Thursday, 28 December 2017

Fifteen Great Picks from 2017

Each week on Mondays and Thursdays, someone from our faithful CWD blog team uploads a blogpost - sometimes it's inspirational, sometimes a story of writerly struggles or triumphs; sometimes it's funny, other times it's serious or both; sometimes the post reminds us why we write and for who, other times it gives practical tips - on writing, marketing or getting published. Always, it's the result of thought, research, experience, passion, creativity.

The CWD Admin team would like to give our blogteam a huge thank you for your contributions throughout 2017 (and over the years).

As we near the end of 2017, we thought we'd honour our bloggers' contributions with a pick of 15 blogposts that have inspired us this year. Out of over 100 posts, it wasn't easy to choose and there are many other posts equally deserving of notice. We have a wealth of information and inspiration on the blogsite - accessible on multiple subjects and themes.

We hope you enjoy this selection from a rich smorgasbord of offerings.

1. Like Waiting for Rain in a Drought - Paula Vince

... Julia Cameron, who helped several creative people break out of their non-productive ruts with her book, 'The Artist's Way.' She suggests that longing for fame feels a bit like waiting for rain in a drought. 'We keep squinting toward the horizon, jealous of our luckier neighbours and dissatisfied with our own condition,' she says. Her words gave me funny images of Elijah asking his servant, 'Can you see anything yet?'

Can you imagine this? After several fruitless looks, the young man replies, 'Yes, there are a couple of new reviews on Goodreads and a slight increase in your Amazon sales ranking.'  Read more ...

2. Confessions of a Frustrated Reader - Jo Wanmer

I've read more books this year than in any other year of my life. Exhausted, I've looked for easy, light reading. I've dropped every free women's christian fiction ebook onto my kindle. I've read, or partially read most of them.

Confession 1. My phone is my favoured reading tool. (See pic on right) It's light, portable and convenient. It saves the page for me when I fall asleep. Read more ...

3.  So Many Writers, So Many Stories - Jo-Anne Berthelsen

I remember attending my first ‘writery’ event at the NSW Writers’ Centre in 2004 and wondering what I was doing there. How did I ever think I could write a book worthy of publication? Everyone seemed so much more knowledgeable about the whole writing endeavour. Everyone seemed so much more confident and talented. Everyone seemed so much ... er ... well ... younger! Read on ...

4. Pinterest: A Thousand Words - K A Hart

... As I’ve grown older, it’s become harder to create those worlds. Worlds need to make sense. They need to have a purpose and I’ve become limited by my own experiences. I now need to write things down or the ideas become lost in the everyday rush and often, those thoughts written into words don’t fully capture what I’ve imagined.

That’s when I discovered PinterestRead more ...

5.  The 'Do Unto Others' of Marketing - Nola Passmore

Corrie Ten Boom ...  thanked God for these wonderful hosts, but also credited her parents with planting the seeds of generosity. All throughout her childhood and into adulthood, their home was open to anyone. There was always an extra place at the table, a word of encouragement and an open ear. Corrie later reaped the benefits of her family’s hospitality. Read more ...

6. From tiny seeds...Omega Writers grew –  Ruth Bonetti

Once upon a time, back in the past millennium, a publisher scattered seeds amongst Brisbane writers. Offering a free seminar–with lunch– to attract new authors, Open Book’s John Pfitzner was swamped by responses. Intrigued by familiar faces there I wondered: What if we got together on a regular basis to encourage and support each other? I sent an open invitation to meet in my garden and discuss.

This 1991 mustard seed of Omega Writers has rooted and bourgeoned strong branches. Read more ...

7. Benefits of a Writers Group - Janelle Moore

... As well as being part of this large body of writers [like Christian Writers Downunder], I am also a member of a small local gathering, Quirky Quills which consists of seven of us. For any of you that aren’t connected with a small group I would encourage you to join one if at all possible.

I joined Quirky Quills almost a decade ago, and without these ladies, I certainly wouldn’t be where I am today. In fact if it weren’t for the Quills, I still wouldn’t have put pen to paper. Read more ...

8.  Cheese Hunting - Sue Jeffrey 

I recently read one of those Facebook memory posts. You know the type. Here's something you posted two years ago; why don’t you repost it?

I chose not to repost. Not because it wasn’t relevant. It was very relevant. In fact I could have written it this week. I didn’t post it because a) no one would want to hear it again and b) I found it confronting. Read more ...

9. The Writer's Triathlon - Jeanette O'Hagan

'Everyone has a book inside them' or so they say.

Yet most people don't write a book and many who start one never finish it. Finishing a book - a creative non-fiction memoir or self-help book, a novel or a book of poetry - writing or typing 'The End' on the last page of your magnus opum is a great achievement, a wonderful feeling.

Yet in many ways, that is just the beginning. Rather than a sprint, writing is more like a marathon, a mountain climb or, to be even more accurate, a triathlon. 'How so?' you ask. Let me explain. Read more ...

10. Treasure in Unlikely Places - Anusha Atukorala

One cold wet Monday recently, I opened my front door to a lean, lanky young man. “Come in” I said with a smile. He walked inside, his arms laden with shopping bags.

As he strode past my bookcase, he turned, glancing at its contents with hungry eyes.
“What an interesting house!” He placed the shopping on my kitchen bench top.
“Could I have a look at your books?” Read more ...

11.  "Tall Poppy Delusions," by a disgruntled daisy - Helen Curtis

So, this isn't my finest moment perhaps, but I need to confess something: I am a text book tall poppy cutter-downer. Shocking isn't it! It gets worse, though; nothing makes me want to reach for my rusty secateurs more than talent show videos. I know! I'm awful! But, I really reallydislike them. As in, I literally GOL (groan out loud) and roll my eyes when I see them on my FaceBook feed. Read more ...

12.  Fighting Discouragement - Jenny Glazebrook

How is your writing going? Are you discouraged? I find discouragement slips in so quickly and easily.

I've been trying to work out why.

And I got to thinking that if Noah treated his project of ark building the way I sometimes treat my writing project, he would have become discouraged and never completed building the ark. Read more ...

13. The feedback I value the most - David Rawlings

... Writers live in a bubble. We disappear into a world of our own creation all times of the day or night at our characters' beck-and-call. We pull the strings in that world, making characters' lives easier or harder with a keystroke or wish scenery into existence with the stroke of a pen.

We live it. We breathe it.

Allowing someone else into that world can sometimes be difficult Read more ...

14. Get Real - Adele Jones

In my writing workshops, I often discuss character weaknesses and how we writers can use these vulnerabilities to engage our readers. By ‘reader connection’ I don’t mean a collective whole, rather a ‘this could be me or my best friend’ type of significance. But how? Read more ...

15.  Keeping that Focus - Pamela Heemskerk

I’ve been through three computers in the last three months - enough to make any writer remove their hair in handfuls!! So I’ve turned on today and gone back through the last few CWD blogs. And I am blessed to know so many people who write from the heart in ways that have changed my life. Thank you.

I know many who had a difficult 2016 – my annus horribilis was 2015. So last year I was confronted with all the baggage from the year before. (Such fun!) My relationship with God deepened last year, and He gently and persistently placed my reactions, thoughts and feelings from 2015 to the forefront of my life to sort them through from His perspective. Read more ...

I hope you are as blessed, inspired, challenged and informed by these CWD posts (and others) as I have been.

Next year we will move to a slightly different format - with our inspiration and practical blog posts each Monday, a cross post between CWD and ACW on first Monday on the month, continuing with the theme of genre - and on Thursdays we will be starting a series introducing some of our 900 plus members.

And for a touch of nostalgia - you could scroll through the great picks from 2017

Jeanette O'Hagan

Images c Jeanette O'Hagan 2017


  1. That was lovely Jenny. Thank you for giving us a writers' reading feast to mull over and enjoy. I haven't read them all yet but I am on my way. I have no doubt I will be challenged and motivated to write well in 2018 thanks to the collective wisdom of these amazing writers. God bless you Jenny and thanks so very much for all you do for us at CWD. It's greatly appreciated. And thanks to the rest of you too! Thank you for all your helpful input over the year which has blessed, encouraged and equipped us.

    1. Thanks, Anusha. We have so many fabulous blogposts to encourage and inspire :) I'm very grateful for our blog team and for you and Paula as my co-workers on the admin team - and, of course, our Lord and Saviour who makes it all possible.

  2. What a lovely wrap-up post :) 2017 has been a fantastic year for encouragement and sharing the journey together indeed. Thanks for handpicking this selection Jenny, which I'll spend the next little while going through again. It's excellent to have them all in one place :) And thanks to all the writers we have on the blogging roster who always inspire.

    1. Thanks, Paula - it was great going through this years blogs - definitely hard to narrow it down to 15.

  3. What a great way to end the year, Jenny, by highlighting some of the 2017 posts. Looking forward to what's in store for 2018!