#Issue 3

Scratchthat Newsletter

After an exciting Launch Week, Scratchthat’s Issue 2 was finally released last Friday, but that doesn’t mean the fun is anywhere near over! Until the next issue, Scratchthat will be releasing bundles of nice surprises, collaborations, extras and all-round goodies for our readers. Make sure to keep up with Scratchthat on social media for exclusive content you won’t get anywhere else.
 

In this week’s newsletter, the team wanted to share some persistent vibes so you can keep going, keep strong and keep creating. Get ready to preserve your creative energy; this week’s content is all about keeping momentum and blasting forward into the weeks ahead.

Enjoy,

from Amber and the rest of Scratchthat’s newsletter team.

The Truth About Persistence
Izzy Lamprey

As writers, we put a lot of expectations on ourselves: that we need to use universal themes and profound messages; that we must find a publisher with a six-figure deal; and that we need to be persistently writing.
Persistence is not an inherent trait. It’s a learnt one. One that needs to be developed over time with consistent effort. In metaphoric terms, it’s a muscle. One that needs to be flexed regularly otherwise it becomes weak. However, I feel like there is this belief that if you don’t work on 1000 words a day, seven days a week, then you’re not trying to be persistent.

We all have very different ways of writing. The process will vary between each creator. Some people will chip away hundreds over a period of time, while others will go through thousands of words within one sitting. I know I personally am the latter and can knock out 3000 words in one sitting but have an awfully long recharge period where I can’t force myself into writing. However, once you figure out your writing style and how you do write, then working on persistence is the logical next step.

The first thing to remember is to set yourself reasonable goals. Set them low and make them easily achievable (for now). If you are a chipper, then you would try to work towards larger word counts over time. If you’re a bulldozer like myself, it would be a matter of planning and preparing for those big sessions to get the most optimised work done.

And if you happen to miss one of these goals then don’t beat yourself up over it. Your goals will always be different from others, and you can always go back and attempt them again, there’s no one stopping you other than yourself.
Finally, and most importantly, don’t overwork yourself. If you overuse that writing muscle, you’re going to strain or pull something from improper use. Take care of yourself and know your limits and what you can realistically achieve.

Writing persistently isn’t about continuous writing, it’s about consistent writing.

Creative Blooming:
Photography by Kate Simons and Illustrations by Sofija Piletic

 

Keeping Creative

Jasmine Greene

There’s no greater feeling for a writer than when their creative juices are flowing. That thrill of being in the zone, churning out page after page without even breaking a sweat. But staying creative is not always easy. Contrary to popular belief, being busy is not the only cause for a creative block. Sometimes your imagination just fizzles out and you suddenly find yourself staring at a blank page, feeling discouraged as if all passion for your craft has vanished. 

So how do we avoid this? Well, just as there is no universal cause for a loss of creativity, there is also no one way to stay creatively strong. You might find you need a routine to get you motivated, setting aside the same amount of time every day to write in a space that is both comfortable and familiar. Or maybe you are most creative in the face of change and will instead take inspiration from new and exciting situations. Perhaps you thrive in nostalgia; think back to that time when you were at your happiest, your most creative—what inspired you then? The answer may provide valuable insight that will help you achieve this state again in the future. 

Above all else, the most important thing is to just start writing. This isn’t always as easy as it sounds, but it is an essential step in getting your creativity back on track. Sometimes when the last thing you feel like doing is writing, it’s easier to tell yourself that you will do it later. We like to convince ourselves that we are waiting for inspiration to strike when really, we are just procrastinating. The fact is, there will never be a ‘right moment’ to get creative. Not everything you write will be a work of genius—you’d be superhuman if it were—but don’t let the fear of failure keep you from trying at all. 

Don’t be afraid to reach out for support when you need it, to try new things if you feel your current routine isn’t working, and to make time to pursue the ideas you are most passionate about. It’s all about finding what works for you. So just keep at it. As that age-old saying goes, rekindling one’s creativity is a marathon, not a sprint. 

Mixed Bag Writing Prompts
 Perseverance Pops - With Adam Osborne

Write a list of things that keep you going in these constantly shifting times.

If any of them jump out and inspire you, develop them into a longer piece or poem.

It’s okay if this is self-indulgent or just for you –think of it as a warm-up!
Write about a time you were truly scared and how you came out the other side.

This will show the boldness and vulnerability that people crave in writing.

You'll be surprised how many people might relate to the experience.
 
Try writing in a style or form you're not comfortable with.

If you're a poet, try a piece of flash fiction.

If you're a genre writer, try a nonfiction piece. Persevere with it, the results may surprise you.

 


The Allen and Unwin Prize is Open!
 
It’s that time of year again: the Allen and Unwin Prize is now open for all current undergraduate Creative Writing students. One of Australia’s most esteemed publishers, Allen and Unwin, has partnered with QUT and ScratchThat to offer a tempting prize for winners: a meeting with one of their senior editors to discuss, edit and explore your future writing aspirations, and a bonus student study stipend of $200. And as a sweet extra? Your piece will be published in ScratchThat!
 
To join, all you need to do is complete an application form and submit one of your short pieces of Poetry, fiction, or non-fiction, up to 2500 words. To see more on the prize and to download the application form, check out the information page here.
 
Happy writing, and good luck!
 

Persistent Octopus by Jade Davis 

That's all for today. Keep strong, and keep your eye out for more tasty morsels from ScratchThat!