• Blog

    The value of a writing group


    Writer Friends Group Photo
    Pam Cook, Terri Green, Angella Whitton, Yvonne Louis and Pauline Reynolds after our writing retreat in Milton earlier this year.

    I came on to write a post yesterday, before I raced off to my writing group -The Writers’ Dozen – yesterday. However, while researching everyone’s books etc I came across this lovely post by Jan Cornall at The Writers Journey that shows so much of what the members of my group have accomplished over the years

    How to get published – get yourself some writing friends!

    Not every member of the original thirteen shows up these days but each of us along the way has gained a great deal from the group…some people just turn up for Christmas lunch these days because, let’s face it we’re not just writing buddies, we are friends.

    Perhaps we were unlikely friends to start with but I think much of the strength of our group lies in our differences. We have authors or memoir, poetry and short stories. We have authors of young adult, literary fiction, women’s fiction and chick lit.

    For me personally there have been so many wonderful benefits to being in the group. Of course people to bore silly with your writing life, people to listen to you moan in the face of rejection or pop the champagne in those moments of success are all important. So are people who read your work and respond with love and respect even when they tell you it’s rubbish. They’re the people who take the time to share the journey with you and who really get what you’re going through. Oh yes, and they’re also people who make me laugh until my sides hurt and you can’t put a value on that!

    We all say regularly we wouldn’t still be writing, submitting, studying without each other and we say it because it’s true.

    There is a lot of talk about how lonely being a writer is and how isolating and yes, I suppose that’s true, but if you can find a group to connect with through your local/State writer’s centre or through an organisation like Sisters in Crime or RWA then it need not be that way.

    You can combine my two favourite things writing and life-long friendships.


    Pamela Cook
    10/10/2012 02:10:03 pm

    So true Monique. Where would we be without each other – probably not writing! Every writer needs readers, feedback, support and validation and there’s no better place to get it than a strong writing group. Friendship is the icing on a very scrum my cake!
    10/10/2012 02:46:15 pm

    It absolutely is Pam!

  • Blog

    Using Pinterest to help write and inspire your novels


    Pinterest Logo
    Are you on Pinterest? Do you even know what it is?

    Pinterest is like a huge global bulletin board where you can pin images already on there, images approved for pinning (some sites suggest you pin things) or your own images. You can’t just take people’s images though because that would be a breach of many rules so if you’re in doubt leave it out!

    (You have to be invited to join Pinterest so if you’re not on there and you’re curious…e-mail me via the contact form on this site and I’ll invite you.)

    Here are my boards….


    As you can see I have them for a variety of topics – American readers did you know we don’t have crescent roll dough in Australia? Shocking I know, but if we ever do I have a whole board of recipes ready to go.

    As a writer people have often cut magazine images of pictures that remind them of characters or settings or to inspire them. Now you can do that on Pinterest. I have a board for Hearts Afire as you can see and for another of my novels called A Fair Exchange.

    In Hearts Afire the main character Cassie is a caterer and a bride so I have collected images that speak to that. Jack is a fireman so more pictures along those lines. And there is a tropical island as well. I think you get the idea.

    In the same way writers use music to inspire them images can really help. If you’re sitting in winter in Sydney sometimes you need a nice sandy beach to look at to get you in the mood to write about one.

    Like anything you can use these things to help you, or they can be another massive tool for procrastination…hopefully I’m using Pinterest for the former.