it's it's an overwhelming job.
Every draft is sands a little bit more. Sounds a little bit more until it's basically lack of. Hopefully, yeah. Ready for consumption. So that's always out working in the background, but I have found there's a lot of other creative opportunities out there that I'm definitely scratched that each for me, both brighter and just being producer as well.
So I'm currently working on some scripts for Geraldton a historical ghost book. So it uses a bit more of the darker history, a bit more than myGov and the scandals and it's, it is a walking tour, but. Well, we don't guarantee you and you can see any real ghosts. There will be some live performers who will tell some of those stories as a first person point of view.
It's just a different way to experience it and get to know a little bit about history. So I'm hoping to have those already by November. So that's, that's one project and I'm involved in a another product that doesn't involve me writing, but we're looking at am hearing Kalgoorlie working with the community to get a bunch of submissions, to have some unique artworks installed in some of our more overlooked and underutilized places.
So people are used to seeing big sculptures and giant murals, but we're looking at some of the smaller or more just curious type. Type installations and paintings that just totally basically transform things from the ordinary to the extraordinary. And that's going to be something we're working on in the next six months as well.
And when I say we, I've got to have a wonderful group of people, different creatives that I work with at different times. And that's something that's been wonderful since I started, am working full time with my books and that you meet other people, we talked about some of the dodgy people out there, but you meet a lot of wonderful people as well, and they have different skill sets in there.
Teach me and mentor me and we, we can do some great things together. 
Paul: Excellent. Yeah. That's it like a community app project? Is it, 
Sarah-Jayne: do you mean? Yeah. Excellent. That'd be exciting to see that happen. Cause I I'm not in any shape way or form a visual artist. I have zero creativity there, but I very much like seeing what other people come up with.
Yeah, no, 
Paul: I, I, I enjoy I'm. My background is a photographer and. So I've had the pleasure of photographing a great many artworks 
Sarah-Jayne: different reasons, doing conventional form of visual art. 
Paul: It is, it is. The journey we've sort of covered the journey. Where would you like to go? And if we had a crystal ball looking down, do you have anything in the future that you like or things that you've set as a sort of out there goal or for yourself?
Or what, what would you like to see 
Sarah-Jayne: with, oh yeah. Million books selling a million books a year. Of course. You know, but realistically, yeah. What would I say is my ideal crave life is actually, I love having a home base I'm unloved category in Esperance net, but also as, as everything's been growing in that that reaches expanding I love the, the opportunities to have other reasons to go to other towns.
I do do like to travel, but don't always think, oh, I should go here or I should go there. But when there's these other creative opportunities, it's like, oh, awesome. I'll go there. And. And then I get to explore and have a look at the place and get to see new things as well. So my ideal life career looking forward is just having yeah, having, having the the work to be able to have a wonderful home base, but also every other month be going somewhere else, somewhere new meeting, new people, doing new things.
It's an interesting 
Paul: thing. Isn't it? I wonder I'm guessing, listening to you say that, that there's probably a lot more people like that too. I've looked at. That's sort of the gray nomad lifestyle, if you know what I mean. And I look at that and I go, you know, that I reckon that would be fun for about a week, you know, and then go over it.
And then I I'd be, I'd be wanting a project or something to do. So listening to you say that it's, I'm going okay. So here's a way of, of making my travel have purpose and meaning. Because if I can combine my travel. With some project or an art project, or what have you, you know, documenting my journey or whatever it might be along the way.
Sarah-Jayne: We just want the best of all the worlds. Why not great experiences? None of the other ones. 
Paul: Yeah. Well, why not? Why not go for that? Absolutely. Is there anything, sir, Jane, that we haven't touched on, or I haven't asked about that you think is important to share? 
Sarah-Jayne: Well, if we're talking to other people out there who have been thinking about doing some of these things themselves, or I suppose I'm not an expert, but I just say we'll just have those conversations with different people.
Find out what it is that you really do, like, and then start doing something. Something every day to try and get to that. So whatever that might be and it wa well, if you live in another, you might be one of those people who have the overnight success, but don't get discouraged. If it doesn't have a straightaway or it seems like a massive journey just do that one thing, no matter how unlikely that one.
Might be on its own. But still in the realm of creamy and imaginations, that that one thing could possibly get you a step closer to to what you want to be or what you want to be doing or the kind of life you want to be living. Yeah. And I would say keep having the conversations. It's amazing what comes out from just random conversations, conversations with friends, people you aren't that familiar with.
When you have a, a conversation start talking about the things that you're passionate about and listening to what other people are passionate about. I think I ended up walking away most times at the ideas for, for new projects, which I can't possibly take on, but I do feel that that yeah, it, that is something that can absolutely.
Get you further along is yeah. Sharing your passions, but listening to what other peoples are as well. 
Paul: Yes. Something that I found, I don't know if you find the same thing, but it's, I get trapped in consuming other people's content, you know, reading, reading, other people's work watching, you know, enjoying other people's videos and social media and so forth.
It's sometimes a sort of a distraction, I guess it takes away. And I have to, I have to shut myself off and go, no, I stop enough, enough consuming. You're going to create, because. Because we are created a salary, that's the thing is, and so we have to be dedicated to that creating process and not get distracted with too much consuming.
Sarah-Jayne: But yeah, it's a balancing act though. I mean, I, I find this times when I'm writing completely absorbed in a book when I could be writing myself, but. It's, it's funny when you hear some people go, oh, I don't ever look at stuff other people do, because it just sounds absurd. If a musician was to say, I don't ever listen to other people's music or a painter says, oh no, I never go to a gallery and look at other people's work.
It's just, that's insane. It's like, why would you not absorb as much as you can see what other people are doing, whether that inspires you or gives you ideas to go in a totally different direction? I love, I love reading just in general, but I also love reading and seeing how that particular author.
Created the story shaped it or how they've sucked me in and go, oh, that's an interesting way. They've done that. And then I just dove back into the story. Tell 
Paul: me if I'm wrong here. I, when I write myself, not that I do a lot of writing, but when I do I take. Sort of overwrite and then I go back and then with sort of pair it back then and take em, take away everything that doesn't need to be there.
Is it, is that kind of a principle or have I just stumbled across it or am I overriding? 
Sarah-Jayne: Well, I. I, I don't think I can speak for everybody. Obviously you haven't personally consulted everyone. I've found definitely that is the better way for myself anyway. And it sounds like it is few. I, the thing I'd know most specifically about myself is that I spoke about the drawer of unfinished projects and it is really full to bursting with some really amazingly well begun projects that were refined and polished.
But they remained you. And since I started working my creative journey, actually nothing has gone back into that drawer because now rather than trying to make it perfect, I just rip it out. This was when I said you know, the, the third book is finished, but it's really bad. I'm not exaggerating.
There'll be times when I have three paragraphs saying the same thing, because I like the way all those words work. And I also don't write linear if I get to a point where am I? I don't know what to do next door. I just don't. That capacity, that data, right. It, I might just go, this needs to happen here.
Or these two people need to have this conversation or this detail needs to be revealed. And then I just bounce to the next bit, which I am ready to write. And yeah, it's just rip it out. So it's on the page and then yeah, the rest of that problem is second. Problem to solve. And second draft, maybe we'll get to some of those notes and not be very happy with first draft me.
And then same again. I don't like to get too overwhelmed with how big the task is to make it what, what I'd consider good. So second draft is you don't just chips away at it, polishes it back in and then says, no, that problem is third draft May's problem. And so on and so on. And that's for me, that's the process and how I have it.
Finished and up to standard pieces of work. So yeah, what you explained is like a hundred percent works for me. Don't know if that works for everyone else, but I do know for the first half of my life not finishing things and now I almost, yeah, I seem to finish everything. 
Paul: Yeah. I saw you.
You'd done a little bit of work. Or it mentions some work that you did some workshops. Do you do, have you done much in the way of doing writing workshops or writing courses, you know, teaching courses for writers, anything along those sides? 
Sarah-Jayne: Yeah. Well, I have done a little bit the ones you're referring to was mostly, I got I was got some successful grant funding to go through the Ravens thought shy area and all the small towns there and the different.
Which was great. You're talking with kids as young as six, and then as old as I am at 15. But what I've done well to date is not so much strictly writing workshops there. I can call them more creative development because while I work in the medium of writing, what they're D those workshops are designed to do is just to spark that creativity in people and, and kids, and just to get them, get that as imaginations firing.
We do some writing exercises. We also do some other creative games and exercise because I love playing games. And I think a game game players are a wonderful way to learn things and you're too busy having fun and you don't realize you've actually learned something. But yeah, my workshops focus more on trying to spark that creativity get, get the kids in adults working how to, how to shape a story, how to come up with it, and then they can take those skills and apply it to whatever their real passion is.
So if it is. Painting or music or rapping or sculpting reading, like everything tells a story. So sparking that imaginations what's, what's the most important part of doing that. And sometimes we need a little bit of help sometimes, especially metals. We just need a little bit of permission. We have to give ourselves permission.
Yeah. 
Paul: Self permission. I was just going to say that. I think sometimes it's getting out of our own way. Isn't it? 
Sarah-Jayne: It really is saying, oh, it's okay. Sit here and be bored and let the ideas run through my mind until I come up with something. So, yeah, I'm a big believer in giving yourself permission to just, just enjoy to be bored.
Just to just be. 
Paul: Yes. Be a child again. Absolutely. Yes. So, well, thank you very much for joining us today, Sarah Jane, and I wish you all the best with your next book when it gets to its final draft. And look forward to that. Thank 
Sarah-Jayne: you very much. Well, have an absolute pleasure having. Yeah. 
Paul: I'm glad to hear that.
If people want to find out more or look you up on a line, whatever, to chase you down and stalk you, where's the best 
Sarah-Jayne: place to get. Yes, well across all the social media is, is where we need to be these days. As long as you can spell my surname, right? You can pretty much find me cause I'm SJ eels, which is w E L L.
As a.com, which is my office page. I'm on Facebook and Instagram though. I love a good pun. I am on the right path is in w it. And that Sarah Jania was what SJ. L's so pretty easy to find if yeah, if you can spell the surname correctly and if you do, what do I there's, there's some sample chapters on the website.
So if you like what you you read or you press with the bio there's links and you can get, get books online. Well, I, 
Paul: yeah, I can highly recommend them to you guys going to check them out and enjoy. So thanks again, surgeon. Great talking to you and we will talk again. 
Sarah-Jayne: It's absolutely wonderful.
Paul, thank you so much.