Friday 21 April 2017

Have A Go

Boat Licence
The email attachment icon felt like a pitiful representation of my first writing attempt. The manuscript I had been sitting on for eight months was now secured in a technology paperclip. It was time to put it out to the world. I vividly recall the trepidation that flooded me as I clicked ‘Send’. I know that if I hadn’t taken that step of faith, I would still be sitting on that manuscript thinking my writing was nothing more than a personal hobby. Ultimately, it was something profoundly Australian that had pushed me into submitting my story for assessment– our tradition of ‘Have a Go.’

It’s an old Aussie application to life so deeply ingrained in our culture that it’s a national catchphrase. Having a go is as Australian as kangaroos, koalas, and vegemite on toast. So what’s it all about? Well, it means exactly what it says: have a go. Don’t sit on the sidelines of life. In our culture, the greatest accomplishment isn’t failure or success: it’s all about the attempt.

Here in the land ‘Downunder’, it isn’t considered unusual to have many different careers, and a mass of random accomplishments during a lifetime. For Australians, the word ‘reinvention’ is just a fancy way of saying we’re having a go at something different. We dive in head-on and take leaps of faith outside our comfort zones.

For example, for years I had been toying with the idea of getting my boat licence. Here in Oz we are required to display sufficient boating skills and watercourse competency in order to skipper a recreational boat of any size. Some people voiced confusion as to why I would want to get my licence at the age of forty, but it was a niggling desire that wouldn’t go away. So I went for it, gave it my best ‘go’ and I succeeded—to my delight. A week later I attended a firearms safety course – the first step to acquiring my firearms licence (a mammoth task here in Australia, as our gun laws are restrictive). With some trepidation and a lot of help, I notched up that achievement as well. I was so happy—and relieved. These two skills might seem foreign to my path in life, but I have come to the conclusion that nothing is ever wasted. The Lord has a purpose for every accomplishment.

Have you ever had that same niggle? That little voice inside that is telling you to ‘have a go?’ It was this very voice that prompted me to start writing. Prior to my first manuscript, I had never written anything beyond university essays and the occasional letter. But that niggle wouldn’t go away, so one day I committed to ‘having a go’. I discovered that writing was my God-given calling, and the ministry the Lord had for me.

Thank goodness for my Australian heritage that had taught me to jump in and swim like mad, because without the push forward, I am certain I would have balked at the task. I probably would have told the inner niggle that it had my capabilities and ambitions all confused. In this and many other instances, I am grateful for my cultural propensity to ‘have a go’.

‘Cast your bread upon the waters, for after many days you will find it again.’ Ecclesiastes 11: 1 (NIV)

The feedback I received from sending in that manuscript gave me the encouragement to keep writing. It told me that I was on the right track, and the Lord had a purpose for the road I was on. Having a go paid off, because I not only learned what I was doing right, but also what I was doing wrong.

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.’  (H. Jackson Brown Jnr, although usually attributed to Mark Twain).

With this Aussie spirit of having a go in mind, I would like to challenge you, dear reader, to listen to that inner niggle. Maybe it is calling you to do something completely outside your comfort zone. Perhaps it is pushing you to do something you have wanted to do for a long time, or even something you’ve always desired to do but never had the courage. Whatever it is, if there is one thing I know for sure, it is that when God places something on the heart, He has a terrific plan for it. Experience and accomplishment is never a burden to bear. His journey, no matter where it leads you, is never a waste.

Do you have a manuscript gathering dust? Have you wondered if your writing is any good, but don’t have the means to seek advice to improve your skills? In the spirit of ‘have a go’ I encourage you to explore our Australasian Christian Writer’s Association: the OMEGA Writers:

Or please consider entering our Australasian CALEB Awards for Literature:

In us you will find a wealth of experience, a generous group of sharing professionals, and an endless supply of encouragement.

Rose was born in North Queensland, Australia. Her childhood experiences growing up in a small beach community would later provide inspiration for her Resolution series.
Two of the three Resolution novels have won Australian CALEB awards. She has also released The Greenfield Legacy, a collaborative novel highlighting the pain of Australia’s past policy of forced adoption, as well as standalone novel, Ehvah After. Her most recent release is A Christmas Resolution, which is part of the novella box set, An Aussie Summer Christmas.
Her novels are inspired by the love of her coastal home and her desire to produce stories that point readers to Jesus. Rose holds a Bachelor of Arts degree, and resides in Mackay, North Queensland with her husband and son.
Visit Rose at: https:/


  1. Enjoyed your post, Rose. Good on you for 'having a go' with writing (four published books later), a boat license and a gun license. My finger was hovering over a submit button for a very competitive prize just a couple of days ago. It reminds me of another saying, you need to be in it to win it. Just like you can't edit a blank page. It's good to keep pushing forward, learning and improving as we go.

    1. That's it, Jeanette. Life is all about what we learn when we attempt something. Yes - Keep pushing forward. :-)

  2. That's excellent advice, Rose. You're a lady of many talents. Reminds me of your own heroines. Congrats for the boat and firearms licences as well as the writing.

    1. We Aussies wear many hats, that's for sure. Still need help with the practical points of boating. ;-)


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