To celebrate Kill Your Darlings’ new website, we’ve asked some of our favourite contributors from past years to reflect on their early writing experiences and share their top tips for emerging writers.

Today, we hear from Jessie Cole. Jessie’s fiction can be found in KYD #8 (‘The Wake‘) and KYD #20 (‘The Hook’), and her memoir piece is in KYD #22 (‘The Tasmanian Boy: A Shuffle of the Deck‘).

Cole_JessieFor me, writing is all about secrets. Things unspoken. Things unspeakable. Revelation, even when you think you have nothing to hide.

I came to writing from a place of great isolation, and I wrote to tell secrets to myself. In those years, the space between me and everyone else seemed so vast, an unspeakable world had opened up inside me with no avenue for expression.

So when I started writing, it was not an act of sharing with others, but a kind of joining of my outside self with my hidden inside. An attempt at wholeness. There was no reader. There was only me and me. I was whispering secrets in my own ear.

The discovery of journals like Kill Your Darlings provided me with a sense of community, a way to be part of wider cultural conversations, both as a reader and a writer, and this dialogue has so profoundly altered the landscape of my world.

I know it sounds crazy because I never see any of you, living as I do tucked away in the forest, but I know you’re all there!