Australian writer of books for younger readers, young adults, verse novels and poetry.


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This week has been all about Frocktails – the sewists’ annual extravaganza! I have been making a very simple dress from sandwashed silk. I haven’t sewn much with silk, so that has been interesting, although I’d have to say this is silk that certainly behaves itself. It’s not fine, slippery silk. However, I also lined the dress with cotton lawn because I didn’t want it to cling with static or otherwise misbehave itself. So that’s done now and I have only to hem it and sew the sleeves in and I’m done – with a brand-new me-made.

What has this to do with writing? Only that I got up this morning and thought – finish the frock or the chapter? It was a tussle, let me tell you! Frocktails is on Saturday and there’s absolutely no deadline for the novel…

But, because I’ve been giving myself numerous lectures about procrastination and turning up at the desk, I sat down and finished the chapter. Proud of myself? You bet!

Turning up – we all know it’s the way to get it done – whether it’s turning up at the computer or the sewing machine. So what stops us doing it?

What stops me? A personal crisis of confidence is definitely on the list. Professional overload – it’s difficult to go from editing manuscripts to writing one’s own, although not as difficult to switch from writing to editing. And I know this, but still tend to prioritise the editing.

So, if you have trouble turning up and we all do have periods when everything feels too hard for variety of reasons, start with the simple but elegant.

Write a haiku. Today, right now, it would have to mention rain. Perhaps give yourself a small challenge – make it the noise of rain. Maybe add a twist – as with the haiku tradition, write it to thank someone for something. Or abandon that tradition. Write it in three lines. Write it in a single line. Count syllables. Or don’t. But, whatever you do, turn up for just that amount of time. Look out at the world and back at the page. Enjoy the words.

Conference call and rain –

dodgy wifi –

we all talk underwater.





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