Kai Chronicles

Eating, exploring and enjoying life


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What’s Working for me Wednesday

And what a lovely Wednesday it is. I’m being sarcastic. Below will be my final 14 entries of my top 100 travel wishes. Before I go there, I must admit that I have a love/hate relationship with travel.

Yesterday, I returned home from a whirlwind trip to Sydney. I spent 4 nights away – one night was on the plane from Perth. What was I thinking? I do not sleep well on planes, trains, cars….ANY transportation so I’m not sure why I thought I could travel overnight from coast to coast and then spend the day at a writing course – without sleep!

I’m pleading optimism.

I was certain  the flight would not be full and I would have the entire left hand side of row 29 to myself. Ha!! Didn’t happen. But I made it through day 1 and then went to see Silver Linings Playbook in the evening (I liked it, btw). My mind was telling me that I was fine, ‘it’s all good, you can do it all’, I said. But my body protested.

The next day, I woke up with a sore throat. It wasn’t too bad and again, I pushed on. I walked from Central Station to Milsons Point in North Sydney, home of the Australian Writers’ Centre for day 2 of the writing course. I stopped off to get throat lozenges and cold relief first. At least I slept well the night before and I actually felt better on day 2 even though I knew a virus was attacking me.

Fast forward to arriving back in Perth at 9am yesterday. I was sore from the waist down. It was painful to walk but I had no choice. I had to get from A to B and carry my own bags. By the time I actually got home (3 hours north of Perth!), unpacked and took a shower I couldn’t stay upright anymore. I was in bed by 5pm and stayed there until this morning. My throat is red and puffy now. I have a doctor’s appointment at 11am today. I detest anti-biotics but I also hate pain, especially when it prevents me from eating!

There is a lesson in this. I just haven’t figured out what it is yet.

It’s kinda a lie to say dreaming of travel is working for me this Wednesday but ultimately it will always be my #1 thing to do…dream and the actual doing!!

  1. Show my sister, Christine Sydney and other parts of Oz!!

  2. See penguins on Penguin Island, WA

  3. Writing course in Paris

  4. Attend the Healthivate health bloggers conference in Sydney (aim for 2014)

  5. Spend a month or more just “being” in Thailand

  6. Spend the night on Halong Bay, Vietnam

  7. Walk the Milford Track (NZ)

  8. Walk along the Bay of Fires beach in Tasmania

  9. Walk the Inca Trail, Peru

  10. Return to Morocco

  11. Teach English in Southeast Asia (someday)

  12. Spend a month alone writing in Bali

  13. See a moose on Cape Breton Island (Canada)

  14. Travel around Australia on a promo tour as a published author!! 

And there it is!!! I’m sure there could be many many more entries.

I will post the entire 100 in another post!

Have you made your top travel wishes or a “bucket” list? Feel free to share!


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What I know about writing

When I was asked to participate in a theme blog post called, ‘what I know about writing’ by Sarah Wayland at that space in between, I must say I didn’t understand the exercise. It wasn’t until I saw her post and the other links and how to “link up” that I really got it.

Yes, I feel like a twit for it but I do my writing without a need to be technical so I don’t “get” how to set up what Sarah has done, but nevermind, I am honoured to have been asked.

I have been writing for a long time but I never considered it as a job or career until I was in my mid-thirties. I saw being a writer or author like being a movie star or pop singer……WAY out of my reach. Plus, I was not talented.

Then when I became a stay-at-home mum, I decided to do an online writing course and I saw that writing was a possibility for me. I quickly found a spot as a regular contributor in the local newspaper. It boosted my confidence and I felt like I was onto realising my “purpose”.  But, like many writers have done at some point in their journey, I lost my esteem. I  gave up on writing when we moved states.

For 3 years I didn’t write anything more than dark poetry or short diary entries and I focused on making money the physical way. I started my own cleaning company and did well with it. That wasn’t for me but I kept at it because the money was so good and went down another path that I thought I wanted to go down. I enrolled in a course to become a professional counsellor. And, after 7 months of failing at that…I admitted to myself that I was a writer.

Thank goodness for the Sydney Writers’ Centre. It was when I did their online writing for magazines and newspapers course that I really felt I was given the skills, motivation and inspiration to pursue a career in writing. That was 2 years ago and it has not been an easy climb, and I’m nowhere near the top but I’ve made some progress.

So, based on what I know about writing, here are some tips for aspiring or even experienced writers:

  • Educate yourself. I don’t think you need a degree in journalism or a masters in English to be a decent writer. I certainly don’t have those things. But practical, hands-on courses that teach you exactly what you need to know and do are valuable.  I cannot recommend SWC enough. I’ve also done a mentoring program with Alan Close, which was fabulous. He taught me so much about being a writer.
  • Join a writers group, either in person or online. As a grad of SWC, I am part of their online Facebook group and the support, advice, tips, praise and love we give and get is invaluable. I’m sure there are other groups like this out there. None as fabulous as the SWC one though (my opinion).
  • Give it go. In order to get published, you must knock on some doors. It takes nerve and confidence to put yourself  out there but I have gotten jobs just by ringing up an editor and asking. The answer will not always be yes, but sometimes it will be. In this industry, it is true that you must have a thick skin. I’m very sensitive by nature but I’ve toughened up heaps in the past 2 years.
  • Write every day. I don’t always do this but most days I do write, even if it’s only working on new pitches.
  • Stick with it. It’s hard in the beginning (and in the middle) especially after your first rejection, but as soon as you get published once you can be on your way to a career in writing, if you choose.
  • Although I say stick with it, when it becomes all-consuming and stressful, take a day or two off. Sometimes you must take a step back before you can move forward.
  • Read. Every great writer is an avid reader. This includes all the publications you want to be in. Read, follow and study them religiously!
  • Never, ever, ever, give up! If you want it bad enough you will do it and you will succeed. Ask, believe, receive (after lots of hard work).

Thanks to Sarah Wayland for the opportunity to share my writing wisdom! Check out the other talented writers who have contributed to that space in between’s ‘What I Know About Writing’ blog post!!!