Good Writerly Days . . . and Bad Ones

I had one of those ‘blaa!!!!’ writing days yesterday. I know all writers have them, I certainly do occasionally, but yesterday’s was totally unexpected.

I’ve been complaining lately about not having the house to myself, there seem to always be bodies coming and going, noise, interruptions, ‘too loud’ music or television blaring and, from the young adults – ‘Mum, can you help me with, etc. etc.’

Yesterday though, the house was quiet, not a soul about, a gentle rain was melting into the cypresses and blue gums (which usually inspires me) although the dampness forced me back from my walk because I forgot to take a rain jacket. So I resigned myself to the fact that I was just plain grumpy, the good words weren’t going to come or behave themselves, so I decided to write about that.

I was thinking back to when I used to work in an office environment. I remember one work colleague walking past my office on her way in, often sprouting, ‘Today, I could kick a chook off a fence!’ Through the years that image often comes flooding back at me and never fails to bring a smile.

Don’t get me wrong, I love all animals (the proof is there because I always write about them) and I quite like chooks, but the image of my friend and colleague kicking a defenceless chook and sending it flying, feathers scattering and showering everywhere, is something embedded in my memory forever.

So yesterday was not a good writerly day and I did feel like kicking a chook off a fence (of course I didn’t). I could have cleaned the oven, sorted 5 years worth of photographs or tackled the scary ironing basket – but I didn’t, because as I was saying to a group of school children last week, I believe the most useful quality a writer can possess is persistence, that determination and will to press on, even if the day or week isn’t panning out as it should.

My words yesterday weren’t wonderful, but at least there were some and I avoided all those not so delightful tasks above.

← Back to all Blog posts


  1. Kaye Baillie Well, Corinne, your words have been enjoyed again and they prove that I am not alone in my 'moods according to weather' phenonemom(spelling). When the sun comes out I feel quite sprightly. Maybe the dampness was your foe. Recently enjoyed 'Flame stands waiting'. Your writing is very touching. Hope you have a good day.
    August 10, 2011 at 10:34 am · Reply
    • corinne Thank you, Kaye. Yes today has been much more productive.
      August 10, 2011 at 10:28 pm · Reply
  2. Dimity Powell But your intentions were good, your will was there albeit damp and dismal. And whilst I've never actually kicked one of our chooks anywhere, I have been known to cast Tammy, shall we say inexcusably quite firmly to the ground in a fit of rage. Nothing destroys your good will and sucks away your charity faster than being confronted with a demolished herb garden. Tammy rewarded me with scathing looks and a strike on egg laying for days. Hope all has improved, for your sake and the sake of chooks lingering on fences everywhere!
    August 10, 2011 at 11:49 am · Reply
    • corinne Thank you Dimity. Your comments really made me laugh. I guess Tammy survived. By the way, we don't have a chook anywhere near here . . . luckily!
      August 10, 2011 at 10:28 pm · Reply
  3. Chris Bell Funny how even "perfect" conditions do not always make a successful writing day. But well done on your excellent perseverance in avoiding the ironing basket and such nasties. :) Hope the muse is back today and the chooks of the world safe. Chris
    August 10, 2011 at 2:15 pm · Reply
    • corinne Thanks, Chris, it needed to be.
      August 10, 2011 at 10:26 pm · Reply
  4. Stefan Was your blaa day bad how many of them have you had?What is your favourite animal?
    August 15, 2011 at 10:33 am · Reply
    • corinne Hi Stefan, All writers have sometimes bad days every so often. I have lots of favourite animals, but an especially soft spot for elephants, dogs and goats. Corinne
      August 15, 2011 at 3:17 pm · Reply
  5. Daniel how manybooks have you written?20
    August 15, 2011 at 10:35 am · Reply
    • corinne Hi Daniel, Check on my website for number of books plus I have four more educational ones coming out this year and 5 more picture books over the next couple of years. Keep writing. Corinne
      August 15, 2011 at 3:18 pm · Reply
  6. Mei-ling Hi Corrine Fenton, I really Love all of your books. My FAVOURITE book is QUEENIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So Corrine tell me when you started writing????????????????? I I want ya to reply please FROM YOUR BIGGEST FAN EVERRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!... Mei-ling
    August 15, 2011 at 10:35 am · Reply
    • corinne Hi Mei-Ling. I started writing children's books about 14 years ago and poetry when I was about your age. Thank you. Corinne
      August 15, 2011 at 3:19 pm · Reply
  7. Lily Hi Corinne, What school did you visit last week?, because it could have been us [st clement of rome]. Sorry that blaaaaaaaa!! writing days because i know how you feel. My favourite book that you wrote is Queenie it is such a lovely book [exept in the end:(] Lily
    August 15, 2011 at 10:40 am · Reply
    • corinne Hi Lily, Yes, I know the end of Queenie is sad, but it's also uplifting because I believe her spirit is still at the zoo. I was at St Clement's today, before that I was at the Monash Writing Festival. Corinne
      August 15, 2011 at 3:22 pm · Reply
  8. Alexandra Hi Corinne, I am so Sorry that u had a Blaaaaaaaaa!Writing Day and i hope that u can improve on your writng skills and u don't get another blaaaaaaaaaa! writing day like u did. I love your books my favourite of them all was Queenie it was a wonderful book. Alexandra
    August 15, 2011 at 10:52 am · Reply
    • corinne Hi Alexandra, Thank you very much for your post. See you next month. Corinne
      August 15, 2011 at 3:23 pm · Reply
      • corinne No problem Alexandra.
        August 16, 2011 at 9:32 pm · Reply
  9. dennis HI CORINNE so sorry abuot your blaaaaaaaaaaa day I enjoyed yesterday. dennis
    August 16, 2011 at 12:25 pm · Reply
    • corinne Thanks Dennis. I'm glad you enjoyed yesterday. I did too.
      August 16, 2011 at 9:30 pm · Reply
  10. Gianluca Dear Corinne Well how pleased I am towrite to you. I guess you don't like blaaa days.I love Dog On The Tucker Box.It was a shame to be sick when you vistd us. From Gianluca
    August 16, 2011 at 12:27 pm · Reply
    • corinne Glad you like Don on the Tuckerbox and hope you are feeling better soon.
      August 16, 2011 at 9:29 pm · Reply
  11. Vanessa hello Corinne, i'm so sorry with your blaaaaaaaaaa days, hope you don't have an other blaaaaaaaaaa day from Vanessa :)
    August 16, 2011 at 12:29 pm · Reply
    • corinne Thanks Vanessa. I hope not either.
      August 16, 2011 at 9:28 pm · Reply
  12. stephen :)
    August 16, 2011 at 12:33 pm · Reply
    • corinne Hi Stephen, thanks for the smiley face.
      August 16, 2011 at 9:27 pm · Reply
  13. Ashleigh hi corrine , i am really interested in what a story board even is !!! have u writen a book about betty??? And who hogs the house to them selves ? what does the the para graph "I’ve been complaining lately about not having the house to myself, there seem to always be bodies coming and going, noise, interruptions, ‘too loud’ music or television blaring and, from the young adults – ‘Mum, can you help me with, etc. etc.'"mean? what is does the word "blaaa !" mean ? & ya know it took me a long time to think of these questions.:)
    August 16, 2011 at 12:35 pm · Reply
    • corinne Hi Ashleigh, Good questions. I promise to cover storyboards next time I visit. Hmmm, no, I don't think I've written a book about Betty. Oh, I was just complaining about not having enough time to write and be by myself because it's been very busy at home. Blaaa for me means a 'yuck' day. Keep up your good writing.
      August 16, 2011 at 9:26 pm · Reply
  14. Gianluca Dear Corinne You are the first ever athour I meet and boy I was so excited about it.All of your are books are action pact. Gianluca.
    August 16, 2011 at 12:37 pm · Reply
    • corinne Thanks Gianluca.
      August 16, 2011 at 9:23 pm · Reply
  15. Annie Hi Corrine Thanks for the idea that you gave me for when you came to St Clements Of Rome the idea really helped me. I feel soooooooooo sorry that you had a BLAAAAAAA day! Please email me thanks Annie Walsh
    August 16, 2011 at 6:11 pm · Reply
    • corinne No problem Annie.
      August 16, 2011 at 9:22 pm · Reply
  16. Annie Hi Corrine Whats your 3 favourite books you've writen? Thanks from Annie
    August 16, 2011 at 6:13 pm · Reply
    • corinne Hi Annie, My picture books and some more on the way.
      August 16, 2011 at 9:21 pm · Reply
  17. Alanah :)
    August 17, 2011 at 10:43 am · Reply
  18. James Hi Corrine, I hope one of those blaaaaa days doesn't happen again. best wishes from James
    August 17, 2011 at 10:51 am · Reply
    • corinne Me either James. Thanks.
      August 17, 2011 at 9:38 pm · Reply
  19. michal I don't think that it was a blaaa day for me because it was sports day.I LOVE SPORT.
    August 17, 2011 at 10:59 am · Reply
    • corinne I'm glad you love sport Michal but I also hope you love reading and writing.
      August 17, 2011 at 9:34 pm · Reply
  20. Annie Walsh ok!
    August 18, 2011 at 10:33 am · Reply
  21. Isabella Hi Corrine, I love all your books but my most favourite was Queenie One Elepahants Story. I hope your BLAAAA DAY!!! Was ok at the end of the day Do you run out of ideas when you are going to write another book? FROM YOUR NUMBER 1# AND BIGGEST FAN EVER!!!!!!!!! Isabella!!
    August 18, 2011 at 10:45 am · Reply
    • corinne Hi Isabella. No, I don't ever run out of ideas. They just keep coming . . . thank goodness!!!!
      August 18, 2011 at 4:21 pm · Reply
      • Isabella Hi Corrine, Well thats lucky for you :) Because maybe other authors run out of ideas.
        August 21, 2011 at 7:22 pm · Reply
  22. Isabella :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :)
    August 24, 2011 at 7:05 pm · Reply

Add a comment