Elaine Forrestal

Who Do We Trust?

A very trusting mother and baby

Over the weekend I was staying with a lovely bunch of WA writers in some bush cottages out of Margaret River. We were all a bit surprised that a mother kangaroo with her joey, who looked as if he was not long out of the pouch, had chosen to hang out on our side of the fence, rather than with the rest of the mob who were taking advantage of some shady trees at least 500 metres away on the other side of Carter’s Road. Throughout the weekend my fellow writers and I marvelled at how trusting the mother was. While keeping her joey close, she would sit perfectly still in plain sight while various members of our group of twenty people walked around and past her, between the cottages. She was not phased by us chatting to each other or even when we periodically gathered in one big noisey crowd to eat, drink and enjoy each other’s company. She was not even bothered by us taking photos of her and allowed us to come surprisingly close.

Learning to trust is like falling in love. At first you feel it somewhere in your gut. Then you have to communicate and get to know each other. You might have a mutual friend who can give advice, but at the end of the day it’s about taking a risk. If you never take any risks nothing will change for you. Trust breeds trust just as confidence breeds confidence. And when it comes to getting our writing published we have to be open to trusting people – publishers, editors, designers, the whole scary lot. Taking that first step is never easy. But once you have opened yourself up to the world and put your heart and soul out there in full view, each step after that will be easier. That doesn’t mean there won’t be set-backs along the way. It just means you have grown a little stronger and more experienced at dealing with them.

Like that mother kangaroo you will know how close you can let people come. And like  her joey you will never grow and learn new skills if you don’t take the risk of leaving the the pouch.