Over the last few weeks I’ve been commenting on this blog about all the wonderful and clever things I did on my May Gibbs Fellowship.

Now I thought I’d share with you something I did that was dumb – well it wasn’t so much dumb as naive and inexperienced.

I wanted to share it on my blog, so that other writers don’t fall into the trap.

At home I plant a lot of trees

I’m afraid I am NOT one of those writers who can edit ‘on screen’. This means I have to print my manuscripts out to edit them – and for this I sincerely apologise to the trees, but in my defence, I do plant a lot of new ones – trees that is.

While I was doing my May Gibbs, I somehow managed to write 56,000 words – the equivalent of a lot of pages. In order to start my edits, I had to print it out.

During my Fellowship I was also contacted by my publisher about doing edits on another ms I had submitted to them – and this meant printing out another lot of pages.

While I was away in Brisbane, I also bought quite a few books – for research purposes you understand?

Now all this added paper ended up weighing quite a lot – in fact a lot more than I anticipated.

So when I got to the airport I discovered my luggage was 20 kilograms over the allowed weight. For this, Qantas charged me $170 – and they weren’t very friendly about it either. I’d anticipated paying for excess luggage, but not that much! Instead of packing my manuscripts and books in my suitcase, I would have been better off buying another plane ticket and having them on the seat beside me – it would have been cheaper.

At the time, it was too late to do any thing about it – I was at the airport about to catch the plane home to my family, so I wasn’t keen to have any delays.

But when I got back I did a bit of research and discovered this:

When I'm away I buy a lot of books

If I had sent my excess luggage via Australia Post, it would have cost me $76. I would have had to split it up into 5kg packages, but being books and paper, that would not have been too difficult.

I assure you I am not a particular fan of Australia Post and I promise I am not in discussions with them about a possible PR role. BUT if you’re a travelling writer, I suggest you check out the Australia Post option.

It would have saved me a lot of money.

Happy writing and travelling.