Trust Me, I'm a Storyteller

October 4, 2008

Time Management for writers (and readers)

Filed under: Writing Stories — roundtablewriting @ 4:26 am
Writing Journal hand-made by Helen Harwood

Writing Journal hand-made by Helen Harwood

    • Develop the habit of journalling or writing daily in a notebook. My latest journal is a gorgeous hand-made journal given as a gift by long time friend Helen Harwood of Fairview Artspace in Mudgee.

    • Wear a distinctive hat that is your ‘writing’ (or reading) hat so that people know that when you are wearing this particular hat you’re working and are not to be disturbed.

    • Set up a dedicated writing space – a room, or even a corner of a room with enough space and good lighting, where you can work undisturbed.

    • Write at a specific time of day or night – so that it becomes your ‘writing time’.

    • Have your notebook handy at all times to record the quick note or observation.

    • Use your handy notebook to write when sitting in shopping centres, waiting rooms, bus stops, stations, on public transport, anywhere you might have time to fill.

    • Keep a notebook of ideas, quotes, observations, snippets of overheard conversations.

    • Elizabeth Jolly wrote that: The nights belong to the novelist. She found that writing late into the night and/or early morning was easier because everyone else was asleep and nobody needed her at that time. She could concentrate on her characters and her stories.

    • Join us for the Season of Inspiration global interactive writing course to help begin developing the writing habit. Begins October 6 2008 in our new course space at There’s still time to enrol if you’re quick. You can contact us at

    More information at:

This photo and the one above show a beautiful writing journal made by Helen Harwood of Fairview Artspace in Mudgee. The journal is hand-made from recycled materials and is absolutely gorgeous. Visit Helen’s Fairview Artspace next time you’re in Mudgee and view the impressive exhibitions in the gallery. You may be lucky enough to be there when there is a wine tasting, too. You can visit the Mudgee Arts Council website to see what’s happening at Fairview Artspace Mudgee.
  • Today’s Writing Tip

Start your own personal Writing Journal today.


August 28, 2008

Life and art are inextricable

Filed under: Writing Stories — roundtablewriting @ 5:58 am

There is an excitement in exploring characters and in seeing how they react
with each other in different situations. I have always kept diaries and
journals ever since I was a child. Lately I have noticed that I do not want
to write in the journal because of a feeling that I am encouraging sad
thoughts and increasing anxiety by dwelling at length on troublesome things
and writing about them. I prefer now to retain the ability to make the quick
note of truth and awareness, to notice some small thing about a person, a
stranger – perhaps someone choosing knitting wool in the supermarket,
something like that – and move into imaginative fiction from the small
truthful moment, the little picture, the idea which is so slender it hardly
seems to matter. And then suddenly I am exploring human feelings and

Elizabeth Jolley.

The small observations, overheard snatches of conversation, the way a person moves, the meaningful glance any of these can trigger a short story. This small true observation fires the imagination and all manner of possibilities begin to unfold. The writer asks the ‘what if?’ question and begins to go beyond the obvious and the predictable to a more complex and creative narrative.

One such observation and a few lines in a newspaper set in motion my story ‘The Ten Dollar Note’. Some time later it was quite disconcerting to see a news item about a soup kitchen for the homeless. There was a woman in the queue for a meal who was exactly as I had imagined Maisie. Life and art are inextricable.


The Ten Dollar Note

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