Are you a gongoozler in your life?

Valerie Khoo and Alison Tait (from the podcast “So you want to be a Writer”) issued a word of the week challenge the other day. Use “gongoozler” in a blog post somewhere.

So how does gongoozler fit into a blog on living a conscious, joyful life? Tips on life, loss and my literary dreams. It fits very easily. Gongoozler means an idle spectator. And if you know me, or have read any of my blogs, you know that I consciously gave up being a gongoozler a few years ago. I decided enough is enough, time to learn to feel and heal, no more letting someone else drive, or working myself to death for someone else’s dream. I made a choice to change, to be a fully committed participant in my own life, and to follow my own dreams of writing.

A writer’s dream

When I think of the dreams I have for myself in this life, writing is still way up there. I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was a little girl. Fast forward five and a bit decades—and I am a published author. Yay! However, Book #1 took me about seven months (and twenty years) to write. This was Breathing While Drowning: One Woman’s Quest for Wholeness, my memoir of my return to a vibrant life after the death of my young daughter Jacqui Bree. Taking twenty years to write a book is not going to give me a writer’s life. It’s really only dipping my toe in the water. I need to put my participator in top gear and put the gongoozler firmly back on to her seat by the canal to watch the boats go by (this is where the word gongoozler originated by the way).

Some idle water watching

Book #2

So, next week, I’m going to write Book #2 in 4 days—seriously. What the? Yep, I’m heading to Turtle Bay in Hawaii with Strack and the other Veronica, and I’m going to write my second book, and maybe even start my third at a writing retreat. Exciting, ridiculous, and maybe a bit of both. We’re attending a Tom Bird Write your Book in a Weekend workshop. And I have no idea what I’m going to write, nor does Strack or the other Veronica, or anybody else attending. It all happens at the retreat, and we are in Tom’s safe hands.

So what’s it all about?

This workshop is part of my coaching program this year with the Groover’s Awaken Your Impact. We’ve been preparing by attending some of Tom Bird’s free writing workshops online, and reading his book Write to Heal which has a whole stack of exercises to do. The exercises help you move a whole lot of stuff out of your life to make space for the book(s). I’m all on board with de-cluttering my past rubbish, sort of like Marie Kondo for the heart and spirit. It should be no surprise to anyone that I had plenty more stuff to let go. So I should have stacks of space for writing now. I don’t think there will be a single gongoozler in sight.

Watch this space and I’ll keep you up to date with my writing progress. For those of you who know I am still a bit work focused, yes I will be spending the following week as a tourist, seeing more of Hawaii.

Not a gongoozler in sight

Now it’s time to ask yourself…

Are you a gongoozler in your own life?

If the answer is yes, what small step could you take to change and become a participant again? When was the last time you did something fun, just for you? Maybe it’s time to do that today.

And, by the by, if you do want to be a writer, Val and Al’s podcast is a must. And even if you don’t want to be a writer, they are hilarious and entertaining. I love that their banter is in Strine (that’s Australian English in case you didn’t know), and they talk about things and places I’m familiar with – though it does get a bit Sydney-centric naturally. They also have stacks of great information on the practicalities of writing and they interview some fabulous authors. So, head over to and have a listen. You may end up like I do, skipping other podcasts to get to Val & Al’s next episode.

Don’t just sit there now. Go and do something.

Thanks for reading.
And if you’d rather listen to me read the blog, head over to SoundCloud HERE.


If you’d like to read my first book, Breathing While Drowning: One Woman’s Quest for Wholeness, before the next one is released, gift yourself a copy HERE. And get cracking ‘cos the next one is coming soon.

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