My life in a minute: My number 1 podcast! Clever kitty Rex; and my new fave gadget


It’s been a whirlwind over here with lots of planning, travelling, systemising and recruiting for new team members at the Australian Writers’ Centre. So here is my life in a minute!

Grateful for: The wonderful support from listeners of my podcast “So you want to be a writer” which I co-host with the wonderfully talented Allison Tait. I’m absolutely loving producing this podcast with Allison. I’m so grateful for all the positive feedback. You’ve helped us get to #1 in the Literature category. And we’ve reached #50 out of ALL podcasts in Australia so far!

Thrilled to: Host our recent meetup in Sydney with the wonderfully talented Tristan Bancks. Tristan shared his wisdom about writing to our community. I’m still in a bit of shock that he can write 2000 words just using his thumbs on his iPhone while walking on the beach in the morning! Tristan’s latest books are Two Wolves and My Life and Other Stuff That Went Wrong.

Speaking at: Business Blueprint conference at Australian Technology Park, organised by the talented Dale Beaumont and his team.Read more …

Forget about Prince Charming – and buy your own home

Why you should forget about Prince Charming


Some years ago, I had to make a huge decision that changed my life. I ended up ditching a relationship and discovered that I was capable of a lot more than I realised. I tell the tale of why I forgot about Prince Charming and bought my own home in my post on Money Circle.… Read more …

The weekend ritual that will change your life

Weekend Ritual

We all have our rituals. Some people swear by yoga. Others can’t get through the day without meditation. Yet others consult the tarot while sacrificing a chicken under a full moon before they make any major decisions. I, too, have a ritual that I swear by. And I do it (almost) every weekend.

My ritual does not involve any chickens or full moons. But I know that if I don’t do it, I’ll have hell to pay. It keeps me sane.

If you feel overwhelmed, like there’s just too much “stuff” in your life – and your brain – then I highly recommend it. So what is it?

It’s simple. It’s all about “Returning to Zen”. I’ll be honest here: I don’t always achieve Zen-like Nirvana. But I don’t beat myself up about it if that’s the case. Remember, near enough is better than not at all!

“Returning to Zen” is all about purging. That is, getting rid of physical, digital and mental clutter so that you can make space in your life to be productive, give yourself room to be creative – and the headspace to make the best decisions.… Read more …

You can be an artist or a writer AND make money


I know I bang on about this a lot but that’s because I’m so passionate about it. I’ve never subscribed to the idea that you have to suffer for your art and live a frugal life. Creativity and wealth are NOT mutually exclusive. But you do have to take responsibility for your finances; don’t put your head in the sand.

I guess the people at Money Circle heard me because they asked me to write about the topic. You can view that story “You don’t have to starve to be an artist” here.

 … Read more …

Want to run the world? Here’s how

Run the world

I’m excited to be one of 10 female entrepreneurs speaking at the Run The World Conference in Melbourne on Saturday 19 October, run by The League of Extraordinary Women. If you’re going to be there, make sure you come say HI!

Here are some details from the organisers:
10 inspirational female entrepreneurs. One extraordinary day. Join the movement.
In partnership with RMIT University, the League of Extraordinary Women will be hosting the first ever female entrepreneurs’ one-day conference in Australia.

There will be 10 outstanding female entrepreneurs and academics who will be taking the stage throughout the day to share their remarkable stories and advice with an audience of over 350 people.

For more information please visit:

Read more …

My life in a minute: Our magazine launch, our 8th birthday – and bloggers everywhere

Hanging out at The Boathouse at Balmoral Beach.

It’s been a while since the last recap. So this is more like “the last two months in a minute”!

Lunch with Candace Bushnell

It was great to see so many familiar faces at the Business Chicks lunch featuring S#x and the City author Candace Bushnell. I had the opportunity to interview Candace earlier this year and I loved how down to earth she is. We compared notes about living between a house in the country and an apartment in the city (although I’m sure her New York pad is probably more than a bit fancier than my apartment in Sydney!)

Awesome group of students

I loved teaching the Australian Writers’ Centre weekend Melbourne course in Magazine and Newspaper Writing. It’s inspiring being with so many enthusiastic students and watching their talent unfold over the weekend as they learn how to put their new skills into practice.

Here’s what student Anna Hickey said about the last course. If you’re in Melbourne the next on is 5 to 6 October. See you there!

We launched a magazine!

I’m so excited about the Australian Writers’ Centre magazine, which we launched last month.… Read more …

Waking up next to a cow: a tale of two cities

Meet my neighbour. He has insomnia.

Earlier this week, I was awoken at about 2am by an almighty noise. It was definitely from an animal … or monster … and it emanated from somewhere near the bedroom window. It sounded like Satan trying to escape from hell. And he decided that our side fence was the right place to make his entry into the world.

Turns out that it wasn’t Satan. It was the cow from next door.

Yes, even as I type that, I find myself wondering: “How did I end up sleeping barely metres away from … a cow?”

This is particularly perplexing as I’m quite a fan of the Sparkling Concrete Jungle, otherwise known as the city of Sydney. But here on the outskirts of Melbourne, there isn’t too much concrete. Instead, there are a lot of undulating grassy pastures, a phenomenally bad internet connection and … yes … cows.

If you wander across the road there are even little lambs. And horses.

From this description it might sound like I’m in an outback station miles from civilisation. The reality is that it’s one hour from the Melbourne CBD.… Read more …

See you at the Problogger Training Event 13-14 September


Next week, I’ll be soaking up some Gold Coast sunshine as I’m speaking at the Problogger Training Event. I’m really looking forward to this, not just because it means I can break out my summer wardrobe after living in leggings and woollens thanks to months of chilly Victorian weather.

I’m also excited to meet the other speakers include Facebook expert Amy Porterfield, marketing expert Ed Dale and photographer Trey Ratcliff.

If you’re attending the Problogger Training Event, make sure we connect!

I’ll be speaking at the following sessions:

Launch Your Freelance Writing Career – Friday 13 September, 9.45-1.40am
This is an informal Q & A session focusing on using a blog to launch your freelance writing career. I’ll be sharing the stage – or the sofa – with the lovely and talented Kelly Exeter. Bring along your questions and get ready to learn from the experts as well as attendees.

I started freelancing 14 years ago and it’s the best move I ever made in terms of my writing career. And I’m passionate about helping others take their first step into this world because it’s so incredibly rewarding.… Read more …

Take a risk – ask for the impossible. Here’s someone who did.

Billy Joel

I love this video of a university student Michael Pollack having the guts to ask Billy Joel if he could accompany the legendary singer on the piano. Joel was speaking at Vanderbilt University when Pollack used the Q&A session to ask what many would never dare.

It takes chutzpah and confidence to do this. But it achieved a great result. Not only did Pollack get to accompany his idol, he did it brilliantly. And the Youtube video has been viewed over 2.5 million times so far (the incident occurred in March 2013).

However, I also think it’s important to have a good balance of boldness backed up with the goods. Imagine if Pollack asked the big question, got on stage and did a terrible job. It would have been humiliating.

Sure, someone people might argue that the act of asking is kudos enough. But any idiot can put their hand up for a job.

If you’re going to do that, make sure you can deliver.

I know this seems to fly in the face of many articles and comments about the fact that men often ask even when they don’t necessarily have the goods to deliver.… Read more …

TV shows finally give Asian-Australians the voice they’ve always had

Better Man

This month, SBS is broadcasting Better Man, the mini-series about Van Nguyen, the 25 year old Australian who was executed in Singapore in 2005.

I won’t go into detail here about the tragic story because you should do yourself a favour and watch the show “on demand”. The cast is brilliant, the script by Khoa Do is gripping and the performances – especially by lead actor Remy Hii in the role of Van – are fantastic.

It’s also part of a new crop of Australian dramas where Asian-Australians are finally being allowed to sound authentic. Like the Australians they are. With Australian accents … because that’s how they actually speak.

Like the character Chai Li in the wonderful ABC drama Time of Our Lives (starring Claudia Karvan and William McInnes) also currently being broadcast on the small screen (catch it on iView). Michelle Vergara Moore plays Chai Li and she speaks with an Aussie accent. And – hallelujah – the scriptwriters treat this as the most normal thing in the world. Because. It. Is.

You might not think this is a big deal.… Read more …