• Leonard Cohen: The yearning at your core Leonard Cohen is a man who lived with inner anguish, but did so gallantly. He celebrated the melancholy of life. He planted the truth of our existence (we die, my friends!) before us without apology. He wrestled with all this, but, again, without apology. In the wake of his recent passing, you might like to more
  • This is how I do my longreads Much of where we are feeling we’re going wrong lies in the speed at which we are moving, talking, toggling and…reading. I’ve shared one of my favourite takes on this, by David Malouf writing in the Quarterly Essay not so long ago. Malouf suggests: We are moving at a speed that’s not conducive to discerning more
  • Wondering what I should do with this blog…thoughts? Hello there, Can I ask a favour? This blog has been around a bit. It needs some freshening up. I mean, that header photo! The dinky staples! What do you think… * I was thinking about moving things over to Medium. Heard of it? Use it? Here’s my Medium Page. 
  • Bung thyroid? Here’s what Louise Hay said it’s about… Some time back I met with Louise Hay and she shared a whole heap of advice on various life issues. At the end of the interview she noted I had a thyroid issue. I’m not sure if she guessed it or I’d mentioned it. I shared what she had to say about it at the more
  • How to find your place Are you a young person wondering what the hell you’re meant to be doing? Trying to find your place? Are you a parent with a beloved young person in your life who is struggling with their place? My suggestion: read famous creatives’ graduation speeches. They are truly inspiring frothings in which said famous creative confesses more
  • This is what my writing desk looks like (not pretty!) I work in chaos. Plus, I’m very visual and I need to see ALL my bits of notes and ideas and outlines in one bird’s-eye grasp. So I scatter them around me at my desk, or the floor, or (as is often the case) the cafe bench where I’ve set up shop for the morning. more
  • There’s a good scientific reason you’re neurotic Have you caught the science news? Psychologists have advanced a new theory linking neurotic unhappiness and creativity in the brain, giving over-worrying an evolutionary purpose. Bingo! Normal worry, of course, has always had an evolutionary purpose. In the face of danger, freaking out helps us fight or flight. But neuroticism – freaking out when there more
  • A trick for writers and artists: create with low expectations I did an interview with ABC radio host Mary-Lou Stephens the other day, chatting about food sustainability. Before I went on air she shared she’s just finished writing her latest book (she’s written several) and actually loved the process this time, churning it out in just three months. What was different this time, I asked more
  • What to leave out: The key to creativity I highly recommend long reading. Not least because of the lovely knowledge that unfurls from it. I also think that committing to a long read narrows, focuses, hones and gets you still. It’s the antidote to the frazzle of short-form toggling. It’s a Sunday afternoon thing for me, to read all the lengthy prose I’ve more
  • Start with a big fat lump in your throat and run with it As an angsty teen I read Robert Frost’s The Path Not Taken and would feel all kinds of profoundnesses. I would also read the bible, looking for the same depth. I’ve liked to think I’ve moved on from such binary thinking. But I recently came across a reference to Frost’s approach to poem creation: “It begins as a more
  • Why I like my unsettled life and have no hope of finding balance We keep seeking balance. But it’s a false goal. We have it wrong. For one thing, it’s just not possible. I’ve written about this before – how life balance is elusive. But more than this, balance or settledness, doesn’t see us grow. We grow and become better, and have a better life, from the very act of more
  • The best advice to creatives ever: you have to go through a volume of work When I lived in Byron (writing my first book) I used to drive to my friend Annie’s house in the hills for dinner on Sundays. I timed it to listen to Ira Glass on This American Life. I’d time it so I could pull over in the really mind-expanding, precipace-thinking bits. Not listened to one more
  • Being creative can be a lonely path I loved reading about this new study into the connection between creativity and mental illness. It effectively found that creativity has little correlation with genius. While there is a connection with a highish IQ  (the “average” creative has an IQ around 120), the real nexus is with a touch of madness. But more specifically (and more
  • why it’s good to give your stuff for free I like this story: Trevor from Youth Lagoon recently told my friend Tim (who told me) that back before he was Somebody he decided to release his first single “July” on Bandcamp for free. Everyone told him he was mad. That he should monetise his efforts. But then the track went viral. And he got fans. more
  • “poke life and something will always pop out the other side” Just this. From Steve Jobs in some random interview in 1995 (when he had hair, a beard and not-so-fat-wads-of-cash). It cuts through to something we all need to know: When you grow up you, tend to get told that the world is the way it is and your life is just to live your life more
  • 8 things to learn about being creative from Wendy Harmer (a podcast) I’ve decided to start an occasional series with creative people I admire who have a spark of unique “dive-into-life”-ness that I think we could all learn from. There. A long sentence for you. Wendy Harmer is my first such guest. She is a MASSIVE spirit and her impact in Australia is huge. She’s a comedian, more
  • if you’re stuck creatively, this might help This week in Sunday Life I trust the process   I had dinner with a guy recently who dedicated entrée to telling me that all writers are self-indulged w*nkers. “You all go on about the pain of writing,” he said. “Plumbers don’t write about how hard their work is, you don’t read about ‘plumber’s block’.” more
  • creativity tip: fake it and you always make it It upsets me sometimes that so many people stand back from what they really want to do because they don’t think they’re good enough, or don’t have the skills, or won’t ever be a great painter/swimmer/public speaker/writer/jewellery maker/jumper knitterer. So why bother. But the more creative people I meet, the more I know this: rarely more
  • Elizabeth Gilbert on showing up It’s TED”s fifth birthday. 1000 talks, 81 languages, viewed 1/2 billion times. So I went back and watched one of the most popular talks: Elizabeth Gilbert on creativity and the fear we have around…just doing it. [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=86x-u-tz0MA&feature=player_embedded[/youtube] I’ve been talking about this over the week in Sydney with friends who are blocked. They’re creative. In more
  • some Happiness & It’s Causes reflections I think I mentioned, I chaired the Happiness & It’s Causes Conference in Brisbane on Friday. I know a few of you were there. It really was very special…Big minds, big hearts, grappling with all the stuff that counts. Lots of stuff on using our minds for good, chimps and peace (ergo the cute-as pic more
  • “Good, raw, kind, hilarious people make my soul creative” I’ve decided to start a new occasional series. From time to time I come across humans who just astound me with their whimsy. They do something a bit off-beat. A bit you’re-not-meant-to-do-that. I’ve noticed there’s usually One Thing that prompted them, or motivates them, or keeps them happy and therefore whimsical. I’m always busting to more
  • create and silence your doubt…a life tip from Vincent Van Gogh VVG does great things for me.  I love that he once painted a chair. Just a chair. A worthless chair. But he captured the “isness” of it so gloriously that it became a work of art worth an incomprehensible fortune. This quote, though, takes things up a notch: “If you hear a voice within you more
  • a chat with Hugh Mackay about getting creative (sunday life) This week I’m cruddily creative Every now and then I use the auspice of this column to meet people I’ve always wanted to sit next to on a long plane trip so as to pick their brains for fatty morsels on how to make life better. It’s not a bad perk of the job. So, more
  • sunday life: in which i go bush to write my book! This week I do creative work I’m not sure why, but I think I’m going to feel better for sharing the following with you. I’m writing a book. But here’s the thing. I was commissioned almost a year ago. It’s due next month. But, oh my, I’ve not written a word. At least not one more
  • when you’re sick… “writing is a godsend” I thought I’d share this interview with you. As you know, I was sick for quite a while. Getting better now. But it’s been a struggle to do what nourishes me – being creative – during this time. At the same time, it’s what’s kept me going. It’s been the grist to my mill. This more
Sarah Instagram avatar Sarah does Instagram