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Stretch

Posted by on Sep 22, 2016 in Busybird | 0 comments

stretchyourselfIf you’re a writer, you’re just about guaranteed one thing in this life.

Can you guess what it is?

Publication? Fame? Riches? To be read? To share stories with the world? To get glowing review after glowing review? To win awards? To have movie adaptations? To be revered? To become a seminal figure in your chosen genre? To become immortalised?

Any or all of those things would be nice, but they’re not guaranteed – far from it. So no to all of those things.

What you are just about guaranteed is that you, in all likelihood, will have a terrible posture, and back and/or neck problems.

This is an unfortunate result of sitting hunched at a computer or over a journal. When you’re young, you just don’t care, because you’re so flexible and resilient. You could sit slumped the whole day and not even feel a crick when you get up. What you don’t realise is that, often, neck and back issues don’t necessarily have to be the result of a single incident (e.g. an accident), but can occur from a lifetime’s accumulation of bad posture. Then, one morning, you wake up with tightness or pain – the body’s proclamation that it can no longer cope. As you get older, you try to manage your way through issues, but are still prone towards unconsciously slumping.

So what can you do?

There’s obvious solutions, like managing your space, ensuring that you have a good chair, that your computer isn’t too high or low, and that you sit straight. Take breaks every forty-five minutes – get up, stretch, walk around. Force yourself away from the computer, especially when you’re tired and/or frustrated – mental states that can tense you up, and exacerbate any issues you might be experiencing. Often, you don’t even consciously realise this is going on.

Away from the computer, exercise is beneficial – a regular half-hour walk can do wonders for you physically and mentally. It helps loosen muscles, gets you out into the world, and gives you the time and space to mentally unwind. If you’re stuck in your writing or unsure where to take the narrative, a walk is just about guaranteed to help you find your way. It’s usually when you’re least thinking about your writing that solutions present themselves.

Then, there are more specific forms of exercise, like yoga. Yoga is the perfect blend of gentle stretching and meditative breathing that benefits both the body and the mind. It’s also a brilliant way of uncoiling those muscles that have grown tight and resistant and a means to finding an inner peacefulness.

Busybird Publishing will be running Yoga for Writers, beginning Thursday, 13th October, from 8.00–9.15pm. Facilitated by author Suzanne Male, Suzanne is a qualified iFlow Yoga teacher, knows all about the issues of posture and muscle tightness that come from writing, and has tailored a Yoga program specifically for writers. You can book in for eight sessions at $120, or pay casually at $18.00 per session. Check out our Eventbrite page here.

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How I used the Busybird Creative Fellowship – AC Watson

Posted by on Sep 16, 2016 in Busybird | 0 comments

Busybird Creative Fellowship winner 2016, Angus Watson

Busybird Creative Fellowship winner 2016, Angus Watson

In December 2015 I was lucky enough to be chosen for the Busybird Creative Fellowship. The fellowship aims to help an emerging writer through their current project. For me, this meant developing my skills as a writer, starting my own writing group, meeting a vast network of amazing people, and ultimately, bringing my novel up to a standard so I can start submitting.

Now, as applications open for the 2017 fellowship, I urge anyone who is looking to take the next step in their writing journey to apply. Whether you have just finished a first draft, are thinking of self-publishing, or even believe you’re ready to submit, the Creative Fellowship will help you.

I received the fellowship when I was hallway through writing my second draft. I was feeling quite confident with it, thinking I might even be able to submit by June 2016. However, during the many courses that Busybird offer FREE with the fellowship, I learned so much that made me take a step back and analyze certain aspects I had previously thought needed no improvement. Through Busybird’s mentoring with Les Zigomanis, I went from having five protagonists in a 95,000 word novel, down to three protagonists in a 45,000 word novel within the space of a month. That was due to how much unnecessary information I had repeated, repeated, and repeated again. I learned to be succinct and trust the reader, and I’m not sure I would’ve have been able to do that so readily if not for Busybird.

The networking aspect of the fellowship also helped me a great deal. At events such as the Busybird Open Mic Night and their Publish for Profit workshops, I’ve met many people with such vast backgrounds in writing. Through these events I have been able to organize and facilitate a fortnightly writing group, in which sessions are broken up to critique and give feedback on an individual’s piece. Not only does this help improve my writing in general, but it adds a certain social aspect to the experience that really helps to network.

Again, anyone who is considering applying for Busybird’s 2017 Creative Fellowship, I urge to do so. It is a great initiative for an emerging writer, and will absolutely help you take your next step.

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