Friday, 30 January 2009

Overcoming Writer's Block

I've been trying to do the last of my share in the planning for the workshop Vicki Thornton and I are presenting at the Victorian Writers' Centre on Saturday 14th Feb. But this heat is enough to stop anyone from doing anything. I have been hiding out in the kitchen, which is where our air con is (I know, crazy place for an air con), and have even resorted to dragging the laptop in there. Even so, I think it might all have to wait until next week, for other reasons as well, like school will be back.

Vicki and I are both looking forward to the workshop (so long as it is much cooler than 40-something degrees) and hope those of you who come will leave with a stack of ideas to keep you going for months, maybe longer.

I know the ideas part of writing is what many writers seem to find difficult, particularly new or beginning writers, which is why we came up with the workshop. This isn't generally the difficult part for me, and I'd be pretty chuffed if I was to go home on the 14th with the energy to squeeze the good ideas I currently have into the time I don't have so much of.

I've had an idea for a couple of poems swimming around in my mind for about two weeks now, and only just today even found time to make some notes in my journal. By now, of course, only half of the initial ideas are still there. But that is okay and, while I might not have been getting to do much poetry or story writing, planning on the novel is ahead of schedule, so it all balances out fairly well. The ideas mostly came while I was listening to a particular song anyway, so maybe when I play it again, they will all come flooding back. Fingers crossed.

Friday, 23 January 2009

getting in early

It's not usual for me to send submissions off until the last week they're due, or maybe the second last week. And, being an editor of a magazine, I know this is the case for most people, as I receive almost half of the total submissions in the last two weeks.

Sending stuff out so late often means I miss a whole heap of deadlines and opportunities, because I get busy with something else and don't find time to put it all together.

But in the last few weeks I have been trying to be productive and have sent some of my work out. Some of the places are even open until the end of February.

Not sure I like my chances of maintaing this as a routine, but I can be hopeful. Sometimes I'm not even sure why I tend to wait until those last days. So, feel free to drop a line letting me know whether you send stuff in early or wait until the end, and why.

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

a quickie

I did an interview recently with Graham Nunn for his blog Another Lost Shark. While Another Lost Shark seems to be about all things poetry, I spoke with him about the current state of publishing poetry and what may lie ahead. For what it's worth.

Go here for a direct link. Enjoy.

Monday, 12 January 2009


Routine? It seems that routine is a thing of my past, and I am not one to do well (or much) without one. I am not sure if it was Christmas that blew it away or just the normal end of year rush to get things finished with other things naturally finishing themselves (like another issue of a certain magazine being out in the world for instance).

Maybe there is no reason and I'm thinking about it too much. More than likely, but that's not really the point.

New year, new habits, new resolutions, and all that crap, I am trying to get back into something of an organised state, or a routine. So I figured I'd start with the special list I used so productively when I was studying. An A4 sheet sectioned into quarters, with one week's worth of things to do in each quarter.

Today marks the beginning of the second week. And after ticking off nine of the ten things on last week's list, I am hopeful I might make good progress yet again. But for now I'd better start on lunch (which is not on the list). Hope you have a productive week too.

Thursday, 8 January 2009

just a week in

Gotta say it's been a good year in writing already. Not that I expect things to necessarily keep up at the same kind of rate. I'll just dream about such things.

So far, I have been asked to write two articles and have had a poem accepted. Added to the story coming up in the April issue of Island, I am fairly chuffed. Oh, and I have also been approached to share my thoughts on the state of publishing poetry and what's ahead for page seventeen. More on that later.

With any luck, I'll sneak in some time to take opportunity of all these good vibes and get some more done. Fingers crossed.

Sunday, 4 January 2009


Well, the first month's worth of goals for working on this novel have been set. In fact, there is longer than one month to achieve them, as L and I felt is was essential that we wait until school is back before meeting again.

My greatest hurdle will be juggling time, so, to avoid not being too ambitious, I have tried to be conservative with my first goals. I have also set the one/s that I absolutely want to achieve by the next date, as well as to include more that I hope to start on.

While there are several, some relate to merely getting organised and deciding what other tasks I will need to do. The main task for the first month is to complete a character study for my protagonist. Of course, by complete, I don't mean finish, as this will continue to grow as I write. But I definitely need to have a really good feel for who she is before I start. This will feel kind of weird too, as I have never worked this way before. But, aside from me feeling that this novel will need me to have done it this way, time commitments mean it would probably work best anyway.

So, off I go now to make a start.