I’ve been writing for lots of years but I never thought I’d publish a book. It took a rather special individual to change my mindset and my methodology.
OK, I could rave about Walter Mason for a long time and usually do in my writing group but who is this fella?
Walter has published two travel memoirs – Destination Saigon and Destination Cambodia. I always describe Walter as a spiritual person. I’m not sure if he’s made up his mind between Christianity (or some of the values thereof) and his passion for Buddhism. There’s an intense interest in spirituality that is synonymous with Walter Mason. Walter teaches writing courses, hosts writer talks at various locations and is taking a tour group to Vietnam in October 2016 – details here.
If you follow Walter’s Instagram account, you’ll either put on a lot of weight (there’s a lot of food porn) or see the wonderful books he’s researching/reading. Oh, and cat photos of Choo Choo.
I took a writing workshop with Walter in December 2014. With all the information he shared that day, I published Red Inks in June 2015.
How on earth did he manage to help me? Simply put, Walter provided tips on how to be creative when the river ran dry. Then he suggested that a project plan should be put in place with actual dates on it. Finally, he not so subtly suggested that this project plan should be stuck to. Not that Walter is in any way a scary person but the last thing in the world I wanted to do was make Walter disappointed with me – in reality or simply in my imagination. It was unthinkable. I had to keep going. And I did.
From that day in December 2014, Walter became my mentor – the person I sought for guidance and reassurance. Not in person or even by contacting him directly (although I did a few times). Whenever Walter shares an article on Twitter or announced one of his many chats with authors, or simply declares his love for a writer, it reminds me that I have to keep going and that good things will happen.
What makes Walter stand out, apart from his kindness and enthusiasm for others, is his undying support for Australian writers. Oh, and his love of Barbara Pym.
Am I alone in my adoration of Walter Mason? Not by a long chalk.
The fabulous Robin Elizabeth from the Riedstrap blog and I are solid members of the “Walterati” – devoted fans of Mr Mason. Robin even created a special Robinpedia entry in his honour.
Who is that special person who keeps you motivated?
Follow Walter on Twitter: @walterm