view from the sydney writers centre at milsons point

I’ve spent this weekend at the Sydney Writers Centre learning all about writing Chick Lit – something that is a concern in that I have a completed chick lit manuscript that I am trying to shop around to publishers.

Sure I had some anxiety:

Would I come out of the weekend disheartened?

Would I realise that I have wasted 100,000 words on a manuscript that simply doesn’t work?

Will I realise that I can’t write?

The outcome was exactly the opposite.

The course, taught by one of my favourite Chick Lit authors, Lisa Heidke, helped me identify just where the saggy parts of my novel are (via a 6am flash of the blinding obvious) and the inspiration to get started on my second. Even more importantly, I met some wonderful writers who are on the same journey as myself.

Whilst the content of the course was exactly as I hoped, it was Lisa’s experience that was invaluable.

When you have a dream, reality is challenging. This is a hard life and the rewards, for the majority of writers, are relatively small and long in coming.

It’s difficult to structure the day, even more difficult when family and friends don’t understand that what you are doing is work with some dismissing what you are doing as your hobby, or just something “she needs to get out of her system”.

Finding a publisher is like standing on a desert island and hurling messages in bottles into the tide knowing that the likelihood of a response is minimal, and a positive response even smaller.

The temptation is constantly there to retreat to what I know- the comfort blanket and guaranteed cashflow of corporate life. Yet somehow, this is still what I want to be doing.

Speaking of which- I have a word target that needs to be met!

4 Comments on “out & about

  1. Oh Jo, I’m so glad you enjoyed it! I usually feel energised when I’ve been to something like that (I’ve been to a few Qld Writers’ Centre events).

    Also meeting other writers (or bloggers if at a blogging event) is so beneficial! I hope you got some details to stay in contact!

    Good luck with the manuscript – shopping it around etc. (Are you thinking of trying to find an agent, or go straight to a publisher?)


  2. Hi Deb, I certainly did get details- a really great group. And thanks re the good luck wishes. After the weekend I have a good idea where the work needs to be done so will do so and then try with publishers. In Aus getting an agent is even harder than getting a publisher- unless you are a celebrity…which I certainly am not! I’m also writing a non fiction book on astrology and weight, so who knows which one will get picked up first- but I have my confidence back again.

  3. Have just found your lovely blog. I am so glad you found the course beneficial, Jo! It was great meeting you and the other writers. A lovely group of people! Good luck with your manuscript and please keep in touch!

    • Hey, thanks for dropping by Lisa. It was great to meet you too…I most certainly will stay in touch 🙂

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