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  • Holly Brunnbauer

The Wrap-Up: OCTOBER 2022

Updated: Jun 28, 2023

Hello, lovely!

What's it like being a stay-at-home writer? Let me spill the tea.

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Want more? Follow my writing journey on TikTok (@hollybrunnbauer).

A woman typing on a laptop with a coffee and lots of plants beside her.


Writing routine

Do you wake up early to write? As a mama of two young kids—who take turns testing my limits of sleep deprivation—I can't think of anything more awful. However, if I really, really want to be an author (which I do), then maybe this is a sacrifice I have to make to get some traction.

I'm now a member of the '5:30 am Club'. It's very exclusive.

To my surprise, I enjoy it. The extra hour all by myself, getting some words done, is a game-changer. If I'm not up for writing my novel (brain no worky this early), I commit to doing 'authory things', like preparing this blog post.


I've gone over to the dark side—TikTok. To be fair, I'd joined the platform, and danced my arse off, a few years ago during lockdown. It's a whole other world now.

Why am I miming lyrics and adding witty (I hope) text overlays? Because that's what we aspiring authors have to do now, apparently. It's not enough to write. We must balance balls on our noses like trained seals.

No, no, that's not why. BookTok is driving book sales. For those who don't know, BookTok is a subcommunity that creates content about their love of reading.

Anyway, it's HUGE. So much so, that stores like Big W have a 'BookTok Recommended Reads' section, Kmart has 'As seen on TikTok' stickers slapped across popular novels and Dymocks have a #BookTok category to peruse.

Are you on TikTok? Say G'day - @hollybrunnbauer.


Editing and Proofreading Services

Commas are the bane of my existence, but not Jo's from Nurturing Words. She's a grammar and punctuation enthusiast.

I've been not-so-secretly stalking her on Instagram where she shares mind-blowing tips.

That's why I hired Jo to spruce up the first three chapters of my novel. Generally, when you submit your manuscript to publishers and agents, they ask you to send the opening chapters. Jo helped get mine in tip-top shape.

Jo was ultra professional and super speedy. I highly recommend her services. But get in quick. She's popular and booked out months in advance.

Psst ... The kind of editing services Jo offers (line and copyediting + proofreading), is the last step in the writing process. Book this in after you've ironed out all the pesky plot holes and killed your darlings.


Genevieve Novak's debut novel, No Hard Feelings, is clever & witty. It makes me want to delete everything I've ever written because it'll never be that good.

I was a little hesitant to read this because I'm not a fan of the sad girl trope. Thankfully, the cover and the first page won me over. Protagonist Penny is the funniest, miserable person you'll ever read.

Penny's in that stage of life (late twenties) where everyone is ticking off the invisible life list— weddings, kick-arse careers, etc. Whereas Penny's just stuck. Stuck in a soul-sucking job. Stuck with a micromanager. Stuck in an unfulfilling relationship. And stuck with friends who've outgrown her.

Penny's trying to sort her shit out. She really is. But the universe is plotting against her. Every time she's on a roll, she's taken down a notch. What's the point in trying?

The only good thing in her life is her housemate, Leo, who fills his nights (and bed) with a conga line of beautiful women. Then they both go and blow it all up.

Can Penny ever be truly happy, or has she been in self-destruct mode for too long?


Remember how we bought land in regional Victoria? It finally settled and plans for our off-grid home are underway.

Spoiler alert - it'll have a library.

I'm not sure why hubby keeps calling it a study and the draftswoman wrote office on the plans. It has a 4-metre-long bookcase, people. It's a library! I'll be like Belle from Beauty and the Beast. Minus the whole being kept under duress and pestered by singing candlesticks.

House plans aren't finalised yet. There are lots of decisions making my head spin. How many linen cupboards are too many? Sigh ... adulting is hard.


What the heck am I writing about? Here's a sneak peek of my two rom coms.


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