I’m running a new series of guest posts throughout 2015: Fetish Friday. Don’t get all sweaty in the pants—I’m going back to an older definition of the word, and asking artists to show us something that helps them with the ritual of creation, some part of their surroundings—physical or mental—that eases the path into the creative state, whether it be a location, a piece of music, person, picture, a doohickey, whatnot, curio or ornament without which the creative process would be a whole lot more difficult.

This week, we say a hearty hello to Queensland author, academic, golden child and all-round Queen of Pleasantness, Doctor Kim Wilkins:

For me, it’s tea.
I know writers are supposed to love coffee, but I can’t stand the taste of it and it gives me the jitters. But I have never sat down to write without a cup of tea beside me.
I like Assam leaves the best: strong, sweet, and malty. But it’s not just the drink, you understand. It’s the ritual. I prepare the pot, I spoon in the leaves, I boil the water then let it cool for ten seconds (so it doesn’t scorch the leaves), then I brew the tea while I prepare my writing space. Light a candle, put some suitable music on, quickly clean up any dust and cat hair that might distract me while I’m writing.
Then I pour my tea into the appropriate cup (I have several I use in the same order every day; the one in the picture is for my second cup, when I first start work), and I sit down to write. I drink every drop.
Sitting down with my tea next to me, I know the day has started. My brain focuses, and I’m off. Preparing my tea is preparing to write.

Kim Wilkins has published 26 books and is translated into 17 languages. She is a senior lecturer in writing at the University of Queensland. She writes under her own name and under the pseudonym Kimberley Freeman.

Are you a creative artist? Fancy joining in and letting us know about that special item, object, location or cosmic state of being at the heart of your creative process? There’s always room for another lunatic in the asylum: email me and make your most excited Horshack noise. 


  1. Kim, I'm the same. Although I'm a swinger (enamoured of both tea and coffee-it's the heat), I brew the drink, light the candle and clear the desk. So soothing.


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