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

Rocky

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 ...

Ep 8 Puberty Blues got it wrong, journalists on twitter, self-publishing awards and Writer in Residence Scripted.com

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Every week I co-host the podcast So you want to be a writer with fellow journalist and author Allison Tait.

This week we talk about why journalists should use twitter when fired, the Children’s Book Council Book of the Year Shortlist, the 2014 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards Shortlist, The Guardian’s Self-Published Book of the Month Competition, Bob Carr’s diva demands, the ideal length of everything online, plotting vs. pantsing, our Writer in Residence Scripted.com and more!

You can listen via:

iTunes, Stitcher, or find the transcript, show notes and listen via our blog here.Read more ...

I’m looking for two fantastic people to join my team

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My business is expanding and evolving constantly. I have big plans for the Australian Writers’ Centre. We’re growing, increasing our reach and helping more students across the country – and around the world. Every single day, we receive emails from happy graduates who have changed careers, been promoted or scored book deals as a result of our courses. It’s busy!

There is nothing I love more than watching students bloom and reach their potential. And I want us to be able to help even more people achieve their writing goals. So I’m looking for two fantastic people to join our growing team.

1. An Amazing Operations Manager
You’ll manage the day to day running of the Centre. You’ll work with a team of 40 amazing world-class presenters and core group of five staff. You’re a stickler for professionalism and systems – and you’re happy to represent me when I’m not around. You’ll find details on that role here.

2. A Brilliant Content Manager/Subeditor
We produce a lot of content. In fact, we’ve been named by Expermedia as one of the “best content marketers in Australia”.… Read more ...

It’s true. I yell at my friends.

It's true. I yell at my friends.

I have a tendency to yell at my friends. I know this is not ideal. But, I confess, it’s true. Typically, this happens when I can see how amazing and talented they are – but they won’t believe me. Worse, they simply don’t believe in themselves, in their own capacity to kick their own goals or follow their dreams. It drives me totally bonkers.

I end up yelling: “But can’t you see how amazing you are?” “Can’t you understand that people will definitely buy from you/hire you/download your app? You just need to get out there and tell people you exist!”

I know that I shouldn’t yell at them. But after months – sometimes even years – of gentle encouragement, they still can’t see how talented they are, or how truly viable their business really is.

This is what I hear:
“I feel like a fraud.”
“I don’t think I’m good enough.”
“Why would anyone hire me? I don’t have the credentials.”

The reality is that they DO have the credentials, skills and talents to achieve their goals. And the only person they need to convince … is themselves.… Read more ...

Ep 7 Julia Gillard on GOT, Real Housewives, “American Blogger” doco, blog to book successes and Writer in Residence Kylie Mason

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Every week I co-host the podcast So you want to be a writer with fellow journalist and author Allison Tait.

This week we talk about We talk about Julia Gillard’s obsession with Game of Thrones, the train wreck that is the Real Housewives of Melbourne, the new documentary “American Blogger”, more blog to book successes and our Writer in Residence Kylie Mason.

You can listen via:

iTunes, Stitcher, or find the transcript, show notes and listen via our blog here.Read more ...

Ep 6 Russell Brand, Julian Assange, will The Hoopla survive? And Writer in Residence Jack Ellis

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Every week I co-host the podcast So you want to be a writer with fellow journalist and author Allison Tait.

This week we talk about we chat about The Hoopla’s new paywall, the myth of creative inspiration, Russell Brand’s new children’s stories, inspiring Pinterest boards for writers, Julian Assange’s new book, we speak with author Jack Ellis and more! 

You can listen via:

iTunes, Stitcher, or find the transcript, show notes and listen via our blog here.… Read more ...

Ep 5 New publication for News Corp, buffaloes on the loose, the most unusual use of Shakespeare ever and why Writer in Residence John Purcell writes as “Natasha Walker”

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Every week I co-host the podcast So you want to be a writer with fellow journalist and author Allison Tait.

This week we talk about we chat about the newest News Corp publication, buffaloes on the loose in Sydney, the most unusual use of Shakespeare, James Scott Bell’s book Write Your Novel From The Middle: A New Approach for Plotters, Pantsers and Everyone in Between and we speak with John Purcell about Booktopia and his well-kept secret.

You can listen via:

iTunes, Stitcher, or find the transcript, show notes and listen via our blog here.Read more ...

My new podcast is “New & Notable” on iTunes!

NewandNoteworthy

This week I was thrilled to discover that my new podcast “So you want to be a writer” is featured in the “New & Notable” section on iTunes. I co-host this podcast with fellow journalist and author Allison Tait – and we’re having a ball!

Allison and I first met when we were desk buddies back when we worked together at CLEO magazine. Those were the days when we interviewed everyone from Australia’s 50 Most Eligible Bachelors, celebrities, supermodels and everyone in between. Part of the job was to go to industry functions, film screenings, fashion shoots and the like.

However, you can only sustain that kind of lifestyle for so long. Yes, it gets boring. And, these days, we’re more excited about staying at home than we are about going out. Well, I am anyway! One thing we both love is to talk about the world of writing, blogging and publishing. And that’s what our podcast is about.

So if you’re interested in an inside look at how to become a writer – with news and a bit of gossip thrown in – including our regular “Writer in Residence” interview with an author or industry insider, I hope you’ll tune in!… Read more ...

What I’ve learnt from San Diego

USS Midway

I’m currently in San Diego at Social Media Marketing World and have been able to sample this lovely city for the past few days. Here’s what I’ve learnt so far:

1. San Diego is Man Diego
Apparently, it is a truth universally acknowledged that the ratio of men to women is very healthy in San Diego. I have absolutely no scientific evidence to back up this claim but that’s what my friend from LA tells me. A cursory look around the bars and restaurants in the evenings prove her correct

2. Uber.com works much better in San Diego that it does in Sydney
In the past 36 hours I’ve used Uber.com (the hire car app) more frequently that I’ve had hot dinners. The app works like a charm, a driver magically appears in front of me within minutes of booking and takes me to my destination at a very reasonable cost. Unfortunately, I’m unable to say the same thing about Uber in Sydney because it is a far more frustrating experience. If the Uber service in Sydney ever comes close to the quality in San Diego, I will be hooked.… Read more ...

Ep 4 Get extra money, book trailers, public speaking for authors, should authors blog and Writer in Residence Allison Rushby

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Every week I co-host the podcast So you want to be a writer with fellow journalist and author Allison Tait.

This week we talk about JK Rowling puts a new Harry Potter story online, do book trailers really work?, we chat about Joanna Penn’s new book Public Speaking for Authors, Creatives and other Introverts, you tell us what gets you to the end of a book, we chat with Allison Rushby about self publishing, and more.

You can listen via:

iTunes, Stitcher, or find the transcript, show notes and listen via our blog here.… Read more ...

Ep 3 Is cursive becoming a lost art? Inspirational blogging quotes, interview with Dr. Anita Heiss and more!

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Every week I co-host the podcast So you want to be a writer with fellow journalist and author Allison Tait.

This week we talk about parents and lawmakers fearing cursive writing will become a lost art, we tell you our favourite inspirational blogging quotes, we chat about Hazel Edward’s new book Authorpreneurship, you tell us your word crushes, we interview Dr. Anita Heiss, and more.

You can listen via:

iTunes, Stitcher, or find the transcript, show notes and listen via our blog here.… Read more ...

Ep 2 Writers in Residence, words to use more, Best Australian Blog Comp launches, interview with Fleur McDonald

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Every week I co-host the podcast So you want to be a writer with fellow journalist and author Allison Tait.

This week we talk about why 1 in 10 Americans think HTML is an STD, Women’s Weekly labels an innocent man as accused, the 2014 Best Australian Blogs competition, and we’re joined by leading rural author Fleur McDonald.

You can listen via:

iTunes, Stitcher, or find the transcript, show notes and listen via our blog here.… Read more ...

So you want to be a writer Ep 1

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Every week I co-host the podcast So you want to be a writer with fellow journalist and author Allison Tait.

This week we talk about Amtrack’s writers in residence, the ProBlogger conference, Stephen King’s reading list, and we’re joined by Graeme Simsion.

You can listen via:

iTunes, Stitcher, or find the transcript, show notes and listen via our blog here.… Read more ...

Honoured to be named as one of “Australia’s 20 Best Business Blogs” by SmartCompany

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This week, I was honoured and humbled to be included in SmartCompany’s annual list of Australia’s 20 Best Business Blogs. This is along with heavyweights like Digital Pulse from pwc, Deloitte Digital’s blog, and Salesforce’s blog.

And also insightful bloggers like Tristan White’s excellent blog on Culture, Suzi Dafnis’s wonderful blog for the Australian Businesswomen’s Network, Darren Rowse’s pioneering Problogger, and Paul Wallbank’s tech blog Decoding the New Economy.

Check out the full list yourself here.Read more ...

Are you measuring value the right way?

rambo

When it comes to putting a value on products, services – or even pets – are you measuring this the wrong way? Traditional methods of measuring value often do not take into account important factors that can have a huge impact on the utility and worth of a transaction, experience or product. Read my post on Money Circle here.… Read more ...

What’s wrong with down-playing your success?

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Yesterday, I was sitting at Sydney Airport, about to catch a plane to Brisbane. A well dressed man and woman sat down opposite me. Dressed in business attire, they looked like colleagues. It was 6pm, at the tail end of the day.

The woman said: “Well it’s been a successful few days Harry.”
The man replied: “Thank you for your involvement. I appreciate it.”
The woman (brushing aside his comment) said: “Oh I felt like a dead weight most of the time.”

I heard this and thought: “WTF?”

Admittedly, I have no idea about the back story on this. I don’t know how much the woman contributed to the “successful few days”. But I did know that the man thanked her for her involvement. And rather than say “You’re welcome” or take it as a compliment, she downplayed her contribution.

I wanted to grab her by the shoulders and shake her.

But it’s a reaction that I see among many people …

“Oh what a delicious cake.”
“Oh no, it’s way too dry.”

“That blog post you published last week was great.”
“Really?… Read more ...

Do you want to be a Key Person of Influence?

Key Person of Influence

When I was young, I use to go into the local bank and I’d notice that some of the tellers would decorate their work spaces with funny cartoons. Invariably, they were tongue-in-cheek jibes about the nature of work. The characters in the cartoons would complain about their bosses, the hours, and the mere fact that they had to be there.

Even as a child, I was puzzled as to why people would stay in a job where they found more to complain about than to enjoy. I assumed, that these cartoons were a reflection of what these bank tellers thought about their work.

Then, when I entered the workforce for myself, I worked with people who would say things like: “I hope your day is well despite the fact that it’s a Monday” or “It’s Wednesday! More than half the week is gone. Hooray!”

These same people always left work 15 minutes early, never went the extra mile and always gave the impression that they found work to be a chore.

I guess I’m really lucky because I love what I do but I found it confounding that people would stay in a job that they don’t enjoy.… Read more ...

Don’t you deserve everyday luxury?

post-everyday luxury Rex on chair

My friend Luisa believes in “everyday luxury” – and it makes a lot of sense. Why stash the items that you love the most into the back of the cupboard? Why save the “good stuff” only for special occasions? Instead, treat yourself to these things every day. Why? Because you’re sending a message to yourself about what you’re worth. My post about this is on Money Circle here.Read more ...

As an entrepreneur, how much should you reveal on your blog?

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I’m fascinated by the world of blogging. Whether you blog about parenting, life, toy trains or business, the blogosphere is a wonderful way to connect with people in your community and beyond.

Many entrepreneurial bloggers use it as a marketing tool – a way to connect with customers through smart and helpful content marketing. Their posts position them as experts in their field; their articles become must-read content. As a result, they gain a loyal following.

But how much is too much?
Some other entrepreneurs use their blog more as a way to track their entrepreneurial journey. They chronicle the highs, lows and lessons along the way. But how much is too much?

The world of blogging is all about authenticity. And some business bloggers are comfortable about talking about their failures. There is nothing wrong with this at all. However, I have been following a particular founder’s blog for the past year. And, I have to admit, it’s compelling reading. But for all the wrong reasons.

She is always tired, always stressed and rarely writes about any good news in her business.… Read more ...

The one where I emerge from a bubble – and writer’s block

Celebrating the end of writer's block on the back deck.

Celebrating the end of writer’s block on the back deck.

For the last month, I’ve been in a (self-imposed) bubble. No, I didn’t decide to do a digital detox. I didn’t go to New Jersey to marry Jon Bon Jovi. And no one bought my business for a billion dollars so that I could laze on a beach in Bali, sipping cocktails for the rest of my life.

The bubble has been the result of the fact that I’m been immersed in two major projects which have consumed my life. Hence, the infrequent blog posts, the paltry number of Tweets, the intermittent appearances on Facebook and – shame of all shames – the failure to experience Christmas properly (and all the things that go with it – like writing Christmas cards, putting thought into gifts, and so on).

Forgive me, I was on another planet.

While I wish I could have been Superwoman – able to combine overseeing these projects with everything else in life in a single bound – this was simply not going to happen.

And I’m ok with that.… Read more ...