• 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. 
  • 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
  • It’s OK to do drafts I’m writing a book. A book that’s extending me in ways I probably wouldn’t have chosen. But I did. So here I am, strapped in, doing the work. I’m particularly attuned to insights about writing and the creative process right now. A few weeks back I wrote Just do it like a motherfucker. Michelle Barraclough shared this wonderful 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
  • Why do we write? Tweet? Blog? Anyone who blogs, or finds themselves really quite glued to their social media feed, asks this of themselves intermittently. I do. I have my answer now. I blog because I need to. It’s my dharma. The way I experience things is to pull apart the elements, to break them down, to cluster and to organise more
  • Writing places in New York I do my best work on planes in economy seats. I do my best thinking waiting in the line at the post office. We all Get More Done in unexpected places, where the contrast flicks us into inspired action. Which is why it was pretty cool to be in New York for two weeks finishing more
  • It’s better to feel normal about being abnormal I like Henry Miller’s mind. I’ve written about it before. He expresses without apology. His writing just…goes there; it cuts through and doesn’t pause to deliberate fruitlessly. It feels like freedom to just read his work. I came across these Henry Miller quotes just now. It’s from an essay he wrote on the musings of more
  • don’t work nervously I am a little obsessed by the work habits of writers. And I love Henry Miller. And I’m very grateful for these little work mantras Miller wrote for himself. Mostly because it’s a reminder that everyone struggles to find the right mood, pace and approach to work, and the right way to balance work with more
  • another (surprising) reason to exercise I don’t exercise to get fit or lose weight. I do it to get clear and clean in the head. And I do it every day, because I want to be clear and clean every day. As it’s a simple, do-able goal with an immediate outcome (I feel clearer and cleaner instantly, but I don’t more
  • the beauty of allowing others to interrupt your very important work This is a behaviour in myself I really wish wasn’t part of my makeup: friends call or drop in or write to ask if they can come stay and sometimes, not always, but way too often, I get…antsy. I feel they’re going to break my stride, stop me from achieving things. On the phone I’m more
  • 5 inspiring things to learn about writing from Kate Grenville (a podcast) I’m running 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. This week Kate Grenville is my guest. Kate is one of Australia’s best-known authors, having written eight books of fiction and four books about the writing process. Her best-known works are the 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
  • Seven weeks and counting down (and freaking) Oh, you know what. Deep breath. This… Have you ever done something that’s terrified you to the core?  That you have to dive into with no map, no instructions, nothing to hold onto? Instead you must freefall with no guarantee of where – and if – you’re going to land? Something that you know will more
  • Is your lifestyle “terminally jangled”? here! some Hunter S Thompson advice… I could stare at that photo below for an inappropriately long time. It’s evocative and in-someone-else’s-moment-ish and makes me want to meet a man in trunks. Mornings. Spent writing. Calmly. Alone. In sun. Yep. I came across this rundown by Hunter S Thompson of his morning routine. Morning routine’s are key to life, I’ve come 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
  • my interview on huffington post. ace! Huffington Post was the first blog I read. Laura Cococcia was one of the first readers of my blog to start posting comments. This week Laura, editor and publisher of The Journal of Cultural Conversation, interviewed me for Huffington Post. A lovely full circle. Here’s the interview as it ran yesterday on the site. It more
  • so you’d like to be a writer, yeah? Since I get asked this a lot – how did you become a writer? – I thought I’d answer in a jaunty post. The short answer is: I started writing. From a young age. In journals. For the uni newspaper. And I kept going. via pinterest.com The longer one: I started writing and when I saw more
  • “I write longhand” and other ways going retro helps you focus Sunday Life: This week I work a little “retro”…and it worked! A week or so ago “#RIPTypewriters” was trending. Which, for those not of The Twitterverse, means a stack of people were commenting on the death of the typewriter following news the last manufacturer in the world had closed shop. I entered the nostalgic Twitter more
  • this is how I write… I read this wonderful interview with author James Salter in The Paris Review. If you’re not a writer, or you’re not working on a long, big, scary project (an essay, a thesis, a report, a house) I still think you’ll find some good life lessons in it. And will enjoy his considered, dignified answers. It 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
  • why I’m writing a book “Write the book that pulls you out of bed every night like a secret friend, waiting to be met.” I post this by way of follow-up from my previous post. It’s  from Australian author Louisa Deasey. Louisa – whose book Love and Other -Turns came out a few months back; I haven’t read it but more
  • how to get “wabi sabi” with it Wabi sabi is the Japanese art of finding beauty in imperfection. That statement in itself makes me happy. Observing it is a meditation and a tool for keeping life cool. And whimsicaly creative. I’m playing with it at the moment as I write. It’s proving a nifty little tool! Wabi stems from the word wa, more
  • i cultivate confusion I like this quote just now as I frenzy myself up in a writing maelstrom: You have to systematically create confusion; it sets creativity free. Everything that is contradictory creates life. – Salvador Dali Further to my anxiety post last week, I think confusion in the creativity process is really gut churning. It throws me. more
  • this is how it’s going to be from now on… As many readers of this blog might have gathered, I’ve recently packed up and gone north for a few months to write a book. To be starting a new chapter feels fresh under the armpits and frolicky in my soul. As you might have gathered from posts of late, I’m also very anxious. It’s the 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
  • the most useful grammar post ever I thought you might find this useful. A list of grammar tricks I found on Dumb Little Men…They’ve compiled a bunch of tips and exercises from an online writing lab. I know so many from my generation simply didn’t learn grammar. I personally learned it when I studied French from a library text book while more
  • How to start a book? Write drunk, edit sober. I’ve just started a book. As in, writing one. I’m not quite sure how this came about. But as with most thing in my life, they’ve happened while I’ve been doing other things (I’d never even read Cosmopolitan before I became editor of it). Anyway, contracts are signed. I’m off. How do you start writing more
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