Picking Through My Writing Rubble

I'm in the middle of writing the second draft of my third novel. I wrote the first draft in the same stream of consciousness way I wrote my others - head down, brain switched to automatic. I do this based on the best piece of writing advice I ever received, which is to turn the editing part of my brain off while getting a first draft down. It works for me in that it allows ideas to fall freely onto the page. When I look over this draft, however, to prepare for a second, I'm generally astonished at the mess I've made. Needless to say, second drafts, are much harder work for me...

Not all writers write this way. While I start at the beginning and plough on until the bitter end, some writers edit first drafts as they go. Others redraft after each chapter or write piecemeal, developing their key scenes before filling in the gaps. There is no right or wrong way. The writing process is very personal. The key things to remember are not to judge yourself, be willing to make mistakes and keep writing. Writing is like a muscle afterall; the more you use it, practice developing and pulling stories apart, the stronger it gets. 

And so, I try to recall this as I pick through the rubble of words that is my first draft. I've been through it all before, the crushing doubt and frustration, and even the joy at discovering unexpected treasures. I tell myself this is all part of the process, my process. It's imperfect and at times impractical, but it gets the job done in the end.

 

Meanjin article: What I'm Reading...

When I was asked to write for Meanjin's author series, What I'm Reading, I was slightly intimidated. As an author I should probably be reading all the time. And although I wish I was, it just doesn't happen. I generally manage to squeeze in half an hour every couple of days (if I'm lucky), between working and writing and running around after two small sprogs. Sometimes it takes me weeks to finish a book... 

But then it occurred to me that I am reading regularly. In fact I'm reading constantly, in a slightly erratic fashion, for research. Currently, I'm writing and researching my third novel. It features a piano and I spend many enjoyable hours dipping in and out of piano related books. In the end, these books formed the inspiration for my Meanjin article. Why not take a look...

https://meanjin.com.au/blog/what-im-reading-emily-brewin/

 

Meet the Author Event at the fabulous Journal Canteen, CAE

Join me for a discussion about being a first time author and about my writing process, in the Journal Canteen at CAE over wine and cheese. I am interested in the cultural and social changes that occurred in Australia in the 1960s, and the stories that arose from the shift towards more progressive values. BOOKINGS ESSENTIAL: http://www.cae.edu.au/courses/meet-the-author-series-emily-brewin-presented-by-cae-book-groups-sc/

You’ll also receive a signed copy of my book, Hello, Goodbye.

MTA2 Emily Brewin 20170725 - Copy.jpg

Teacher Magazine

Combining teaching and writing in Teacher Magazine (August 2017)

Combining teaching and writing in Teacher Magazine (August 2017)

Grant writing blues

If you've ever applied for a grant, you'll know what I mean by the title. It's a unique kind of melancholia that inflicts you each time a new grant round opens and you realise that you'll be trying to justify your life's work in 2000 characters (including spaces) for the next three weeks.

I've just uploaded my VicArts application in the hope I'll one day be paid to write. Like many authors, my writing is squeezed around a 'real' job, pushed into the corners of my day so that I often find myself sitting at my desk as the sun rises or sets. Grant funding would mean writing while it's high in the sky - ah!

For now it's a waiting game. By week ten I'll know if my application has been successful or not. If not, I'll try again and keep telling myself that day light is over-rated anyway...

The Herald Sun review July 8th 2017

The Herald Sun's Corinna Hente called Hello, Goodbye VIBRANT in her Weekend review on 8th July 2017.  Thrilled!

 

The Herald Sun: 8th July 2017

The Herald Sun: 8th July 2017

In-conversation event at Eltham Book Shop

Come along to Eltham Book Shop on August 2nd to hear myself and author, Kate Mildenhall, discuss the story and writing process behind my novel HELLO, GOODBYE. All welcome!

Get a free copy on Goodreads...

It's almost time... Hello, Goodbye will be in bookshops from June 28th, but you can win a copy by going to:

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/236640-hello-goodbye

2017 Varuna PIP

I was thrilled to learn last week that my second novel has been shortlisted for the 2017 Varuna Publisher Introduction Program. Fingers crossed!