Elizabeth Gilbert’s Creativity Workshop

I cannot deny that I am a big fan of Elizabeth Gilbert.  I have long been a fan of her work and I  elizabeth-gilbert-quoteenjoy listening to her talk. I was lucky enough to see her speak at the Perth International Arts Festival in 2014. Elizabeth is an inspiring, honest, non-sugar coating inspiration. Like Big Magic this course talks directly to the artist within.   Elizabeth is generous in sharing her treasured truth will all creatives.

What is the truth we all seek?  Just do it! Accept all that you are, write, paint, photograph, cook, garden, sew.  Whatever your soul wishes you to do to add to this world. Just do it.  Do it without looking for success in whatever guise you think it should come in.  You may never write a best seller, you may never be able to quit your day job, but you can create.  Write around the edges of your day.  Make a date with your art as Elizabeth suggested in her podcast.  Stop waiting for the muse, get to work.  Work on your  gift and as Elizabeth says the muse will show up. Stop being a chicken shit and get it done!

elizabeth-gilbert-udemyElizabeth Gilbert’s Creativity Workshop is presented in five sections.  Each section contains a talk surrounding the topic of creativity and also addresses a specific question from someone seeking help to improve their creative life.  The sections are then followed by a workbook, that asks the tough questions and encourages you to get your answers down fast without too much interference from your right brain. (That interfering nay sayer).  I like the workbook, it helped to reiterate where my writing is going, that I am still on track, even with one foot in the creative sphere and another in the real world, and I am okay with that.

I highly recommend this course for all creatives, spare a couple of hours to sit and listen and work with Elizabeth Gilbert.

Here is where you can find the course:  Udemy  

Here is where you can find more information on Elizabeth Gilbert.




10 Tips on How to Avoid Writing..

Having one of those days?  You have to write, you have targets to meet but everything that comes out is just blah.. forcing it is like painting a fence in the rain.  But everything you know and have been told about writing is running on train carriages through your head:

you can’t edit a blank page

writing is hard work

it is better to write a 1000 bad words than nothing at all

and so on…..

Well I have written my 1000 words of crap today and I am done.  I am not waiting for the muse, I am waiting for the kettle to boil.  I have also done my ‘pages’. My crap is written for the day.  I have tried editing my WIP, but there is a glitch in the story that I am not up to fixing today so I have set about finding things I can do to avoid writing today:

  1.  Clean the oven – this is an old favourite of mine.  I can highly recommend Selley’s oven cleaner it is cheap, very toxic and quick to get your bake-house shining.
  2. Walk the dog.
  3. Take pictures of the dog and post her photos on Instagram.

    Annie making friends in the park.
  4. Clean your desk, take care of those niggly little things that you promised to get to later: school notes, bill payments, hotel bookings, twitter.
  5. Clean out your drawers – all of them.  Kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, office, kids rooms?
  6. Weed the garden.
  7. Plant a new garden, will involve a trip to the nursery so research plants and make a list.  May need ice-cream.
  8. Buy some books.  About anything, but maybe at least one about writing.
    • I see an opportunity here to re-arrange bookshelf to accommodate new books, maybe should wait until they are delivered?  or not?
  9. Sign up for an online course, about anything. Could be about writing though, it all helps? 
  10. Plan an elaborate dinner even though no one will be home to enjoy it because it is a karate night and you will all  be eating subway for tea.
  11. Read something.
  12. Watch something.
  13. Listen to something, a podcast, an audible book?
  14. Take the dog for another walk if she comes out of hiding.
  15. Make dog an appointment to see the vet for a check up due to her hiding from walkies.
  16. Still have to check Facebook!  lets see what all our wonderful ‘friends‘ are achieving with their clever, ‘I am so good I am a writer skills!’
  17. Pluck your eyebrows while telling yourself that you are a good writer, you are just having a bad day.
  18. Put on something lovely but comfortable and take yourself out for lunch.  Pull out the note book you keep in your bag, that pen you got for your birthday, order your favourite meal, and breath while flicking through one of their old magazines,  it will give you something to focus on while you eavesdrop on the couple at the next table.
  19. Write up a new schedule for getting work done.  Laminate it.  Everything looks better when laminated.
  20. Take a nap.
  21. Read a blog?

How do you deal with self-doubt?

The short answer is that you don’t.  Doubt will always remain.  Sure it has different guises of fear, criticism, insecurity and panic.  It is still doubt.   Self-doubt is the killer of many a good idea that never got to see the light of day.So what if you are not good enough?  Who cares.  You are only writing.  This is not brain surgery.  It is just words.  A variation of twenty-six letters typed in a variety of patterns.  No one is going to die because of your thoughts, your ideas, or your stories.  They will either be interested or not.  It is that simple.  People will read what you are writing or they  won’t.
Some readers will comment, that comment could be either negative or positive.  The comment could come from someone close to you or from a stranger you will never see.  So what does it really matter?

How many questions of self doubt will keep you bogged down with a head full of wonderful ideas and no outlet.  Ideas will die if they do not get to see the light of day.  If you as a writer, an artist, a creator fail to give them life they will simply die unattended like a dead mans garden.

So dear friend, do not wait for the absence of self doubt before putting yourself out there.  Ride with it.  Maybe you are writing crap, but at least you are writing and as every writer knows somewhere amongst the crap something beautiful can grow.

Liz Byrski, In Love and War

I was very fortunate to attend a talk presented by Liz Byrski at the Ballajura Community Library last weekend.  Liz shared with us the journey of writing her wonderful new book In Love and War.

I have been a fan since I picked up a copy of Belly Dancing for Beginners several years ago.  I fell in love with her as an author when I read Remember Me.

Liz is a truly gifted story teller, a hero to women, to me.  In her latest non-fiction book In Love and War Liz shares her journey in writing this post war tale of heroes and heroines with remarkable candor.  We are allowed an insight into the writing process, along with her own fears and misgivings.

I couldn’t help but cheer her on until the end even though the outcome of Liz’s journey home was clearly in my hands.  After many years the book is complete.  Thank you Liz Byrski for you honesty, perseverance and prose.

By Liz Bryski

Podcast Developers – I Thank You.

I love podcasts, they make my working day bearable. Like most writers, I constantly strive to learn new things. Any random subject can hold my interest for a while but writing podcasts are my life blood to sanity.

Without the soothing tones across my car stereo or in my apple budded mobile ears my writing ambitions would be nothing more than a distant glitch out there on the horizon. A someday career that I will continue to study for and work towards once all the family raising and getting by stuff has been dealt with.

Podcasts let me continue to learn my craft from familiar teachers, experienced, knowledgable men and women to whom I would happily pay a small fortune to for the chance to bask in one of their classes, courses or workshops. Podcasts keep my dreams, no my ambitions alive more than any university course, workshop, seminar or conference I have attended in the twenty-something years that I have been pursuing my writing goals.Lessons on the Go

My Top Writing Podcasts:

So You Want to be a Writer – presented by Allison Tait and Valerie Khoo

Rockin’ Self Publishing – presented by Simon Whistler

The Creative Penn – presented by Joanna Penn

A Little Bird Told Me – presented by Philippa Willitts and Lorrie Hartshorn

Blogging with WordPress – presented by Shawn Ozbun

So you want to be a Photographer – presented by Valerie Khoo and Gina Milicia ( not writing I know, but still very interesting, useful and inspiring)

I guess I am lucky that my day job allows me plenty of alone time to think, ponder and create even while I am away from my desk. Podcasts are reassuring me that I can still live a creative life while I am busy doing other menial but necessary things. Running our business has it challenges but they are challenges that I can cope with as long as I can build my writing career around the edges of my day.

Incidentally “writing at the edges of my day” is a quote from one of the podcasts listed above, I am almost certain I heard it during an interview on So you want to be a Writer, however I can’t be completely sure where I heard it.  I wrote it down and it has been my mantra ever since.  I should of known better and made a note of the origins, I know.  I am tutting and shaking my head now and letting out a deep sigh.  Watch this space, I will seek out the information I should already have and post it here.  Promise.  I am putting it on my to-do list now.  More sighing.

Find the above mentioned Podcasts at iTunes or PodOmatic.

Until next time, Happy Writing.

The 5 Worst Things You Can Say To A Blogger

Please be kind to us Bloggers..

A Morning Grouch

So, I’m no blogging genius.  When I first started blogging I had zero idea of the etiquette, cultish followings, or blogging cliques that existed.  I pretty much started this as a procrastination tool.  I’m still half-assed and hardly an expert; I have been dragging my feet even getting my self-hosted site up and running (does that even make sense?) because I have almost zero clue where to start (but dammit, I will learn, eventually.  I will).  But even with all that, I am starting to get some idea of what the blogging world is all about.

There are some phrases non-bloggers may or may not realize are not a good idea to say to someone who blogs:

1.  I read your blog. With no follow-up.  Oh. Thank you? You read it. But you didn’t say what it was exactly that you read. Or if you liked it. Or hated it. Or if it…

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