10 things authors should NOT do by someone who did them all

No. 7

In 1982 I had my first book and  first  article  published as well as my first baby. Much has changed on all fronts since then including a 6’2” baby. I know how to get published (See below) as a freelance but, like all paying endeavours, you can be seduced  into  following  the  money trail. I became a freelance journalist and earned a reasonable living  but  it’s  taken  me  30+  years to write my first novel. Could  I  have  written  a  novel  earlier?  Maybe.  Then  again  a 30+ year writing apprenticeship is a good preparation for a novelist. I can’t tell you what path to follow, but I can tell you how to earn money from writing.

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10 things authors should NOT do by someone who did them all

No. 8

Just a few words on the bitter reality of rejections. After 35 years of writing, you acclimatise, I guess. One time, however, a newspaper editor rejected one of my articles. I heard he was going on leave. So I sent the piece back to the same section of the newspaper. He didn’t go on leave. And he published the piece. What does this mean? Sometimes they don’t read your copy, not even the title or your name before rejecting your work. Keep that in mind the next time you get a rejection.

10 things authors should NOT do by someone who did them all

No. 9

Signings are hellish. Once I did a bookshop signing in Sydney after tennis great Evonne Goolagong Cawley! She was exhausted. I can only say ‘Heavens be praised! I have a short name’. Kids, however, are funny. At a school talk or a library event they’ll run up to you with a piece of paper torn from an exercise book and ask ‘Can I have your autograph? Who are you?’

10 things authors should NOT do by someone who did them all

No. 10

I’ve been a professional writer for 30+ years. I have 2 books coming out soon. A satirical novel on American Gun Culture, TARGET 91, to be published 2018. And a non-fiction with Doris Brett next year by a local mainstream publisher. Just some thoughts for younger writers apart from KEEP WRITING!

How to reboot your childhood imagination

A writer needs a vivid imagination. The superpower of childhood is a fantastical imagination but it is easily lost. Neuroscience provides an explanation for this.

In The Wisdom Paradox Elkhonon Goldberg explains that a child’s Right brain dominates until the age of 6 years. The Right brain deals with uncertainty, double meanings, metaphors, duplicity, the unexpected, the new. It thinks in pictures but, significantly, it is mute or it would be arguing with your Left brain, the language hemisphere, all the time.

Anything is possible for the Right Brain. The Left brain specialises in language. It sorts, judges, pigeon holes. It is trying to make sense of the world. We are conscious beings. We have to understand what is happening around us or, basically, we are mad. Your Left brain takes over your thinking after  6 years of age as language kicks in. You don’t have to lose your childhood imagination but if it is not used …. it fades away.

I loved maths. I studied Science engineering at university. I taught maths and chemistry for 10 years. All that maths set up railway tracks in my brain which I had to follow in logical steps to the predetermined destination.

I wanted to write. I needed my thinking to be reckless, crazy. It took me 3 years of reading to derail my mathematical mind. I read, in order, historical romance, Erotica ( one fictional glistening, muscled, well-endowed plantation slave still brings a warm smile to my face), science fiction, war memoirs, Russian novels and biographies of strong women.

Finally, I dumped the rail track thinking. Ideas pop out of my brain now like fire flies hovering over head. I have to prune them down to write a coherent piece. The first books i wrote were about my childhood. I relived it. I could walk into my families kitchen, open cupboards and see what was inside. More importantly, I could hear the voices. So Yes! I’m a little crazy. It  helps.

Your memories and the many worlds of your imagination are all there waiting for you to explore. All you need is a little practice.

If you want to reconnect with that vivid imagination of your childhood this clip by called Run Boy Run by Woodkid is SENSATIONAL. Watching it, I was 10 years old again.

Stuck in a Fog of Negativity? You must meet Taku.

Surround yourself with positive people. Keep away from the ENERGY VAMPIRES who suck the energy out of you. No references needed. Just Google Negative People Instagram or Pinterest. You will have heard these mantras often enough.

The problem is you can be stuck in a fog of negativity without realising it. The fog is just there. Try aging, for starters. Nearly every conversation begins with a litany of health woes. So much so, I try to instigate a friend’s idea. We call it Renata’s Rule: ’10 minutes on health issues then move on.’

It has been a great joy to me to connect up with Taku Mbudzi. Taku emanates a radiant field of positive energy. Funny,  enthusiastic, inspiring. Taku is  a  skilled  writer, broadcaster  (She has appeared on The Project with Charlie Pickering),  podcaster  (See below)  and public speaker. More  importantly, to meet Taku is equivalent  to  popping  a ‘positive  vibe  pill’  if such a thing existed. Taku  is  young, energetic and funny, and I’m sure many students would benefit from being exposed to Taku’s positive force field. You can find out more about Taku here.

I have been  delighted  to  be  involved  with  Taku’s  podcasts  talking  about  ways  to tackle professional writing. In the first podcast we looked at writing newspaper articles. The second podcast involved getting a book published.

Being  interviewed  by  Taku  reminded me of one of my own vital traits. My younger self was undaunted by  the  challenge  of becoming  a  professional  writer,  simply  because I was so optimistic. Rejections – I could wallpaper my house with rejection slips – just bounced off me. Timing and luck played their part. But I just kept at it until I found my niche.

Episode 18 – Writing [Fake] News Articles with Journalist and Author Kerry Cue

Episode 19 – Getting Published in Australia with Author and Maths Blogger Kerry Cue