Category Archives: opportunity for writers

Aspiring authors; make a pact.

I was visiting Ollin’s site, Courage to Create this morning, and remembered an important part of my journey towards publication. It happened a long time ago, took seconds, but I suspect it was a pivotal moment.

I’d joined a writing group. I think there were about ten of us; all keen and excited to be working on our manuscripts, looking for useful advice and hopefully some positive feedback and encouragement.

Slowly, the numbers dwindled.  Some left after a rejection from a publisher. Or because life can get hectic and writing can start to look like a self-indulgent hobby. For all kinds of reasons.

In the end, it was just me, and Stephen.  We were both passionate about writing, absolutely determined in our desire to improve our work and stubbornly fixed in our quest to find a publisher.  Over a glass of red wine one night we shook hands and made a pact.

To never quit. Not ever.

Not when the rejection letter came in. Not when we couldn’t see a way to write the ending or improve one of the sagging chapters in the middle.  Not when we read a brilliant book and feared we’d never be good enough to scrape the mud from this author’s boots.

We sent each other interesting articles on writing. {Thank you Ste for the McKee book} We commiserated when we got rejected. And celebrated the wins. We gave each other stern talkings-to if one of us wavered and wanted to quit.

And we did it.

The books we were originally working on when we met were put aside and we started new ones. We were working at different speeds, trying different approaches, contacting different publishers, writing different genres, but somehow, in a weird twist of fate, we somehow managed to have our novels come out in exactly the same month: June this year.

So, here’s my question, writing friends; who can you make a pact with? If no one comes to mind, then perhaps it’s time to reach out and find some like-minded literary types to connect with.

Then, once you have your buddy ready….

… just hold out your hand [virtually is fine too] and shake hands, and make the same pact Stephen and I did all those years ago.

To never quit. Not ever.

I wish you all success and joy along the way.





Filed under authors, book launch, books, champagne, editors, fiction, I should be editing right now, opportunity for writers, Reading, red wine, reviews, tips for writers, writers, Writing

What is the most ridiculous number?

Answer: your age. Seriously, how many decisions do you make with that number echoing inside your head? Too old to take up an instrument? Or study? Or have a change of career? Too young to marry? Or settle down?

Once you hit 18 it’s time to throw that number away. Once you hit 18 you’re a grown up and your life is your own.

Change career. Move. Study medicine. Or archaeology. Write a book. Paint. Travel. Take up violin. Fall in love. Learn to ski/tango/meditate/fly/sing.

Do whatever you passionately want to do. Forget your age. It’s just a very silly number. A ridiculous number. An excuse.

There are no limits to who you can be unless you make it so.


Filed under art, authors, blogging, life, love, opportunity for writers, philosophy, poetry, silly challenges, tips for writers, weird stuff

Raise your hand if you enjoy self-promotion

I remember the moment when I decided to write a book. Newly pregnant, and feeling creative, I began jotting down ideas in an old page-a-day diary. When I finished the manuscript, I put it aside for a while, and realised after a re-read, that it was rubbish. Sigh.

When baby arrived, the greatest challenge while working on the second manuscript, was battling tiredness and trying to squeeze in time to write during naps, without feeling too  guilty that the housework wasn’t getting done. After the last word was written, I sadly had to admit that it was rubbish too, like the first. So I stored them together where they keep each other dusty company.

The challenge with the third manuscript was the ending; getting it right. There were times when I felt like my brain had evaporated into the sky and I was left sitting there, in front of the screen, an empty shell trying to think with my fingers. But miracle of miracles, I managed to get it finished.

So, the next challenge was finding a publisher. Scary, scary, scary. Sending it out, waiting for a reply – snore – getting knocked back after a year’s journey of “almost accepted”.  Trying again.

With a heck of a lot of luck, I was finally accepted.

I wasn’t naive enough to imagine that I could now sit back and relax.  But the thought of promoting myself was scarier than sending out the manuscript in the first place. Not that I’m shy; far from it. I’m happy to step onto a stage, I’ll easily chat with a group of strangers, but selling myself and the book in the process, well, that had my knees knocking.

The publisher does most of the hard work, but they took a risk on me and I want to help them.  My biggest fear was that they’d regret taking me on. Ah, the insecurities of a writer!

So, how do you feel about promoting yourself? Easy? Terrifying?Any tips?

I found a great little article (link below) thanks to John Kremer, who you can find here:

May we all be courageous, despite knocking knees.


Filed under authors, blogging, book launch, editors, fiction, launches, life, opportunity for writers, Reading, writers, Writing

Crying my eyes out

Well, I just love the way Life gives you exactly what you need in each moment. Just went for a visit to Shylockbooks blog and discovered the most beautiful video.  I’m still recovering.

It proves something I’ve long believed; music is not to be listened to with the ears, it should be absorbed by the body, invited into every space between the cells and there vibrate through our entire being until we are one with it.

Music  is our fundamental structure.  The body is dead matter without it.

Anyway here’s the link:

You’ll need tissues.


Filed under authors, blogging, books, fiction, life, music, opportunity for writers, Reading, weird stuff, Writing

Some people are natural detectives

Well, congratulations to the very clever blogger at:


for finding the editor, just a few heartbeats before I did.

My spirits soared when I saw that the blogger in question was a Jane Austen and Regency Period fan, like me. Check out the divine photo with the candle stick.

I want to be right there, in that dress, with my heart pounding, and the candle stick dripping wax on his hand, and the light making the night soft and golden.

All right, I got a bit carried away, but you must admit, it is divine.

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Filed under authors, books, editors, fiction, jane austen, launches, opportunity for writers, Reading, regency period, reviews, Uncategorized, Writing

We all have a weakness

I suspect most editors, like everyone else, have a weakness; whether it’s red wine, fine Belgium chocolates, a Coen Brother’s movie, cute puppy dogs (not eating them of course, just patting them), vintage cheese, French truffle oil.


Okay, so I couldn’t find a picture of kale anywhere on the internet; it’s not a popular vegetable, despite being rich in vitamin K and other exciting nutrients.

However, I suspect it will prove a little too tempting for the editor I’m attempting to temp. [Too much ‘tempt’ for one sentence, I know.]

But no matter. He won’t be able to resist.

Blog, A__ blog!

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Filed under books, editors, I should be editing right now, opportunity for writers, Reading, silly challenges, time wasters for editors, Uncategorized, Writing

Opportunity for Australian Writers

Here’s a great opportunity for Australian writers. The Victorian Premier’s Literary Award is on again.

Details at:

And another opportunity for me to show off my hyperlinking skills.

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Filed under books, literary competition, opportunity for writers, Reading, tips for writers, Uncategorized, Writing