Release Your Inner Author. By Owen Zupp.

Owen Zupp - Saturday, December 30, 2017

Start writing your first book. 

1976. Don't wait decades to start i did!


Casting my mind back, my writing journey began long before my first book was published in 2007. As a schoolboy, I possessed a passion for creative writing. The freedom of releasing thoughts onto a page and sharing them with others was one of the most satisfying experiences of my childhood. If there was a writing bloodline, it undoubtedly flowed from my mother’s side.

But something happened along the way. I stopped writing.

On completing my schooling, I went into two rather technical fields – firstly as a paramedic and then as a pilot. My reading habit was forced from novels to manuals and everything else in life pushed my writing into the background, other than disorganised passages in disorganised notebooks. This would continue for twenty years until my life as a pilot was turned on its head through the collapse of the airline I was flying for.

While helpful, the consultant in the government employment office reminded me that my skill set was very narrow, or to use his words, “Highly skilled, but totally unemployable”. From that instant, I made a resolution to never be solely reliant upon any single vocation ever again. Despite eventually gaining employment with another airline, I set about completing a Masters Degree and this led to consulting work and in turn, technical writing projects. Yes, once again I was buried in manuals. The remuneration was worthwhile, but I soon realised if I was to write concurrently with my full-time profession as a pilot, the passion needed to be there - and it wasn’t.

At first, I wrote for free for various journals and then I worked up the courage to pitch a story to a magazine that paid. It was the story of a fateful mission when my fighter-pilot father was wounded on a low-level sortie over North Korea in 1952. Once accepted, the story had to be written, printed out and posted with a CD-ROM of images to the editor and some months later it would be published.

I can still remember the fax being slid under my hotel room door. My wife had copied the article and sent it to me in the middle of the night as I slept on the other side of the world. The sheer joy of that first feature ignited the spark and I was set on the road to authorship at that point and I have never looked back. My only regret is the two decades that my creative angst was buried within as life got in the way.

Personally, I am not one for New Year’s resolutions – I am just one for resolutions. However, as 2018 is upon us there is possibly a degree of synergy in play. Make this the year that you begin to write. It may be a feature article, it may be the first chapter of that book that you have always contemplated. Whatever burns within, sit down and begin. And then persist.

It won’t necessarily be easy, but nothing worthwhile ever is. In your favour are the wealth of resources in circulation on the internet that are specifically designed to assist fledgling authors, such as podcasts.

Don’t wait any longer, release the author within now and open a whole new chapter of your life. You won’t regret it.

Best wishes for 2018.


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