What I learnt about Writing, Writers and Life at the Franschhoek Literary Festival

Authors Thomas Keneally, Yewande Omotoso and Richard de Nooy

If I had ever sat down to write a bucket list, going to the Franschhoek Literary Festival would have been at the top. So, flying to the Western Cape this weekend and meandering through the wine lands to reach the normally sleepy town was a highlight. Franschhoek was abuzz with booklovers roaming past posters containing writer-ly quotes. In church halls, school halls and town halls, panels of well-known South African and international authors discussed books and the writing process. And, indifferent to the fact that my library is cracking at the seams, booksellers sold an alluring range of books at all the venues. I was in heaven!

Besides the simple pleasure of being a part of it all, I also learnt some invaluable lessons. Here are just a few of them. Continue reading

I Write Because…

I am a writer. I create. I dream. My head is in the clouds most of the time, which is probably why I am still reeling somewhat from the Publishing Conference I attended last weekend. Called “The Suitcase Under the Bed Seminar”, it was a very authoritative look at the business of publishing, run by two publishing experts with a wealth of experience and knowledge. There were stats—rather sobering stats—on the (small) number of readers in South Africa, and the (low) average book sales in our country. There was a discussion on the (vast) number of manuscripts received every month, and the (rare) writers who receive a contract. Continue reading

Bringing Fun and Creativity back into your Life

Children are the most creative beings on earth. I think that’s because they still know that creativity—be it painting, writing, singing, dancing, baking, or any of the other countless ways we create every day—is all about having fun. As adults we often lose sight of this, and allow issues and insecurities to creep in, robbing us of our fun and creativity.

I thought of some of the fun-thiefs that have hindered me on my own writing journey. Continue reading

Finding our Voice as Writers

This blog post isn’t what it was intended to be. My plan—inspired by two renowned authors—was two-fold. Firstly, I would write a clever adaptation of Stephen Covey’s bestseller and call it the “Seven Habits of Highly Effective Writers.” Secondly, I would follow the advice of blogging guru Michael Hyatt, and write it in approximately 70 minutes. By my calculations, I could just squeeze it out between taking my cat to the vet and meeting a friend for lunch.

Or not. Continue reading