Got a question? Chances are you’ll find the answer here…


I’m very lucky in that I get a lot of emails from people who are starting out in writing careers. I love to help and I love that you see me as a trusted source of advice and information. Unfortunately, I’ve also got a million deadlines to manage, books to write, and small people to wrangle, so I can’t answer every email.

These are the questions I am asked most frequently. I’m also working on a little ebook that will hopefully answer the rest. Stay tuned!

I’d like to be a freelance writer. Where do I start?

A course can be a very good place to start. I teach an online course through the Australian Writers’ Centre, though there are other courses out there as well. If you’re wondering if a course is completely necessary, read this.

Can I make a living as a freelance writer?

Yes. But it’s not for everyone. Here’s why.

Where do you get your ideas?

On trains. Just kidding. From everywhere. Developing your writerly senses is essential for freelancing.

Will an editor steal my ideas?

No. Here’s why.

Will an editor even look at my ideas if I’ve never written before?

It depends on the editor. And the ideas. Here’s why. And here.

Should I write for free?

There are many people who will tell you that you should never write for free. There are others who will tell you that it is essential that you write for free to build a portfolio. I say… maybe. I say put a value on your words and decide where you think you will get a return on your investment. I say think about how you will transition from writing for free (should you decide to do this) to getting paid for your writing. I say choose very, very wisely where you put your words.

How do you find time to write your novels?

I don’t. I make time. Here’s how.

Where do you get your ideas?

On trains. Just kidding. Again, with the developing of writerly senses. Ideas are everywhere. But writers see them in the gaps between the clouds, while others see… fresh air.

I’m a writer. Do I really have to blog/tweet/Facebook?

No. You don’t. In fact, Charlotte Wood calls that stuff ‘junk’ and I have enormous respect for Charlotte and her writing. In this day and age, however, publishers expect some form of social media presence, particularly from unpublished authors. If you’d like to start building your author platform, check out the outline for my online, on-demand course here.

When should I start?

Now is good.


Want more? These are my six most popular posts about writing:

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