Writing in community…

There are many commonly held misconceptions about the life of a writer. That we need divine inspiration and a sacred writing place for the muse to visit. Or that we all live as starving artists, sacrificing the most basic life skills for our craft. And of course, the big one: that we are solitary beasts, locked away from the world in our garrets.

My gregarious nature combines with a background in community work to challenge that stereotype. I love connecting with other writers and readers. There’s nothing more motivating than the knowledge another writing buddy is slaving away over the keyboard alongside me.

Image of Writing Racers 2009
Writing Race 2009

So I am totally psyched about the big social writing event happening tonight at QWC and AWMonline from 5.30-7.30pm (Australian Eastern Standard time). A bunch of writers, from beginner to established, are getting together in person or online to cheer each other on to awesome wordage. How often do you get the chance to write alongside the likes of Kim Wilkins, Katherine Howell, Michael Gerard Bauer, and Simon Groth, as well as all the other cool beginner and emerging writers who’ll be there tonight?!

It’s free to join in – just head over to www.AWMonline.com.au and click on the big FORUM button.

The big finish…

Writers write, authors finish.

That’s what we tell people at QWC, and it’s a lesson I need to take to heart today. I’m encoutering *obstacles* in submitting my application for Varuna House’s Publisher Parternship program. Which obstacles?, you inquire. Well, thanks for asking: I’m far too busy to develop my submission package, plus my book totally sux, and of course there’s my perennial favourite, distraction.

Look – a squirrel! Sneezing! On youtube!

I have encouraged several of my wonderful talented writer friends to apply, and they have done so. The irony of my not submitting would be crushing. It’s no excuse that my first draft is a fairly raw w-i-p; the first 50 pages are polished, and the pitch and other required materials are good to go.

So the only thing holding me back is: me.

Last weekend I completed my first ever (mini) triathlon. I nearly didn’t make it. I stacked it a beauty on the bike leg, badly injuring my knee . But I laughed it off, got straight back on the bike, and even made it through the run. It hurt. It was hard. I didn’t think I could do it.

Pic of Meg with an injured knee after completing the triathlon.
The red badge of courage.

The key was: no matter what I thought or what I felt, I didn’t stop until I finished.

Are you procrastinating about an important goal today? Limp towards the finish line with me now!

Writer Mama

I’m reading Writer Mama, and it’s changing the way I view my life.

Freelance writer Christina Katz delivers nearly 300 pocket-sized pages of wisdom that will help any writer, not just the mamas among us. Most writers can benefit from advice about how to work from home, be your own boss, build on your strengths, and follow your interests. I read Katz’s Get Known before the Book Deal as research for an article I wrote for WQ, and read in conjunction, Katz’s two books have inspired me to create a framework to organise my writing activites. I devote time to research, generating ideas, networking, and creating opportunities, as well as the actual writing.


In between all this writerly biz and mama stuff, I’ve read a few gems lately. The Writing Class, by the wonderfully named Jincy Willett, lived up to its reviews. As a long-term inmate of the crime genre, I especially enjoyed the way it spoofed the nuts’n’bolts of the craft, like the Centre Pompidou above, showing its pipes.

Now Larson‘s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is waiting patiently on my bedside table, waiting for me to finished some other required reading for work. Anyone who’s read it, please give me the jist, the flavour, the je nais se qua of it all (no spoilers please).

Next week sees the release of the Byron Bay Writers Festival program – check out the Sunday sessions for a surprise late entrant!