Did Your Writing Year Get Off to a Flying Start This January? What’s Next?

So how did your January go? Did you achieve all you wanted to writing wise? Or when you tally up your words does the total fall drastically short of what you wanted to achieve? My January was both good and bad. I managed to do more blog posts than ever before (thanks to all my new followers by the way), did a rough outline for a possible sequel to Blackwattle Lake, and wrote up some notes for a new novel. It would have been nice to achieve more but then I did have plenty of time to relax, think, and clear my head. Part of me would like to whine and moan and self flagellate about all the things I didn’t get done but the other, wiser part says that we writers are way too hard on ourselves and need to lighten up a little. There are times when we write a lot, times we write a little and times when we don’t write at all. In that spirit I’d like to share this Writer’s Manifesto.   (Courtesy of Melissa Bowersock (http://wanatribe.com/profile/MelissaBowersock) Whether your January was as productive as you would have liked or not now is a good time to take stock – decide what worked and what didn’t, what your goals are for the rest of the year and how you will go about achieving them. And above all, as the manifesto above says, remember that writing is a journey not a destination. Enjoy the small projects as well as the big, value the words for their own sake and for the joy you get from them as...

Art Imitates Life Imitates Art: An Aussie Summer Danger Becomes Inspiration For Blackwattle Lake

To celebrate Australia day I’m taking part in the Australia Day Blog Hop sponsored by Book’d Out and Confessions From Romaholics. In total 55 Aussie Bloggers are taking part so it’s a great opportunity to discover some new blogs and wonderful writers. Just click on the following link to go to the Book’d Out site and follow the links to the various bloggers. http://bookdout.wordpress.com/2013/01/25/australia-day-book-giveaway-blog-hop/ And as a special giveaway for those who leave a comment on my blog post you will go in a draw to win a copy of my debut novel Blackwattle Lake. The winner will be selected at random and must reside in Australia. Entries close at midnight on January 28th and the winner will be announced within 7 days Thanks to Shelleyrae at Book’d Out for coordinating the hop. Enjoy! * I’ve spent the last month chilling out on my farm on the south coast of NSW, or should I say heating up. It’s been a hot summer, hotter than last year, when we all cursed the dismal weather and lack of sunshine. But this year it was the heat we were cursing, at least on a couple of occasions. With bushfires burning about 30k’s to the north and a timber house surrounded by bush that was dry and ready to roast we spent a nervous few days as the air around us lay heavy with heat and our normally gorgeous view was obscured by smoke. On the first scorcher I was wary of leaving home in case the fires spread and the roads were blocked and we were unable to get back. But empty...

How Is Your Writing Going This January? A Few Things That Have Inspired Me To Write this Month

January seems to be flying by. With only one week left to go I thought I might do a quick inventory of what I’ve managed to write so far: A draft outline for my next book. This was already roughed up but I’ve typed it up and it’s starting to take shape. Very rough notes for a new novel idea Morning pages – not every day I have to admit, but a few times a week which has gone a long way to helping declutter the brain. Blog posts – my own and a few to send to other writers who are hosting me on their blogs in upcoming weeks. Plans and goals for my writing year. As much as I’d love to say that I’ve done more, it’s a list I’m pretty happy with. It’s been great to be here in such beautiful surroundings recharging the batteries and getting prepared for some more serious work when the holidays come to an end. Here’s a few pics of some of the beautiful images I’ve been enjoying. I hope your writing has been going well this month. For those who aren’t writers I hope you’ve managed to find some time to relax, read a good book and plan for a great year...

What has inspired you this week? Finding Writing Inspiration Through Your Camera Lens

How is your writing going? Have you been feeling inspired? This week I’ve been inspired by images on the blog I Reblogged yesterday by sethsnaps (http://sethsnap.com/author/sethsnap/). Each day he posts a series of images from, sometimes with a caption or story, sometimes without, or as in yesterday’s post he invites readers to make up the story behind the image themselves. Acting on my inspiration I took myself to the beach with my camera and snapped a few images. I’ve chosen the following photos not so much because they tell a story but more because something about the image itself appeals to me – the lines, the colours, the shapes and textures. It struck me once again as I was uploading these photos how important images are to our creativity. Even though these shots are random and chosen for purely aesthetic reasons, if you gaze long enough at each image questions start to spring to mind: Who is walking down the steps? Is she at the beach alone? How do the rocks feel beneath her feet? What is she thinking as she gazes at the ocean? What significance does the shell hold for her? Will she follow the path? Or is somebody following her? Photographs and images are a great way into a story. You can start with nothing and end up with a whole array of new ideas and possibilities. One of my resolutions for the year is to do some thing creative each day. One option I’ll be exploring is picking up my camera and heading outside to take shots of whatever seems to call to me, and to see what I...

Getting Back To Basics In The January Writing Challenge: Pen, Notecards and a Starfish

The last few days have been a bit on the smoky side around here. We’re spending the month at our house at Little Forest which is about 30k’s south of the Wandandian fires (for any interstate or overseas readers that’s about two and a half hours south of Sydney). Here’s the usual view from our veranda and the one I was greeted with when I woke up this morning:               Although the fires are still burning they don’t seem to be getting any closer to us but we’re keeping an eye on things just in case! In other news I’ve been struggling a little with the January Writing Challenge, putting too much pressure on yself to come up with something new and wonderful. So today I decided to try something different. When we headed to the beach instead of taking a book I took a pen and a few index cards and sat and wrote down any observations that came to me. Here’s a sample of a few things I jotted down: on the beach of my youth I sit and watch past, present and future an ocean of blue light the fearlessness of youth and the arrogance a father builds a castle with his son as I once did with my daughter who now lies lithe and sun-browned beside me in an almost there bikini I once-upon-a-time would have worn umbrellas lollipop the sand a seagull motors along like a wind-up toy cicadas beat out the rhythm of the day I gaze at the rocks we once explored together and walk there alone a seaweed green crab studies me with his...

Why We Write – Making Connections With Ourselves and With Each Other

I didn’t get to blog yesterday – life got in the way, but I did get to write a few morning pages and start working on my writing goals for 2013. Yesterday my writing buddy Monique Mcdonell posted an excellent blog about writing goals and making sure we have them for the right reasons. You can see Monique’s blog post here: http://tinyurl.com/abqbodk It got me thinking about why we actually right. Of course this is a subject that has been written about many times before and the answer to the question is different for everyone. Perhaps you have a particular story to tell, want to record your life in words for family members, love the challenge of starting with a blank page and trying to create something out of nothing, or perhaps, like me, you crave the escape form the real world that writing brings, or as Alan Watt more aptly descibed it 2 days ago in The Huffington Post as “losing ourselves in our work by shedding our ego for a deeper connection to our humanity”. Watt continues: Why we write is more important than what we write because our reason for writing influences the content of our work. It is important to remember that we don’t have to do this. The world is not in a rush for more books. There are more great works of fiction, poetry, memoir, history and pumpkin soup recipes than we will ever have time to consume. (Read the full article here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alan-watt/why-we-write_b_2411000.html) Essentially we write to express ourselves, to make sense of our world – both inner and outer – and...