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Ubud Writers & Readers Festival 2018

When in Bali …

Selamat siang! Good afternoon from Ubud.

It’s takes a few days to acclimatise to Bali after arriving from Melbourne. The heat, humidity and hustle ambushed me the moment I stepped off the plane. The only way to deal with it is to go with the flow.

For years I’ve been looking longingly at the Ubud Writers Festival program, telling myself that one day I’ll go. As with many things that have happened for me this year, the universe conspired and here I am. As a way of really immersing myself, I put my name down as a volunteer.

The festival, now in its fifteenth year, opened with a prayer to Ganesh (remover of obstacles – pictured above) and Saraswati (goddess of wisdom), followed by Balinese dancing. By then I was starting to feel in the flow of how things work here in Ubud.

Isobel in action

I was very happy to be put on the ‘workshop’ team, which meant that yesterday I sat in on a three-hour workshop with Isobelle Carmody at a glorious resort on the river, looking over rice fields.

My biggest take away from the workshop (a reminder) is that as creatives we need to separate the creative process from the ‘business’ of writing, which is the publishing and marketing. Second take away was if YOU are bored with your writing, your reader will be, too. This means that you need to do something different.

Aside from the fantastic workshop, I asked for a tour of the venue, which is now on my list for possible writing retreats in 2019. I was happy to share a car back down the mountain because I had to take a motorbike to get there and I thought I was going to die!

Ubud really is a special place. The people are beautiful inside and out and very hospitable. The food is spectacular (don’t try to detox) and the location inspires creativity.

When I return I’ll write a full review but right now I’m off the find a ride up the mountain to my next workshop called Hidden Histories.