American poet Stanley Kunitz once observed that ‘the unconscious creates, the ego edits’. With this overview of the writing process, Kunitz is acknowledging the ideas of psychoanalysis, developed by Sigmund Freud, and considerably expanded upon by his colleague Carl Jung. Below I list seven psychoanalytic ideas that I have found helpful in my writing practice….

Grammar guru, punctuation enthusiast, or logophile (one who is a lover of words), it doesn’t matter what you call her, Roslyn Petelin is a dominating presence in the writing and grammar world. How Writing Works is Petelin’s first book in over fifteen years, since her publication in 1992 of The Professional Writing Guide. Her new…

Someone is watching me. I’m on a park bench in central Florida, surrounded by greenery and enclosures. He’s about 50 feet away and I feel like I know him. I recognise his face, but can’t quite place it. This happens. You run into someone at the supermarket or in the street, think: where? Or who?…

Christopher Robin said to Winnie the Pooh, “Promise me you’ll always remember that you’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”  In a contemporary world that exposes us to the increasingly emotional stresses of everyday living and reports of crime and catastrophe on a daily basis, it is sometimes…

Writing routines have become a touchstone topic among emerging writers, and a frequently asked question at Q&As and author panels; though the answers vary greatly, we’ve come to believe that establishing a routine is the key to success. In his book, The Boy Behind the Iron Curtain, Tim Winton says that he is at his…

As one who possesses an all-consuming love for anything vaguely gothic, the idea of an entire grammar book devoted to the subject appeals in ways that you can only begin to imagine. The Deluxe Transitive Vampire is branded as the ultimate handbook of grammar for the innocent, the eager and the doomed. Gordon’s genius spin…

It is very much a ‘chicken and egg’ debate: what did I play with first; words or music? It must have been music because I recall sitting in a garden some 40 years ago, singing songs but not understanding or even correctly pronouncing the lyrics that well. With a little bit of melody, I phonetically…

I was overjoyed when I heard I’d been awarded a QWC/Olvar Wood Mentorship. Inga Simpson was a participant in the QWC/Hachette Manuscript Development Program two years before me. I knew her writing to be thoughtful, intelligent and magical and was certain that working with her would be an immense privilege. I wasn’t wrong. After reading…

I was overjoyed when I heard I’d been awarded a QWC/Olvar Wood Mentorship. Inga Simpson was a participant in the QWC/Hachette Manuscript Development Program two years before me. I knew her writing to be thoughtful, intelligent and magical and was certain that working with her would be an immense privilege. I wasn’t wrong. After reading…

Writer’s block is a phrase I won’t use in relation to my writing practice. It sounds too much like a disease that I’m at risk of ‘catching’. There are times when the words don’t flow, but like any condition, prevention is the best cure. Think first, write later. Joyce Carol Oates urges writers to “think…

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