A guest blog I wrote for Headland journal, in the midst of mud-making, helped me feel better about all the other things a writer needs to get done as well as writing… That’s one of the best things about being a writer – everything feeds the page: remorse, trout, my middle of the night hospital […]
Welcome 2015: The wildflowers are out – it must be summer. And this morning snow on Mt Ida. This must be Central Otago, the Ida Valley, where it can snow in summer and reach 40 degrees C the next week. I didn’t stay up till midnight to see the New Year in and instead woke […]
The right, imaginative and clear use of details in a book, to me, is the single most important way a writer can improve their writing. What makes a book become real to a reader, what transports them from the reality of their own life to the world of the book, are details. And the way […]
I wrote and sent away seven short stories before my first story was published (Scaredy Cat, in New Zealand School Journals). My first novel took me seven years to write. (I had four small children, no family nearby and no childcare in those days. It was a long process!) I went on to write seven […]
“Sorting words,” poet and neighbour Brian Turner said, “is like choosing stones; setting some aside, discarding some, placing others with care in the right place, to make something of craft and beauty that will last.” We talked about this business of word selection while cementing in the last selection of stones, collected in haste at sunset […]
Writing without stopping is a way of sidelining the critic in you that doubts you. Imagine you’re trying to paint the sunset and a person comes and stands next to you and says: That’s no good, that doesn’t look real, I don’t know what that means, that colour doesn’t work, just as you’re trying to […]
Writing is magical. I can think of four ways to explain this. The first is mythological. As Joseph Campbell said, we cannot manufacture the symbols of mythology, or suppress them, for they arise within us. They’ll appear unbidden on our pages. And as the ancient myths show, when we set out on a journey, such […]
A student writer asked me the question “What drives me?” for an assignment he was doing. It was an interesting question to reflect on, to consciously look at what I often subconsciously create. In my writing for young people and for adults I’m passionate about how people treat others – first, that children have the […]
Rain is coming, it said on the news, and outside there is a stillness in the air above the mountains and a hushed light, as if all is waiting. Meditating before you write is like that quiet time before the rain falls. It’s a way of stopping one life – that of jobs, family, friends, […]
Jillian Sullivan writes fiction and non-fiction for children, teenagers and adults. Her work has been published for over twenty years and includes four novels, three collections of short stories and over sixty short stories for children and adults, published in New Zealand and America.
- There is A Way Home November 8, 2016
- Feeding the Page April 10, 2015
- A Writers Welcome to 2015 January 2, 2015
- Make Your Writing Stronger: Details December 19, 2014
- A Guide to Creating is Now on Kindle December 12, 2014
- allan grant: hi I was wondering who did you get to draw your pl...
- Gemma Yates: http://gemmayates.blogspot.co.nz/2015/03/blue-sky-...
- Jillian: Thanks for your comments Rose. Good point about le...
- lizzie sullivan: Thanks Jillian, i am enjoying this writing advice ...
- Rose Michel von Dreger: This technique has been my lifeline as a poet. It ...