Happy New Year! May it rain blessings and kindness upon us all.

The lead up to Christmas is all hustle and bustle and busyness and shopping and family and ARGH! It can feel overwhelming, but then we hit that post-Christmas slump where we finally get to have that little lie down we’ve been craving. I LOVE this time to relax and be quiet, away from all the noise of the world, to review the year that’s been and dream about the year ahead.

woman sprinkling inspiration from the moon
Like magic!

My word for this year is FUN! I know I’m going to be busy again, but this year I want to make sure I’m enjoying the ride more – finding the joy in even the most mundane of tasks. Doing the dishes is fun if I blow bubbles. Driving my car can be fun if I’m singing and admiring the view. Teaching for me is always fun, but writing, well sometimes over the past few years, writing has felt torturous. I want it to be fun again. 

Do you feel this way too? Has the sparkle dulled on your writing dreams? Have rejections tarnished the shine on those stories you loved to write? How can we reclaim our joy in our creative writing practice?

Liz Gilbert wrote about this in her wonderful book Big Magic. From her I learnt that I needed to take the pressure off my writing. To stop expecting it to pay the bills. To stop blaming it for getting rejected. Once I allowed my creativity more playtime to just muck around and try new things, experiment with new forms, and write small pieces just for fun, I felt much better. I remembered the fun I had as a kid making up stories and the thrill of seeing where the story took me, seemingly of its own will. Don’t expect your writing to pay your bills, instead expect it to give you thrills! Write for fun to a few prompts or write a quick piece of flash in an unfamiliar genre. Anything to give you that spark of newness.


For many years now I’ve been struggling with the accumulated mountain of rejections that had been building up over two decades of writing and submitting. I know we have to submit a lot in order to get published (SUBMIT SUBMIT SUBMIT) but submitting a lot also means a mountain of rejections. And rejection is never fun. A dark cloud hung over everything I wrote, every story I submitted was cloaked in a dreary gloom of fear and hopelessness. I knew this wasn’t helping my chances of publication but no matter how I tried to feel differently about the realities of this profession, those feelings persisted.

However, during my period of reviewing and renewing after Christmas, I realised that I could change this feeling and help myself feel more positive and excited about my writing again. I took a feeling of great joy from another activity – for me that’s bodysurfing, catching the perfect wave, – and saw myself catching that wave with a new publisher beside me, both of us holding my book out before us, grinning like fools! And like magic, I felt better. It felt silly and fun and light-hearted and joyful, the way I’d felt about writing and getting published when I first started back in 2002. I enlarged the vision to include readers of my book, all catching that wave with me and my publisher, laughing as we rode that wave together, my book held out in front. It still makes me smile.

What makes you laugh? What brings a smile to your face? Maybe it’s climbing a mountain, or singing a song, or holding a baby, or baking a cake or ferris wheels or Mickey Mouse or having a bath. Whatever it is, see if you can transfer that feeling to your writing dreams and shift some of those stubborn old disappointments and beliefs that aren’t bringing you any joy.

A new beginning is arising, and we are here to run with it, to create and express and share our stories with the world, with joy and the knowledge that our voices deserve to be heard.

What are your writing dreams for 2023? How can you fill them with a feeling of fun? Let’s enjoy this year and help each other as much as we can.

I’ve created a new ONLINE CRASH COURSE IN CREATIVE WRITING to help my new writing friends that covers all the elements essential to writing good stories, be they fiction or memoir or a mix of both. I’ve taken everything I’ve learnt over my two decades in the writing and publishing industry and created this fun, interactive, LIVE online course starting on January 21. See more and join up HERE.

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on

Wishing you a wonderful year full of inspiration, glowing sentences, waves to catch, and most of all, readers and publishers who pick up your story and see it glow!

Lots of love,

Edwina xx



Oh yeah! It was when my lovely friend, and fellow yoga and writing retreat facilitator, Kerstin Pilz (see our Let’s Talk Writing episodes HERE) showed me this photo that I started to get very, VERY excited! I could see myself on that verandah, sitting on that bamboo daybed with my journal, the music of the stream washing away all the stress of the year, as I wrote freely and joyfully with a huge grin on my face. Oh yeah!

Can you feel it too? Is a retreat far from the busyness and bustle calling you? Is your creative spirit crying out for some loving care? Is it time to put yourself and your writing at the top of your priority list for once?

Do you deserve a really special treat, just for you? You know you do!

This retreat is super special : five nights, six days in the heart of rural Bali, staying at the amazing Bali Eco Stay resort with two excellent :), experienced, creative writing facilitators, published authors, and yoga teachers, gently guiding you back to full health and happiness, and rejuvenating your creative powers! Or you could just dream the day away on your daybed if you like! Beautiful open air bungalows and yoga shala with all equipment provided.

All fresh organic vegetarian meals, airport transfers, special guided tour, cultural activities, complimentary massage and tarot reading, chakra cleansing, one on one session with a facilitator, 6 writing workshops, 5 morning yoga sessions, 4 restorative yoga breathing classes, and your beautiful bungalow accomodation is included! It will be heavenly!

Blissful Bali Writing Retreat

With Kerstin Pilz PhD and Edwina Shaw

Unleash your wild mind and heart

& write your life back into balance

So why don’t you join us at our Blissful Bali Writing Retreat and set your stories free!? 

Get your stories out of your head and onto the page and feel the joy of creating beauty of your own in the peace and tranquility of Bali. Whether you have an established writing practice or have always wanted to write but never had the time, this retreat is for anybody in need of some quality nurturing of their creative spirit.

Every day begins with gentle yoga, followed by breakfast and an inspiring writing workshop to get those creative juices flowing. The afternoons are free for your own adventures and explorations, naps, or 1:1 sessions with Kerstin & Edwina, a complimentary massage and tarot reading, and a guided writing group for those who like to write in company. At the end of the day, we come together again for some gentle yoga breathing exercises to help clear your mind and revitalise your energy. Every evening we share incredible dinners and relax with conversation and readings.

All activities are optional.

This is your retreat. Our aim is to nurture your body, mind, and creative spirit so you leave feeling renewed, both as a writer and as a human being, with a whole lot of new writing; and bright, exciting ideas and refreshed energy to take home with you.

See HERE for more information. Come along and join in the Bliss of this once in a lifetime experience!

Not flash with cash right now? A $450 deposit will secure your place and you have until April to pay it off – payment plans available. Or save up for Bali in 2024 as I’m sure this will become an annual event.

Want something more affordable and closer to home? Check out my popular, lower-priced weekend retreats HERE.

Oh gosh I hope you can come. Check it out here and dream a little! You can make it happen if you really want it!

Lots of love

Edwina xx