Liv Hambrett

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Writing News

A Terrible (Lifelong) Journal Habit

I am a hoarder. I keep anything. I keep ticket stubs and Christmas cards and pictures ripped from magazines. I also, it appears have this thing with journals. I write in about three pages of them, forget about it and then move onto another journal. In fact the only journals I have ever filled were the ones I wrote in religiously while travelling around the world nearly 6 years ago. They are the hens teeth of my journal world.

Yesterday Mum and I trawled through about 8 boxes of books, magazines, notes, folders, essays, manuscripts and journals in the final act of this packing epic. Nothing, bar a few books, is left of mine in storage. The last 25 years have now been sent to friends, Papua New Guinea, a Lifeline store in Manly and the tip, the rest snugly packed into boxes and a couple of suitcases, ready to make the journey across the pond. And let me tell you; it better be a while before I need to pack for anything.

But back to the journals. In among yesterday’s boxes I found two books from way back when – my creative writing and poetry exercise books from Year 5. The former contained about three complete stories and a vast array of opening paragraphs, hastily jotted descriptions and unfinished business. The book itself was only about half full. This habit, this dreadful, note-taking, jotting, unfinished business habit seems to be something I have been cultivating for quite some time.

But I did find a finished poem about Australia. I don’t know where I’d heard the word ‘wrath’ before at ten years old, but clearly I enjoyed its impact. I also think I had absorbed my mother’s environmental plights …



A dry, dusty landscape

sprinkled with reddish-brown sand.

The sky covering it like a blue cape

this is Australia, our land.

Few rainfalls quench its thirst

drought wraps the land with its wrath.

This is the country that deserves to be first

this is Australia, our land.

As night and day pass

we see the land that beauty used to own

dissolve to ruins that ever last.

So is this Australia, is this our land.




  1. this is lemonade

    7 February, 2013 at 10:46 am

    The talent was already evident at 10 years of age 🙂 I love journals. Haven’t done it consistently for years now. Tried to resurrect the old habit but failed. Intend to try again this year, slightly different focus, but using apps/online just isn’t the same. Paper and pen is the best 🙂

    1. Liv

      7 February, 2013 at 11:07 am

      I am an awful journal keeper. I am not kidding, I found perhaps 20 journals that had about 4 pages of text in them. Am cracking down on self, FILL JOURNALS BEFORE STARTING NEW ONES.

      I may just pop up the story about me becoming a butterfly … it’s a classic …

  2. Crissouli

    11 February, 2013 at 9:07 am

    A talented 10 year old. I loved writing from the moment I learnt how… can’t imagine ever doing away with pen and paper… long live the journal, the notebooks, the diaries…

    1. Liv

      12 February, 2013 at 7:03 pm

      Just unpacked a few and cannot wait to crack their spines. There is nothing better than a blank notebook.

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