14 Excuses to Stop Writing NOW

Creative writing is tough. Sometimes all we need is a tiny nudge to make us chuck it in. If you’re looking to bail but need more than a hall pass, here are some tried and tested, totally legitimate, OUTS. Great excuses. Guaranteed to save face. Your face. 1. If you get published you might have…

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Why I was rubbish at writing for adults

News flash Some people think I’m arrogant. They think, where does she get off, dishin’ out all this advice about creative writing? She doesn’t know everything. Shocking, I know. But it’s probably true.  There is a slim chance I don’t know everything. Not every little thing But I can tell you when it comes to creative writing there’s not much…

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Finish your freakin’ novel. Here’s why

I’ve often been asked by aspiring authors if they should send three sample chapters to a publisher and try to get a contract that way. Alarm bells. If that’s what the publisher is asking for,  by all means send them sample chapters. Always give them exactly what they want. That’s, ‘How to be an Author, 101’.…

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What defines a main character?

Sometimes we refer to people as ‘real characters’. How weird. Is this uniquely Australian? Is it an Australianism? ‘Oh, my great aunt was a real character!’ Either way, it’s nearly always a term of endearment. There are loads of characters in my daily circle. The old bloke who wears a duster coat, drives a 1950s…

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How I started an online business. And accidentally created a thriving community

I run a business. It’s called girl & duck. It feels weird to call it a business. I didn’t know you could love a business. But I do. I adore it. I’m obsessed with it. When I’m creating stuff for girl & duck, I’m in my genius zone. (Have you read that book? The one…

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Shining on the slush pile (revisited)

The following is a transcript from an early Q and Q Friday (Questions and Quacks). You can read the transcript or you can scroll down and watch the video. Yay! If you subscribe to girl and duck you’ll receive a Q and Q video like this one, every Friday. Straight to your inbox. Free! Dear…

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Seven common mistakes aspiring authors make

1 They write as if their work is being marked. It’s hard to lose that inner student, the kid who’s shit scared of getting it wrong. But you’re not that kid anymore. You can write whatever the hell you want. In any shape or form. People don’t know what to do with this freedom. It…

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Get your characters moving! Here’s how.

  If your story’s a bit flat, if things aren’t moving, have a think about your characters. What’s driving them? In particular, think about your main character. Your protagonist. Is your protagonist wobbling along on a rusty pushbike, veering all over the track, in danger of falling off at any moment? Is she wandering through the story…

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Why all writers need a secret stash

Early this year I was interviewed by a rather pompous character called, Bookworm. It was for a Channel 9 kids TV show. I’ll let you know when it screens… At one point during the interview, Bookworm said, ‘I hear you collect words.’ I said, ‘Who told you that?!’ Bookworm was taken aback (and that’s saying something).…

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How to write a shitty blog post

A while back, I wrote a blog post. You know why? Because I had a nice photo of bulbs in pots. You know. Flowers and stuff. Here it is. Pretty, hey? I thought, how can I write a blog post around this image?  I love this image. I want to use this image! I must, I must,…

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