About Me

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Redbanks, South Australia, Australia
Contact me if you'd like to know more about this writing group. My email address is jeebers@aussiebb.com.au

Ananka - one of our Pharaoh Hounds

Ananka - one of our Pharaoh Hounds
Ananka knows how to enjoy life - catch and eat birdies!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Finding your inner child, playing games with yourself

I'm a writer. I write sensible things, trying to get my words published, trying to make money. Making money with your writing is hard work, and it's not an easy thing to do.

If I only ever wrote serious things, articles about kennel cough for instance, it might get boring or gloomy. But I write about all kinds of things, like motherhood, pussy cats, dogs and kids.

Mostly I write to suit myself, following my own creativity, and that way I don't get stale. If I'm bored with my what I write, I bet anybody reading my words would be bored too. That would have to be my number one tip in making your creative writing better - write about what you're passionate about.

If you love the football, write about football. If you're passionate about politics, write about that. There are a million people already writing about these things, but you are unique, so your words will be your own. If you follow your passions, you will be writing with you unique voice.

If you just latch onto the latest hot topic, hoping to get it published, you'll have problems because you won't have a deep knowledge of the subject and so you'll end up saying the same old thing that's been written over and over again already.

If you go with what you love, you'll bring your own different angles into your writing, with fresh ideas and things that may never have been said about your subject of choice.

I've been a dog breeder for twenty years and I love to garden (well, I like plants - I don't like hard work ha ha), I've known many dogs and I've spoken to lots of people with lots of dogs. Because of this, I have very strong ideas about dogs, what has worked for me, what hasn't worked. I'm passionate about dogs, and so a lot of my writing is about dogs.

My most successful piece of writing in terms of money is one of my shortest pieces of work. I wrote the text for a child's school reader about seven years ago, about 200 words or less. I was lucky and the publisher I sent it too published it.

That text is "My Dog" - a simple little book that earns me at least $100 every six months seven years after it was published. I've earnt more from this book than most Australian writers would earn from one book, well over $2,000.

My point is, write not just what you know, but what you passionately care about. I'm passionate about literacy as well as dogs, combining the two paid off.

If you think about what you care about, and write about that, it could pay off for you too!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Are all writers procrastinators?

A provocative question perhaps, but I wonder whether it's true. Maybe it's just me. I have called myself the queen of procrastination in the past, only to have others try to claim the title.

So that's why I ask the question. Writers are creative people, and if you have a creative mind, there are probably a million things in there, vying for the top spot. I've written about creativity and procrastination and a dead mouse and still hold the views I expressed there.

Today there's another mouse in the mousetrap in the kitchen and I know I have to do something about it. I'll do it later. I've got some creative writing to do.

Thinking about the question again, I guess it may be that the uber successful ones aren't procrastinators. The successful ones are busy with their writing careers, ie they're writing, not putting off writing. That may be the difference between success and starvation. You get in there and work.

The word work though sounds so dry and dull. I'm a creative person, I don't do work, I commune with my muse and float up high in the sky with clouds and birds, thinking lofty thoughts and sometimes writing them down.

I don't actually do that, I'm little more grounded and sensible about my creative writing than that. Sometimes I even get my act together enough to send stuff off to publishers. I have a fine collection of rejection slips.

I've had my writing for children rejected by the very best of the childrens publishers in Australia. I haven't sent anything for children off for quite some time though. Maybe a year or more? Maybe I should look into that, and send something off. I'll think about it later. I've got other things to do today.

Get my hair cut, have a drink with a new writing friend, get rid of that dead mouse!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Who's too fat now?

When I was a teenager, my big brother, in the loving way that big brothers have, called me fatso. He may have been joking about it, he may have just been in a bad mood, he might have been having trouble dealing with his little sister starting to look womanly. I don't know, and it's too late now to ask him.

But because Jeff, who I adored and looked up to in so many ways, called me fatso, I thought of myself as fat. It didn't help that my best friend was slim with legs that went all the way up to there, while I was short and not super slim. I was fat, end of story.

But it wasn't the end of the story, it was just the early to middle part of the story. I learnt about healthy eating, and exercise. I learnt about loving myself and caring for myself. I found ways to make myself proud of myself that had nothing to do with body shape. I discovered my inner creativity and I learnt that I could write creatively, while so many people can barely write a shopping list.

I learnt to like myself, to love myself, and I learnt to listen to my body. I started listening if my body said I wasn't hungry. I'd eat a much smaller meal then. And because I was listening to my body, I was more likely to choose food that my body needed, not food my mind wanted. I discovered that I too could be slim, and not be saddled with the fatso label all of my life.

I have to add here that it wasn't others calling me fatso, it was that nasty person that lives in my head and hisses at me when I'm feeling low. Now though, I reached my ideal weight, I feel terrific, and I just laugh at that nasty hisser.

I'm the weight I was always meant to be and I feel great! Click and you can feel great too!

What's filling your life with gloom?

Everybody has things in their mind that brings them down. It may be that excess flab that just won't go away. It may be a friend who is anything but a friend. It may be a crummy job, the ogre of credit card debt.

We are all individuals and we each have our own bugbears to deal with. Sometimes you might feel you are the only one struggling through life, but that is simply not true. There are very few people who live the good life, day after day. Beautiful models get zits sometimes, just like the rest of us. The most beautifully groomed person can have an off day and just hunch around in an ugly grouch.

To rid yourself of these things, you need to look at life in a different way. If your friends are downers, start hanging out with people who have more fun. If that credit card debt is your problem, follow up on the many free help either online or with your financial institution (they don't bite).

Ignoring things will only ever work for a while, eventually you have to face up to things, and they may have grown in size as you hid from them. But if you can find a creative way to look at your problems, you'll win in more than just one way. Creativity opens up your mind and allows fresh light in. If you can solve a problem in a creative way, it makes you feel extra clever, because you worked it out in a special way, better than the mundane methods, whatever the creative method it is that you discover.

The best thing you can do is rid your life of these things that keep you stuck down in the dirt, that stop you from soaring above the crap that life wants to throw at you. If you can embrace creativity, you can find the life that works for you. It may not bring you wealth (it might though!), but it will bring you satisfaction and a sense of fun and wonder.

Embrace life, embrace your creativity!

Waiting for night to come

Waiting for night to come
I love sunsets