Tag Archives: inspiration



It’s bloody hot here in Brisbane in February. It’s always hot this time of year, but this year it’s so awful they’re calling it a heatwave. It’s been so hot the water coming out of the cold tap starts out lukewarm and then gets hotter. Yesterday I caught myself thinking, “Oh it’s not so bad today,” then I looked at the temperature gauge and it was 33 degrees. It was 7 pm and that temperature was inside the house and in Celsius!

So here are some ideas for keeping cool and still managing to get some writing done, for writing folk who, like me, don’t have air-conditioning and feel like their brains are being slowly braised in their skulls.

1.       Get wet and stay wet – either have multiple cold showers a day and stay in your towel, or soak yourself under the hose fully clothed and sit at your desk dripping. Just be careful of electrocution.

2.       Drape yourself with wet cloths. Look like a bedraggled Virgin Mary, but stop your brain from stewing.

3.       Become an aircon whore – visit friends with aircon, local libraries or cafes and shamelessly lap up their cool – take your laptop or a pen and paper and write away!

4.       Go to the movies – there’s aircon and you can claim it on your tax as research.

5.       Ice in your bra. Radical yes, and a little burn-like at first, but surprisingly effective. Women only. Men could try ice in the undies, but I’m not sure how that would go.

6.       Move to Tasmania or New Zealand or somewhere else they think 20 degrees is a warm day and not the middle of winter. Trouble is at 20 degrees we Queenslanders (The Sunshine State) start complaining about how cold it is. Conveniently forgotten in a heatwave.

7.       Give up trying to get anything done and go swimming – preferably in a well-shaded waterhole.

 Hope that helps.

 What do you do to keep your cool when a hot, hot summer is hanging on way too long?

Any ideas most welcome.

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If I don't write I go mad

The other day a well-meaning relative set my blood boiling by referring to writing as my “hobby”.

So, is my writing a hobby?

NO. It’s a full-time job I’ve been working at since 2002 and hold a masters degree in. It’s not something I do in my spare moments like crotchet, it’s something I do every day, that fills my thoughts and propels me through life.

It’s a calling, something I am compelled to do even against my better judgement on how best to earn a living. It is a passion to make sense of the world and life itself through words, a yearning to create something of beauty from the chaos of experience.

As I tell my students, writing is not something you choose, it chooses you. You know you’re inescapably a writer when something dreadful happens in your life, and instead of just living it, being there in the moment and grieving or crying or whatever it is normal people do in a crisis, you are thinking of how to write it. How to wrap words around it and make it better. What title it should have.

I don’t know if this is a blessing. Sometimes it feels like more of a curse. If I could turn the switch off, I would. Even just for a moment. But then I’d turn it back on again, because for better or worse, I love it.

So, no, dear cousin, writing is not a hobby. It’s who I am.

What about you? Is writing your hobby or something much more than that?

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