Fiona Wright is one of our most fun authors and for the Style issue she takes us on a tour of Sydney’s sport clubs
What do you do in your day job/life?
In my day-life, I freelance for a whole bunch of people: I’m the poetry editor at Giramondo, but have also recently started working for a small interactive design company on projects to do with technology, community and space. It’s rad – really exciting and challenging work, and something that I never even knew existed until recently. I also write reviews, which is a lot of fun too, and put myself at the mercy of schoolkids in workshops.
What did your grandmother do for money?
My grandmother was a nurse. That doesn’t sound that exciting, but she ran away from home to do it – her parents disapproved because she’d have to look at naked men’s naughties. But it was my other nanna who was on the prowl at work – she worked in a paint factory, and deliberately misspelt the labels she typed so that my grandpa would have to take them back.
What’s your process for writing or do you free-ball?
My process involves coffee, but that’s about the only constant. I love to write in cafes, to be out of my own space a bit, and to spy on other people and steal bits of their lives. I also write very slowly if it’s prose – I consider two paragraphs a really good stint; but much faster when I’m working on poems. Poems take much, much longer to edit and refine, though. I usually find I’m walking around with the writing happening in my head when I’m obsessing over something, and then it’s just a matter of finding time and space and enough concentration – always the killer – to get it down.
If you were stuck on a desert island what would you write about?
Island mentalities, probably.
What’s the one invention that you thought would have been invented by now?
Sliced bread. Imagine how much time you’d save every morning if your bread was already cut, to a consistent thickness, and all you ever had to do was just chuck it in the toaster and run.
A piece of advice your sixteen year old self would give you.
My 16-year-old self was far too self-absorbed to give advice to anybody else, too busy being a misunderstood genius. The strange thing is, the last time I was in Germany was when I was 16, and I was an exchange student in a small city in the north-west. I caught the train there from Berlin last weekend to visit my old host family, and it was almost like visiting my 16-year-old self as well. Apparently she ate a lot of gummi bears and asked a lot of questions. Which may very well be good pieces of advice.
Next is something that I always wish I could predict, but that I always get wrong. I’m working on a lot of essays at the moment, as well as chatty poems, which are both a lot of fun. But god knows what’s going to come of either of those things…