Blog

Copywriting, Writing

CSIRO ECOS blog: Oil and Gas Infrastructure

An offshore oil platform seen from shore

I’m really pleased to share another post that I’ve written for CSIRO.

Like the Future Seas 2030 post that I wrote last month, this was a piece of writing commissioned by the Oceans and Atmosphere Division. It even involved speaking to one of the same researchers – 2020 Tasmanian Australian of the Year Dr Jess Melbourne-Thomas. Continue reading “CSIRO ECOS blog: Oil and Gas Infrastructure”

Copywriting, Writing

CSIRO ECOS blog: Future Seas 2030

A close up image of waves in the ocean

If you follow any of my social media channels you’ll know that I absolutely love the ocean. I was born on a small island in Scotland, and now live on a small island in Australia. I’m never happier than when I’m surrounded by water.

I was thrilled a few weeks ago to receive a commission from CSIRO’s Oceans and Atmosphere division to write a piece for the ECOS blog on the Future Seas 2030 initiative. Continue reading “CSIRO ECOS blog: Future Seas 2030”

Copywriting

Stories from the Huon

A screenshot of the Huon Valley website

Huon Valley Council have launched a fantastic new website recently that is packed with information about the area. The Huon is one of our favourite spots in Tasmania, it’s absolutely beautiful, but between the terrible bush fires last year and the huge drop in tourism because of COVID19 restrictions this year, the area has been doing it pretty tough. Continue reading “Stories from the Huon”

Reading

12 great reads… that have nothing to do with COVID19

A flatlay image of a desk with the caption '12 great reads that have nothing to do with COVID19'

I’ll start this blog post in the same way that I have started almost every email in recent weeks: “How are you going? I hope you’re keeping well in these strange days.”

I don’t know about you, but I’m finding it essential at the moment to take time away from the news cycle. Although it’s important to stay up date with what’s happening, it’s all too easy to get sucked into endless scrolling of updated figures and bad news stories from around the world – and that’s not good for anyone’s wellbeing!

There have been days during the lockdown when I’ve really enjoyed getting stuck into a good book. But there have been other days when I’ve only had the attention span for essays and features. I’ve been keeping track of the best ones so that I can share them with you.

I hope some of these keep you engaged and entertained. Continue reading “12 great reads… that have nothing to do with COVID19”

Reading

Reading as self-care

a blue book on wooden table with the text 'reading as self-care: what to read when the world feels overwhelming'

I’ve been meaning for months to write a blog post about the benefits of reading as self-care. For obvious reasons, now seems as good a time as any.

Reading has always been my go-to activity.

Worried about something and need to know more about it? Read a book.

Worried about something and need to distract myself from it? Read a book.

Need to shut out the white noise of the world and remind myself how to focus on one thing at a time? Read a book.

Heaps of time to kill – at home, in a waiting room, while travelling? Read a book.

It has been clear from watching the stress levels rise across my social media feeds and in-person communities over the last few weeks that not everyone has tuned in to the life-changing magic of books yet.

That’s reasonable. We are living in exceptional times – for those working in frontline jobs, on casual contracts, or as freelancers, there are financial pressures that accompany the COVID-19 pandemic that can’t just be wished away. For those personally affected by the virus, there are even more pressing things to think about.

But for every one of us, for our own wellbeing and mental health, it’s important to have a way of taking the occasional break from the strangeness of it all – from the pressure, the panic, and the 24-hour news cycle. Books are one of the most accessible ways of doing that. Continue reading “Reading as self-care”

Feature Writing

Guardian Feature on Tasmania in Winter

A red laser light installation at Dark Mofo winter festival in Tasmania

I had a feature published at Guardian Australia over the weekend: a response to the news that Dark Mofo 2020 has been cancelled, and an encouragement to continue supporting Tasmanian small businesses, arts organisations and restaurants even in light of that cancellation. Continue reading “Guardian Feature on Tasmania in Winter”

Reading

What are the best books about Tasmania?

A stack of books with the caption 'What are the best books about Tasmania?'

For a relatively small state, Tasmania has a disproportionately high number of good writers.

From emerging writers like Erin Hortle and Ben Walter, whose work you can often read in contemporary Australian lit journals, to crime writers like David Owen, historians like James Boyce, and award-winning novelists like Amanda Lohrey and Christopher Koch, there is a wonderful diversity of styles, themes and genres.

There’s also an abundance of talented children’s writers and illustrators in Tasmania, including Coral Tulloch, Christina Booth, Emily Conolan, and Kate Gordon. Continue reading “What are the best books about Tasmania?”

Copywriting, Feature Writing, freelance life, Writing

February 2020: Back to work!

View of desk from above with caption 'Back to work'!

After a long and lovely summer holiday which included a trip to Hawaii for a family wedding – lucky me ­– I’m finally back at my desk.

Even after six years living in Tasmania, I haven’t quite adjusted to taking a break in January. For all my friends in the Northern Hemisphere, the turn of the year marks that moment when they start to feel energised with new ambitions and resolutions; whereas here it simply marks the start of a month off.

That means when February does roll around, and school goes back at last, it can feel like there’s an awful lot to catch up on. Continue reading “February 2020: Back to work!”

Copywriting, Feature Writing, freelance life, Writing

My freelance year: the good, the bad and the ugly

black background with caption 'My freelance year: the good, the bad and the ugly' by Ruth Dawkins

Another year just about done!

2019 has been a very busy one here, so I thought I’d finish it by sharing a quick post with you about the good, the bad, and the ugly of my year in work. I am a big fan of being transparent about the highs and lows of freelancing, so that others who are considering making that jump have a realistic sense of what it entails. Continue reading “My freelance year: the good, the bad and the ugly”

Reading

My Top Reads of 2019

Tall stack of books with caption 'My top reads of 2019' by Ruth Dawkins

Have I mentioned before how much I enjoy reading? I think I might have! Once… or perhaps twice.

2019 has been an absolute cracker of a year for good books. My targeted approach of only buying and borrowing books that are on my wishlist – rather than lucky dipping from the sale table – seems to paying dividends. I’ve not encountered many duds this year at all.

We still have a couple of weeks to go, but my reading stats for 2019 are:

Books read: 117

Books started but abandoned before the end: 6

(I don’t like criticising books publicly because reading is such a personal thing, but message me on social media or email me if you want to know what they were!) Continue reading “My Top Reads of 2019”