Valerie Khoo


This is the personal blog of Valerie Khoo – artist, author and podcaster. Valerie is passionate about exploring the worlds of creativity and business. She is co-host of the popular podcasts ‘So you want to be a writer’ and ‘So you want to be a photographer’. Valerie is a mentor to artists, writers and business owners on how they can turn their passions into thriving professional practices. She is author of ‘Power Stories: The 8 Stories You MUST Tell to Build an Epic Business’. Valerie is also CEO of the Australian Writers’ Centre, one of the world’s leading centres for writing courses.

You Might Also Like


  1. Kelly Exeter

    Love it Val. Love this the most:

    “It’s something that I also see among “creatives” all the time. They want to have commercial success but don’t want to learn any commercial skills. These people are living in a fantasy if they think that they can have one without the other. Sure, you need to focus on your “art” or creativity. But you also need to learn the basic skills you need to make smart business decisions.”

    And have shared!

    1. Ray Welling

      Yes, that phrase captured my eye, as well. As a writer who has learned the hard way that you need to embrace change to survive, I get frustrated by writers I know who moan about how the Internet has destroyed their industry, but they won’t learn how to use a CMS, use a photo library or market themselves in social media because it will ‘soil’ the purity of their work. I don’t know if this fits within the ambit of the Writers Centre, but maybe you need courses in attitude adjustment – how to change your mindset so that you go with the flow of changing technology rather than pine for a well-paid writing-only gig. I’ll put my hand up to develop the curriculum!

      1. Valerie Khoo

        It’s so great to hear you say that. Sometimes, I feel like I’m a voice crying in the wilderness. We do indeed believe (and teach) this philosophy at The Writers’ Centre ( and have courses on “How to build your profile on Twitter”, “From blog to book”, and we are constantly talking about adapting to the changes in the industry and how those who rely on the “old way” will simply be left behind!
        Thanks for your comment Ray – for making me feel less alone!

  2. Liz

    Completely agree, Valerie! I sailed by in high school and during my first job due to sheer luck and smarts — when it started to get hard I was quick to drop the ball and blame others, but an awesome manager sat me down and told me pretty much exactly what you’ve written. I’m so glad someone bothered to do that — it would have been so easy to just ignore the issue.

    Now I’m running two businesses and made the decision recently that I really do want to to pursue comedy writing, there’s even more hard work ahead… but it’ll all be worth it (I hope!)

    1. Valerie Khoo

      Comedy writing – so exciting! Can’t wait to see/read more of it Liz 🙂 I have no doubt you’re going to be amazing at it.

  3. Chris Zaccharia

    I agree with this! Lesson for those smart people, don’t be too confident with the knowledge you have. 🙂 Don’t take it easy. Use your knowledge well. 🙂

  4. Layton Mills

    Agreed. The “fake it till you make it” approach can only get you so far. And hit the nail on the head with the creatives. Thanks for sharing

  5. Rashida

    Sadly I find myself in this category and find I tend to jump from one unfinished project to start a new one in a burst of enthusiasm which fades and then I’m looking for the next big thing. I’ve recognised this as a limitation and working on longevity and actually putting in the work without letting rejection etc get me down. Sharing it now:)

  6. DDC

    Agree, I’m about at this point now, unemployed and early academic and career success has given way to a few more failures in the last few years. I want to know how to get back on this success train… This should be the next article topic…