top of page

Rainy days and Saturdays

… sometimes get me down. Particularly if I’m stuck with my writing: devoid of inspiration, tired at the prospect or rewriting a major thread, or just running out of good or evocative words.

Writing Group starts at 2 pm every Saturday and it looms ahead of me.

This week has been exhausting at work and I have nothing left in the tank. But because 2 pm looms, I know I have to sit at my laptop and just start typing.

I review last week’s criticisms from the Group:

  • Ros suggests I should stop here so that the reader can digest the import of what I’ve written. Therefore, I cut short the chapter and give it an alternative ending.

  • Meg is not really convinced by the scenario I have written … Will she be more convinced by the rewritten product? I have to try.

  • Jim suggests my main character wouldn’t be languishing in grief for as long or as melodramatically as I have portrayed, constantly ‘tearing up’ … Yes, he may be right. I will temper the histrionics of my main man. After all, he is not a 21st century young lad but belongs well and truly in the early-19th century.   

This is the discipline of engaging with the Writing Group week by week. The suggestions come from people who are better than me at recognising the need for a dramatic point left hanging, to leave some work for the reader to do. Others who are better at depicting emotional anguish and pain. People who have learnt how to use pauses and hiatuses to good effect. People who have been following my story over many many months, and who know it well and suggest, Nah, that won’t work!

The rewriting, the reformulating, the retelling will all come my way again at 2 pm … and how fortunate I am as a budding author to have such rich input!

Fiona D'Souza

Copyright: text - Fiona D'Souza; photos - Wix; mfsprout.

Posts on this Sydney School of Arts & Humanities blog ( are published to showcase the work of emerging writers who meet weekly to workshop their short stories, memoir or novels.


The posts comprise some of the responses written in 10 minutes before our meetings.

If you'd like to join any of our groups, contact us at


Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page