Finding contentment in parenting

‘Which age do you find the easiest/hardest?’ A mum recently posted on a Facebook forum. Hundreds of responses followed, with each mother listing the ages and stages she found most challenging or most delightful. There was great variation in the responses: ‘Newborn is easiest! They’re so sleepy and cuddly’ ‘I’d take toddlers over teenagers any…

Plan your writing year

This week’s tip: plan out your year We’re coming to the end of another year of writing, and summer provides a great opportunity to get pray and think about writing in 2017. Here are some helpful suggestions: Pray and ask God to direct and guide your writing in 2017 Write out deadlines and think about…

How to Host a Welcoming Christmas Celebration

My sisters and I joke that we grew up with the Christmas Grinch. Our mum hates the commercial fuss of Christmas and has always tried to avoid the material focus: no tree, no decorations, and no fussy Yuletide crafting sessions. Occasionally my sisters and I would rally, decorating a bedraggled tree we found on the…

Could you explain it to a Martian?

This week’s tip: describe it to a Martian. At the heart of this tip is recognising the distinct differences in the ways people see and understand the world: their ‘worldview’. For example, Christians view the world as followers of Christ. You have a unique collection of ideas, knowledge and experiences which shape your worldview. It’s…

How J.K Rowling’s planning method could help improve your writing

This week’s tip: plan out your work When famous author J.K Rowling set about writing the Harry Potter books one of the first things she did was plan out the series in detail. While she remained flexible in her writing, the plans helped her source ideas and develop material as the series progressed. An important…

Does your writing give you shivers?

You may be familiar with Tim Minchin, an Australian comedian, actor, composer and performer. In 2009, he was commissioned by the Royal Shakespeare Company to write the music and lyrics for a stage adaptation of Roald Dahl’s Matilda. Matilda has gone on to become one of the most critically and popularly successful musicals of the…

Why you should read work you disagree with

My writing tip for this week is: Read work you disagree with. Engaging with a range of different writers and points of view helps us as we think through our own perspective on issues. I personally find this a very confronting and helpful exercise. It requires discipline to consider a different point of view, and…

Keeping a bank of ideas

Do you ever find yourself facing a writing deadline with no ideas sitting in the forefront of your brain? I know I do! One way to prompt the creative juices to start flowing to is have an ideas bank on hand to draw inspiration from. What is an ideas bank? An ideas bank is my…

Don’t be a tosser…

While enjoying the view on one of my favourite walks in Sydney I am repulsed as I look more closely alone the edge of the path: plastic bags, empty bottles and general rubbish, all gathered among the mangroves. Amid the beauty this careless and disrespectful waste always makes me sad. Be a tidy Kiwi In…

The stories only you can tell

‘Start telling the stories that only you can tell, because there’ll always be better writers than you and there’ll always be smarter writers than you. There will always be people who are much better at doing this or doing that — but you are the only you.’ ― Neil Gaiman I often get caught up…