Sometimes the best way to write is to not write

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First up, a confession — I’ve never read The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron, nor am I going to anytime soon. I’ve heard of it, of course. I may have picked up a copy once or twice, had a flick through. I’ve even given the idea of ‘Morning Pages’ a go. It wasn’t for me.

But there’s one thing Cameron espouses that makes sense to me, and that’s the idea of filling the creative well. She writes:

“In order to create, we draw from our inner well. This inner well…

What I learned from twelve months of plant-based eating

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It was that bloody documentary that did it. The Game Changers, the one with the athlete who was looking for a faster way to come back from injury and discovered plant-based eating. My partner and I heard of it through a friend who’d switched to plant-based, and we were intrigued enough to watch just to see for ourselves what our friend was on about. Neither of us for a second thought we’d be ‘converted’.

“I could possibly be vegetarian, but I could never do vegan.” It was a sentence I’d heard — and have heard since — many times. I’d…

We can’t all be self-pub millionaires, and some of us don’t want to be.

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Yes, I went there. I just told the world how much I earned as a self-published author last year. It might amount to more than just beer money, but it’s definitely less than a full-time income. Right now, I’m okay with that. I’ll explain why, but first, some back story.

I started dabbling in fiction way back in 2006 when I was in a particularly stressful employment situation. The stories I worked on back then went nowhere, but they got me through a tough year. I figured once that year was over I’d go back to life as normal and…

And how it can improve your writing

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You know the feeling — walking into a room full of strangers, fearful that someone will come up and talk to you, even more fearful that no-one will come up and talk to you. You’d rather be anywhere else.

This used to happen to me all the time. People think writers should be good with words. We are, of course, but skill at the written word doesn’t necessarily translate to the art of conversation. Writers are very good at thinking of the perfect line about twenty-four hours after the fact. That’s called editing…

No, advertising isn’t one of them

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Don’t get me wrong, advertising your book once you’ve put it out into the world is a crucial part of making a living as an indie author. But if you don’t put some effort into the right things before you publish, sending traffic to your book will be a waste of time and money. All those hard-earned and costly clicks will amount to nothing if your book page fails to convince anyone to buy.

You want traffic, yes. But you want to send your traffic to a page that converts. …

There are pros and cons for both options

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Everyone has a book in them, so the saying goes. But once that book is out of your head and onto the page, what do you do with it?

Traditionally, you would submit your work to an agent, wait for that agent to reject it, submit it to the next agent, etcetera, until you found someone willing to represent you and your masterpiece. …

It’s all about perspective

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I moved back in with my parents in my forties. I had no money, no job, and no-one to love. And that wasn’t even my lowest point thus far.

It’s fair to say life hasn’t really gone according to plan. Well, certainly not society’s plan for me. You know how that goes — get a good education, a good job, find a life partner, raise a family, live happily ever after.

Nope, that’s not the path I’ve found myself on.

I had the good education and job parts going on in the early days. Even dabbled…

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Do you have too much stuff?

I’ve never been a hoarder, or even one to hold onto too many things. At least I didn’t think I was.

Then I cleared out my storage unit.

I should back up a step. I’ve had my life’s collection of stuff in a 3x2m storage unit for eighteen months. My partner and I were house-sitting for most of that time, and until we figured out what we were doing in terms of more permanent living arrangements it made sense to keep the stuff.

But we’ve now moved into a tiny house on wheels (aka…

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I’ve been resting a lot lately.

This virus thing has got us all messed up, and though I don’t want to write about coronavirus here (there are far better writers than me tackling the subject), it has got me thinking about the importance of rest.

In these seemingly endless days of isolation it’s easy to think we should be doing more. We’ve suddenly got all this time on our hands, so why not get stuck into that project we’ve been putting off for days/weeks/months/years?

But it’s not that easy. The unsettling nature of the crisis has caused a lot of…

Here’s one idea to get you typing again.

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I used to think I was the only crazy writer who paced figure-eights around my living room. Then I stayed a few days with a writer friend.

“You do it too!” I exclaimed one day when I caught her marching around the apartment.

“Do what?”

“Pace when you’re thinking.”

“Oh, yeah. I didn’t even think about it, but I suppose you’re right. It helps when I’m stuck.”

I’m not sure those were the exact words of our conversation, but it was along those lines. The point is, I was simultaneously relieved I…

Catherine Lee

Inspiring a healthy creative life.

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