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The time I waste online when I could be creating stories!

I don’t generally waste time online. But I have found I am easily distracted from the task of writing by my research. So many aspects of the world of early nineteenth century Sydney poke and prod at me, enticing me to wander down various rabbit holes.

For instance, what were the buttons on British officers' jackets made of? What sorts of day dresses did convict women wear as they worked. How many people slept in one two-room home in the Rocks? What were the customs at Irish funerals and wakes?

All these topics are fascinating in themselves and very necessary for me to research if my novel is to read authentically. The difficulty is to stop myself running too far and following too many rabbits as they dash down holes. The challenge is to finally do something, write something, with what I have found.

Running after rabbits down holes is an easy distraction from the real business of writing, which is hard. Sitting in front of a blank screen can be frightening. Will there be anything to show for my time spent there? I never know until I begin to type.

Fiona D'Souza

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


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.


These posts comprise some of the responses written in just 10 minutes as a warm up to the meetings.

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