Writer’s Digest July 23, 2023

As I write this on Sunday afternoon Sarah’s just left to drive home to Hervey Bay. She’s been down for the weekend and the house already feels empty without her.

While we’ve gotten used to there being just the two of us at home – she has, after all, been living in Hervey Bay for almost three years – it only takes a few minutes for us to get used to her being back here. Usually as long as it takes for her to get the dog in a clinch she struggles to get out of and for me to say something like, ‘leave the dog alone!’

It’s been an up-and-down week in many ways – some rain, some glorious blue skies and too-warm-to-be-the-middle-of-winter days. The work week was its usual chaotic self, so the less said about that, the better. I did, however, manage to sneak away from my desk on Friday morning to co-facilitate Writing Friday at Maroochydore Library.

It’s one of the free volunteer-run events (of which I’m one) that the Queensland Writer’s Centre (QWC) sponsors around the state and even on the weeks I’m running low on inspiration, being in a room with other writers always does the trick. Some weeks there are only four or five of us, other weeks more, but everyone is there for one reason – to write.

My job as a facilitator is an easy one – I run the Pomodoro app in the background and keep everyone on the straight and narrow when it comes to breaks and writing time. If you haven’t come across Pomodoro, it’s a technique whereby you work for 25 minutes, a buzzer goes and you break for 5 minutes. After a certain number of repetitions, you’ll have a longer break, say 20 minutes, and then start again.

For Writing Fridays we’ll generally do five repetitions, with a long break after the third. When the Pomodoro is running the room is quiet, with the only noise that of fingers on keyboards and the kids in the childcare centre next door or a Mynah bird tapping on the window. Sometimes I get so in the zone I don’t even notice that.

During the breaks we chat about what we’re working on, problems we might be attempting to write through, the results of feedback or mentoring or competitions or submissions. We’re all different ages and working on different stages in different genres at different levels of self-doubt, but the one thing we have in common is the way we support each other.

Anyways, if you’re on the Sunshine Coast message me for details and if you’re elsewhere in Queensland check out the QWC to see if there’s a Writing Friday happening in your region…and, if there’s not, why not start your own?

As for my writing?

I managed to write a new scene on Friday in what I’ve tentatively titled Return to Curlew Cottage. Already it’s heading in a direction different to what I’d originally envisaged, but I’ll go with that.

This week my goals are:

  • Write 5000 words
  • Write the blurb for Christmas at Mannus Ridge
  • Write the blurb for Philly Barker Is On The Case
  • Contact the cover designer to begin working on a cover for Christmas at Mannus Ridge

I’ll let you know next week how I go…