04 November 2013

I am writing a book. A fellowship with Writers Victoria and Arts Access Victoria.

A few weeks ago I was thrilled to receive the news that I'd been successful in my application for a Write-ability fellowship with Writers Victoria and Arts Access Victoria. I am being mentored by Sam Twyford-Moore, the director of the Emerging Writers Festival. I have two goals for this fellowship: to get started writing a book, and to explore publishing options.

So over the past two weeks, I've been writing a book. A memoir of sorts. There hasn't been much writing of the manuscript thus far, but I have got a plan which includes a chapter summary. And I've been reading Writing Your Life by Patti Miller, as well as looking into doing a PhD in creative writing when I return from overseas next year.

I plan to use some of my blog posts for this book, and write a lot more in addition. It's an introspective process, a lot like doing my Masters thesis really. I'm thinking about the blog posts that have connected with readers, and also those that have shaped me.

I'm excited and overwhelmed at the same time. If I can write a blog, I can write a book, yeah? And if I can write blog posts that get published elsewhere, I should be less daunted about pitching to book publishers? Blogging about this little (big!) project keeps me accountable right?! So I will be writing about my Write-ability fellowship journey here. Wish me luck!

Thanks for the great opportunity, Writers Victoria and Arts Access Victoria :)

Now, over to you, readers: do you have any tips? Have you ever written a book?



  1. I have no doubt that you can write a book, and have no doubt that it will be a success! :)

  2. Hi Carly! Congrats on the fellowship! What an amazing opportunity!

    I've been a writer for many years, but have only begun to venture into the publishing world seriously. I take two different classes and we've discussed this very issue. I'm not writing a memoir, (I'm a fiction writer) but these are the things I've learned so far on my adventure:

    1) Try to set aside time to write your manuscript. (After your day job of course) When do you work best? In the morning? At night? Make sure it's at a time when your mind is at it's sharpest.

    2) Don't get so hung up on word count. In any classes I've taken and on social media, I always see other writers boasting about how many words they've written that day. (Even I catch myself doing it…and it's starting to bum me out). It's great to have a goal, but remember it's about what you write, not how much. I try to go by chapter instead, (Unless it's right now, since this month is National Writing Month and a lot of authors are trying to reach a monthly goal of 50K. Yikes.)

    3) Surround yourself with other writers. Writing is such a lonely job sometimes with not a lot of outside stimulation. I'm thrilled about your fellowship. They can read your work and you can read theirs too. Critique helps you get better and better.

    4) When you do get critique, remember that you don't always have to follow everyone's advice if it doesn't feel right. Stick to your true voice. Only you know what's best for your book.

  3. This is such great news. I can't wait to read your book. Your writing persistence has been an inspiration to me over the last year or so. I love the way you put your head down and go for it. I have no doubt that you will do that over the next year and a beautiful book will emerge. I can't wait to follow your progress.

    My advice is: Don't make excuses. Just write your book every day. Block out one to two hours and write your heart out. Just get the words down. No excuses. (But I bet you already KNOW THAT!)

    Huge congrats on a well deserved opportunity! x

  4. Congratulations! I'm sure you'll do well.

  5. Hi Carly.

    I self-published my first book recently. Best tip I can give (one I picked up from a number of sources) - Don't get it right, get it written. Don't agonize over the first draft of any of it, just get it down and tidy it up later.

    In my case I ended up with a book that reflects my character much better than if I had stuck with my usual methodical approach to writing.

    Best of luck with it.

  6. Congrats! I am doing Nanowrimo this month and getting into the groove of writing my own book. It is such an exciting adventure!

  7. First of all, congratulations! That is amazing. Of course you can do it. I have written a book (I never got it published. Don't ask me why because I don't know) and it wasn't hard because it was about my experiences in Paris and I think when you write about something you are passionate about the words will flow. You are the only one who knows the things that you know and that is valuable.

    Don't get overwhelmed, write a little bit daily. Even if it's 15 minutes, just write so that you will get in the habit of taking time daily to focus on this. Congrats again, you should be very proud of yourself.

  8. That is awesome Carly. Best of luck. I'll share Bryce Courtney's advice on what is needed to be a successful writer, and I'm sure he was only half-joking: Bum Glue.

  9. Congratulations! Can't to wait to read it! xo

  10. Congratulations! This is such exciting news :)

  11. Thank you thank you - such lovely comments :) I've got the best readers!
    Really appreciate your advice too.

  12. Brilliant news Carly. Congratulations. I look forward to reading your book.

  13. Brilliant news Carly. Congratulations. I look forward to reading your book.

  14. I am so excited for you Carly. I love the way you write...very in your face. I can't wait to read it. GO CARLY!!!!!

  15. Congrats Carly -- so well deserved! :)

  16. What fabulous news! Congratulations to you, Carly and I have absolutely no doubt that your book will be excellent. I agree completely with the above comments - write and write and write in the time that you have, even if it's only an hour. Can't wait to see the finished product :-)

  17. Congratulations, Carly!

    So excited for you and your much deserved success.

    SSG xxx

  18. Wonderful news Carly! Well-deserved - love your blog and insights!

  19. Gosh, well done, Carly! You'll kill it! I have no advice, I've never even dreamed of writing a whole book. x


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