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

5 Sure Signs You’re a Writer – do this quick quiz!

Writer at work!

Got a feeling you might be a writer? Do this quick quiz then add up your points and see how you go!

5 Sure Signs You’re a Writer

  1. You READ – a lot. Is your bedside table, floor, desk covered in books half-read and to be read? Writers read voraciously and widely. Reading is your safe place and your sanctuary. Not only that, when writers read we’re always looking at how the book is written, especially books we love. We’re always thinking, “How did the author DO that?” Give yourself one point for every book in your pile.
  2. You WRITE. Do you have a diary or journal you’ve been keeping for years? That’s a sure sign of a writer and the best way I know to develop your unique writing voice. Not keeping a diary? Do you write long letters, or emails or blog posts? Do you write to make sense of things? Write to bear witness? Does the act of writing give you pleasure? Does writing soothe you? Do you find comfort in shaping words into sentences and sentences into paragraphs? Give yourself 5 points if you write regularly. An extra 5 if you’ve kept a diary for over a year.
  3. You REMEMBER IN STORIES. When you are remembering events from the past, do you find yourself writing the memory in your head? Are you forming a story with words rather than images, or images and words together. Are you trying to find a way to tell this story in a way that adds meaning to the random events of life? If so give yourself 5 points. If you’ve started writing these stories down, give yourself an extra point for every story you’ve started and an extra 5 for every story you’ve finished.
  4. You DREAM IN STORIES or WAKE UP with story lines fully formed, or a CHARACTER wanting to be written. Do you remember your dreams and think, now THAT would make a great story! Do you wake up with the beginnings of stories in your head, with sentences, maybe whole paragraphs already formed? I woke up once with this: “My name is Condolezia, but I don’t speak Spanish. I was born the year after my brother who died the day he was born.” It was so strong I still remember it! Do you daydream in stories? Do characters tap you on the shoulder and demand to be heard, to have you write them into being? Give yourself 5 points if any of these nerdy, wordy visitations have happened to you. Give yourself an extra 5 for every story you’ve written from these prompts.
  5. You FIND YOURSELF WRITING YOUR LIFE WHILE YOU’RE LIVING IT! This is a sure sign you’re a writer. If, in the midst of some life drama, turmoil, blessing or tragedy you find yourself searching for the words to describe it, then you are unmistakably a writer. The day my infant son died, I found myself sitting on the loo thinking about how I could ever write this terrible story. Thinking of a title. “Of Milk and Blood” I thought was pretty good. But I thought again and ended up with my Guide Through Grief instead. So if you’ve found yourself sitting among the wreckage, thinking up titles for this period of your life, then, I’m both afraid and proud to say – You, my friend, are a writer! It’s a blessing and a curse. Sometimes I just want to LIVE something without putting it into words. Give yourself 10 points if this kind of thing has happened to you. An extra 10 for every story inspired in a similar way, that you actually wrote.

SO, are you a writer?


0-5 points you love to read, but haven’t actually spent much time writing or even thinking about writing. You’re happy to let others do the story telling. The world needs readers and we writers LOVE YOU!

5-15 pointsyou love reading and writing and a deep part of you is calling out to be expressed in words. All you need to do is give yourself a chance. Try getting some of those stories out of your head and onto the page! See here for a guided meditation to quiet that inner critic holding you back and get you started!

15 – 30 pointsyou’ve got what it takes to be a writer! In fact, you know it in your heart but you just need a little nudge to get those stories out of your head and onto the page. See here for a FREE WORKSHOP that will help you use all those great inspirations and thoughts to create stories.

30 points and over – CONGRATULATIONS! YOU’RE A WRITER! Yes you are! You know this, you’ve been writing and getting some of those ideas onto paper. Writing is a rewarding and fulfilling lifestyle. Writers are always observing and learning and creating meaning through words. Words bring comfort and order to our lives. We can create something beautiful from all we experience, even the darkest moments. See here for an affordable live online course in creative writing that will give you all the craft knowledge you need to make your stories engaging and compelling and, most of all, publishable!

WHATEVER YOU SCORED, if you’re reading this post, something is calling you to writing. Consider yourself on notice. Sooner or later you’re going to have to get those stories out of your head and onto the page. See my FREE WORKSHOP and then check out my UPCOMING CRASH COURSE IN CREATIVE WRITING

Let me help you set out on the magical journey of writing! I’ve been writing and publishing for over 20 years and have been teaching creative writing at universities, schools, festivals, at the Queensland Writers Centre and in the community since 2005. I’ve helped more writing students than most people have had hot dinners, so let me help you make a start on your writing adventures too. See more about me HERE.

Now, stop reading and start writing!

Wishing you the joy of creativity this holiday season. May you and yours connect in love and harmony and may the year ahead be filled with fun, creative adventures, lots of laughter and friends and fantastic good luck! YAY!

Lots of love

Edwina xx