Category Archives: writing process

Lose the writing doubts

A writer friend asked me if I would be her accountability partner. She has nearly completed her “autobiographical novel,” a beautifully crafted, honest and moving story of love, belonging and tragedy. She now rings me every Friday, and for half … Continue reading

Posted in Writing, writing process | Tagged , , , , , | 17 Comments

In Defense of Procrastination

Some writers think procrastination is the same as being blocked. Some call procrastination thinking. I’ve just watched a Ted Talk by Adam Grant called ‘Surprising Habits of Original Thinkers.’ He conducted a study which makes a strong case for the procrastination-as-thinking camp. Grant is … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized, Writing, writing process | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The Joy of Writing

A writer friend who is also doing the challenge of observing and writing down the details every day sent me this email, ‘It is quite  incredible the wandering paths my mind has taken just by writing in the moment like this.Today … Continue reading

Posted in Writing, writing process | Tagged , , , , | 18 Comments

Writing from the forgotten senses

For three days last week the wind blew the rain horizontally. It pelted against the window glass and the drops sounded like someone throwing sharp needles. Last week I’d given myself a writing challenge: to write somewhere different each day, … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized, Writing, writing process | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Love the Details

Details should be more than a writer’s friend; details should be our lover. Get intimate, close up. Slow down. Examine him/her with intense and specific attentiveness. Details make the place in our writing real. Whether it’s travel, memoir, stories or … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized, Writing, writing process | Tagged , , , , , | 12 Comments

Living a Dream – Day 20

Our last day in Menerbes. I was sitting out on the terrace this afternoon writing and someone in the valley lit a large fire. Australians tend to panic at the first whiff of smoke, but we’ve learned here that at … Continue reading

Posted in Travel, Writing, writing process | Tagged , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Living a Dream – Day 16

Even dreams can turn nightmarish. For the past fifteen days the words have been in flood. My pens keep running out of ink and my second notebook is almost full. The images, metaphors and scenes are damming up, coming so … Continue reading

Posted in dream, Travel, writing process | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments

Writing is like loose pyjamas

Julia Cameron said that writing should be like loose pyjamas. What she means is writing can be casual and comfortable. Cameron writes three ‘morning pages’ of longhand every day. Morning pages are stream-of-consciousness writing that have no restrictions and carry … Continue reading

Posted in Writing, writing process | Tagged , , , , , | 11 Comments

Writing about Emotion

William Faulkner knew it. Janette Turner Hospital, Kate Grenville, Julian Barnes know it. But studies are just starting to prove it. The more writers hold back on the effusive emoting of their characters, the more emotion their readers will feel. … Continue reading

Posted in Writing, writing process | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments

Characters in Place

Jon Snow from Game of Thrones was invited to a swish New York dinner party. Incongruous? Absolutely. Watch the video clip of the dinner. It’s hilarious. I laugh out loud every time I think of it, yet something about it … Continue reading

Posted in Books, writing process | Tagged , , , , , , | 8 Comments