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Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category

In my experience, I have found that there are three things a new writer needs to get started:

1. Pen and Paper

There is very little a writer needs to get started. All you really need is a pen and paper and a willingness to begin. Having a writing space that is yours can help you feel comfortable and relaxed and can be beneficial, but not essential. A writer should be able to write anywhere. There should be no barrier

2. A Time to Write.

This is the hardest step. Finding the time to write amongst all the other tasks we have can be almost impossible … yes almost. Work, family, chores, friends—you name it and it will demand your attention—but don’t be sidetracked. Prioritise your schedule and pick a time to write and stick to it. One word at a time, that’s all it will take to achieve your dream.

3. A strict Deadline.

Writing is all about deadlines, so get used to it. Without a deadline, you will lack the motivation to strive. Set a word limit or a chapter completion date and work towards it. Find a writing buddy or friend that will hold you accountable and you’ll find yourself working to not let them down. Some days words will come and other days they won’t, but a looming deadline will almost certainly motivate you to get it done.

These are my three basic writing tips for success. So grab your pen and paper, find a time to write and beat deadlines. 123, it’s as easy as ABC.

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The hardest thing about writing is … writing!

Surprised?

Well don’t be. It is such a common problem. Seriously, I hear it all the time, ‘I want to be a writer. I’m going to write. I will write.’ And each time the excuses become more and more elaborate and more and more creative and in some ways like a story in itself, with plot twists, dramatic scenes, interesting dialogue and a main character with huge obstacles to overcome. But you’re not like that are you?

People like the idea of writing and being published but very few are willing to work at it. Writing is a lonely toil and can be very frustrating. However, it can be therapeutic and fulfilling and an escape into a world that is only yours. Writing is a craft and the only way to learn the craft is to practice it. The answer is to find the time and to find the space and to write every day. There are no short cuts to success.

So, do it. Write for yourself, write because you need to, write because your idea is calling you, and write for your dream.

Remember that writers write and dreamers dream.

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The darkness before dawn. The mumbling of prayers. Feeling alone when thousands are by your side. Last thoughts of family and friends. They sit in silence, waiting. Now the moment is upon them. Even the wind stops so there could be no mistaking the instruction that was about to be given.

Then the ramps lower and they charge forward, pushing aside anxiety and fear, letting courage and pride lead them by their hands and their hearts. Immediate flashes from an invisible enemy and the thunderous rattling, cracking sounds of gunfire rain down. Agonising screams of despair cutting through the now howling winds. The sun, finally peeking its head, brings light to those fallen, their tumbling bodies caressed to shore by the gentle hands of the waves. The smell of gunpowder doing little to mask the stench of death. The metallic hope of weapons, clutched with white-knuckled hands, offer no defense to an advantaged enemy. The red spray of saltwater touches lips and faces, mixing with tears, before rolling down the faces of a young nation. But it’s their will to keep moving forward, their courage and determination to fight for what they love and believe in … that true ANZAC spirit that never gives up and defines who we are and that makes us proud to be Australian.

Today on ANZAC Day we will stand and we will be proud. They will always be our heroes and we will forever be grateful for their sacrifice. We will acknowledge the past and we will celebrate the future. We will give thanks for our privileges and who we are as a nation. And we will remember and salute them … lest we forget!

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As the warmth of summer slowly dwindles and the chlorophyll pigmentation that had once burst through with vibrancy of a new spring surrenders to the yellow ripening of autumn leaves, winter whispers with a cold breath that it is coming.

It’s goodbye to the salty spray of ocean waves meeting your face and lips, or the soothing sensation of the slow trickle of sand between your bare toes at the beach. It’s time to put away your thongs and find your warmer clothes, crank up the hot water in the shower, and turn the dial to warm the house during those soon-to-be frosty mornings.

It’s time to complain as we turn back the clocks, growling for more sleep as the morning alarm blares us from slumber, like awakening grizzly bears from early hibernation, in what seems the middle of the night.

It’s time to hunt that wascally wabbit, to prove to your kids that the Easter bunny is indeed real, even though it somehow always seems to escape right in the nick of time, leaving the sweet taste of chocolate and melting butter on carefully grilled hot cross buns as a reminder that he will return again next year.

The flight of footballs cart-wheeling through back yards and children mimicking their favourite players, taking speckies on lush green ovals, brings an excitement that has you searching for your team scarf and beanie; that has your mouth watering for hot chips and pies, and has you dominating the TV remote in fear of missing the next big match. Yes, the footy is back and all is once again right with the world.

Yet, sadly, it’s all a stark reminder that your summer vacation is all but over. It’s time to get back to work, to make up for lost time and do what you do best. It’s time to meet deadlines and create magic. It’s time to imagine all possibilities and to dream bigger than you ever have before. But most importantly, it’s time to write.

So leave that summer complacency behind you, forget about lazy afternoons, contemplations and observations. Find your pen and your mojo and drive yourself to work harder than you ever have before.

So what are you waiting for? It’s April you fool!

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Take note, it’s our job to listen and our job to learn,

to follow where life leads, around every turn.

It’s our job to see the world with a curious eye,

to dissect and analyse and find out why.

It’s our job to hear what hasn’t been said,

from a look or a nod or a pat on the head.

It’s our job to pause and smell the fresh air,

ahhh … a trigger of memories everywhere.

It’s our job to taste life’s luxuries, to absorb its flavour,

to be present and focussed, so our lives we can savour.

It’s our job to accumulate, then blend it to share,

a part of who we are, our souls laid bare.

Take a sprinkle of imagination, and add your experience with a shake,

let your ideas cultivate your soul and words your destiny make.

So, note the green at your feet or the blue of the sky,

feel the wind on your face, observe the plane up high.

Note the expression from a child, ‘Where is my dad?’

a mum’s lonely silence … an ache to fix their sad.

Note the idle conversation to keep issues at bay,

from a new forbidden passion, a couple’s love gone astray.

Note a twinkling of a star, to the rising of the sun,

from the mundane activity, to a child having fun.

Note the sparkle of a rainbow, the gentle kiss of snow,

the churning of the sea, a full-moon glow.

From mountains and valleys, from places hot and cold,

learn who you are from the young to the old.

So take note of it all, it’s the little things to observe,

and note-take this advice for your legacy to preserve.

 

 

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A friend—an angel—spoke and I listened. This is what I learnt.

‘Problems create doubt, uncertainty and the illusion of difficulty,’ she said, adjusting her glasses with a strong point of her finger. ‘But,’ she paused, taking a deep breath, a faint curl at the corner of her mouth indicating, to the acute observer, a smile.

We were focused on her and she relished the attention. She always did. Deliberately, she held us, delaying her words so that her wisdom would not be easily discarded, but savoured like her sweet biscuits she so often shared on our monthly workshopping meetings. She removed her glasses from her face and swiftly produced a handkerchief from the waist pocket of her red blazer, dabbing softly at her weeping eyes. It wasn’t sadness or weakness that caused this uncontrollable weeping but rather courage and strength of a problem once faced and the only visible giveaway of the major surgery that she’d once been through.

In the months after its return, her problem grew to be a daily challenge and her journey to overcome it would be met each day with renewed determination and her best effort to beat it. There was no other way. It was her positive outlook on life that shaped and carried her, helping to steer her through the years to a mature age and into a time and place and that circle of teachers that were destined to cross paths with my life and to influence me … and she did. Her wisdom was worth her weight in gold and we listened intently. There was much to learn if you paid attention. She watched us, her warm brown eyes alive and interesting, examining us as though we all have secrets, and she was extracting ours, before continuing, ‘if you change your mindset and consider a problem not as a problem but more of a challenge, then success is already yours. A problem will discourage or stop you, if you let it, but a challenge is something you instinctively recognise as a test and you will rise to meet it. So dismiss problems and accept challenges, and triumph in your effort … because your best is good enough!’

So, from one writer to another, and now to a few more, listen and learn and let her legacy live on.

RIP E.B.

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The darkness before dawn. The mumbling of prayers. Feeling alone when thousands are by your side. Last thoughts of family and friends. They sit in silence, waiting. Now the moment is upon them. Even the wind stops so there could be no mistaking the instruction that was about to be given.

Then the ramps lowered and they charged forwards, pushing aside anxiety and fear, letting courage and pride lead them by their hands and their hearts. Immediate flashes from an invisible enemy and the thunderous rattling, cracking sounds of gunfire rained down. Agonising screams of despair cut through the now howling wind. The sun, finally peeking its head, brought light to those fallen, their tumbling bodies caressed to shore by the gentle hands of waves. The smell of gunpowder did little to mask the stench of death and the cold. The metallic hope of weapons, clutched with white-knuckled hands, offered no defence to an advantaged enemy. The red spray of saltwater touched lips and faces, mixing with tears, before rolling down the faces of a young nation. But it was their will to keep moving forward, their courage and determination to fight for what they loved and believed in … that true ANZAC spirit that never gives up and defines who we are, and that makes us proud to be Australian.

Today on ANZAC Day we will stand and we will be proud. They will always be our heroes and we will forever be grateful for their sacrifice. We will acknowledge the past and we will celebrate the future. We will give thanks for our privileges and who we are as a nation. And we will remember and salute them … lest we forget!

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