Tag Archives: being a writer

Blessings

Sometimes we take things for granted. I think I have had enough lessons in my life not to do that, but sometimes it’s hard not to. I think the pandemic has been an opportunity for some to sit back and take stock of what really matters. Do you like your job? Are you happy in your life? Are you where you want to be?

Since I was young I always thought about work as something I wanted to do and enjoy and not something I had to do but it is not always possible to think that way, I appreciate that. I feel blessed to have found the thing in life that makes me truly happy. To be a writer; to get up every day and do what I love is truly a blessing.

While at the moment that is not paying the bills; writing still is, in that I get to enjoy working with other writers… until the day comes when I can just write 🙂

We have to enjoy life; I took a big wage cut many years ago now for the dream and I have never looked back and never regretted a single day of it. Sure, I seek more financial freedom but I know it will come, and I also count every blessing and enjoy every day of the ride.

If something is not working for you in your life, change it. Do it now.

Be happy.

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Mentoring Bubbles CALLING NOVELISTS

As some of you know I set up some mentoring bubbles at the start of 2021. I felt, with the never-ending lockdown, we writers all needed something. We needed interaction and some of us needed something to kick-start our writing, and to be accountable. A new year is always a perfect time for setting goals. As such, the programme (which I made a super low price) filled up with ten lovely writers and was so successful, in fact, over half of the people carried on with some mentoring once it was done. Now six months on, and I still work with three of them. As the world opened up it seemed fewer people wanted to join but we still had five for the one that soon comes to a close, and at least one of those plans to continue.

So it’s been successful and reflects the need for us all to adapt to the changing demands of our lives, especially at this odd time!

Zoom has changed the way I work, although I run my other editing and of course my own writing alongside it. I now offer a Zoom call to all editing clients post-edit and I think it works better than simply emailing over the answers to their questions. I am a ‘people’ person and so that interaction seems to work very well.

What I have come to realise is how useful it is to work together in this way. Zoom allows for screen share and getting up close and personal to identify both strengths and weaknesses. I look at style but also at the character development, story arc, plotting and so on.

I had planned a week dedicated to the short story with daily group sessions as well as a one-to-one critique but since no one has signed up and we only have a week to go, then I think it must be the way the world is at the moment. But I do have a short story week planned for December and I have a feeling that will be a better time, in fact I already have someone signed up for it.

What I want to focus on right now is ‘The novel bubble’ which NOW seeks writers. This starts in July and is for six novel writers who are working on and have some of or a full draft of a novel, be it first, second, even tenth draft and is stuck. What do they do now? They could come to someone like me for a full critique… or they could consider signing up for some intensive mentoring over 10 weeks. It’s a similar price, in fact, to a full critique on a 100K manuscript but the difference is we look at 10K a week (or thereabouts), with a Zoom call (up to 2 hours weekly) to look at what is working and what is not, with suggestions and guidance. Also weekly group sessions on all aspects of writing and I have a special guest for one of those sessions 🙂 My lovely agent can also offer her advice to you. The cost, up front for this bubble is £599… but you do get a lot for that. If you are interested I do want to know more about YOU, the project, see a SAMPLE and you need to be able to commit to the sessions and the work. It runs JULY 11th to SEPTEMBER 19TH. Group and one-to-one sessions will be at a time and day to suit you all and we can work that out before we get started.

Please email me if you want to do this: writer@debzhobbs-wyatt.co.uk

My hope is that this is the beginning of a productive and an enduring relationship.

So what qualifies me to help you? Firstly, I am one of you. I am a working writer, with a literary agent, and I know how hard it is to get work out there. My agent is working so hard for me now to sell one of my novels… it’s tough out there. But what I do know, from over eleven years of editing for writers and small presses, from mentoring writers, working as a small publisher, core editor for Cornerstones and being a published novelist and short story writer myself, is that it has to come from the heart. It’s about the PASSION. And that passion is what drives us to be better writers. We are all on a learning curve, just at different places. It is tough but what I can assure you is that the learning is reward in itself, and the people who make it, are the ones who NEVER GIVE UP.

If that’s you, get in touch and let’s begin our journey together.

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Zoning Out

The best place to be for a writer is ‘in the zone’. Loosely described this is that place, you know the one — where you lose everything else. All that exists is the story. You lose yourself, the sounds around you, place changes. You create a warped sense of what is real. In fact, the story alone is what is real.

It’s a great place to be.

It’s my belief that the real immersion that comes from being zoned out, allows you to create something with the same power for your reader. If you can create blindness to all but the characters and the story, then you will bring the reader along with you.

That is my mission for the day. What about you?

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Countdown

Late blog this morning as was busy early, but just popping in to say have a great weekend all! The countdown begins and next week I will be posting short extracts of some of my published short stories and maybe novel extracts too on here in my own countdown until Friday!

So watch this space folks!

Happy Friday!

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Looking ahead and making plans

I have said before that life is all the richer for plans and things to look forward to. Certainly Christmas, for me, brings that feeling although I appreciate it is not the same for everyone. For some, this can be a challenging and sad time of year. I am lucky that I am blessed with many lovely Christmases, although there is still a tinge of sadness as we lose people along the way. I remember one Christmas, a few weeks after Lee died when we still went through the motions of making a Christmas, I was with his family… but it wasn’t the same. Perhaps for them, it will never be the same, for all of us in many ways.

But I still manage to see this as a magical time when I think about people in my life and buy gifts. For me, it’s in the choosing the right thing I find my greatest happiness. We have just about finished the shopping now! Yay! Sunday I will be at a candlelight carol service where Dad sings and I have been asked to do a biblical reading.

I should finish my editing early next week and look forward to a few days just before Christmas of seeing friends and doing some of my own writing! I am also making plans for my work for 2017. I WILL have success and I WILL sell my house and it will be the very best year EVER so far!

So what are your plans?

2017

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Feeling Fine

Just a quick post this morning and apologies there was no post on Friday, the morning kind of ran away with itself somehow!

Had a fun weekend enjoying the Gym Christmas party… and tonight we have the writing groups’ Christmas meal! I think I need to go to the gym even more with all this food and wine! Well… soon be back to normal I am sure!

I will share some photos of my talented writing group tomorrow!

 

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Love it

I am working hard and I am ahead of the crazy deadlines I have looming this side of Christmas! Yay! So yesterday I popped to a local town with the man in the afternoon for a spot of Christmas shopping! I hate it when the shops are too busy so mid-week works well and we plan to do the same next week and finish the shopping!

What is your favourite thing about Christmas? For me it’s the magic, the expectation and the choosing of just the right gift for someone!

Happy Thursday folks!

Think Positive

 

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Being The Writer

One of the things we writers have to work on is confidence when it comes to sharing our work. The first time I did this was at a writing group meeting. I had just joined the year or so after I lost Lee. So personally I have to say I was lacking in my usual drive and some of that came from grief. Some of that also came from never really knowing if the writing was any good. But in the end I did read out, I was receptive to feedback and that in the end led to success.

I think the first time I had to read at the launch of my first publishing success (Making Changes, Bridge House Publishing, 2008) I was pretty scared because now there were a lot more people than in the writing group meetings. But you know, only you know how your work should really sound and therefore you know how it ought to be read.

The more successes I had, the more I was able to share and read my work until that day when my novel was launched and there was I having to read (just me in the spotlight) and in an African Amercian accent don’t ya know! Now I do enjoy reading and have done so many times and with a microphone! The more we do it, the easier it becomes. But I know one or two writers who still suffer with nerves, but they are also at the beginning of the journey and it will get better 🙂

So let me share some photos of the fab writers who read from Baubles and The Best of CafeLit at the launch in London this past Saturday… and brilliant they all were… I have not used the word brilliant for a long time I have to say!!!

 

Gallery… not in the order they read…

chris

Chris Bowles

dianne-stadhams

Dianne Stadhams

margaret-bulleyment

Margaret Bulleyment

mary-bevanMary Bevan

mike-olley

Mike Olley

paula-r-c-readman

Paula R C Readman

penny-dale

Penny Dale

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Waiting for the guests…

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Buy our books!

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Don’t be scared, Paula…

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Yvette Gyles greeting writer, Clare Weze

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What is a collection of writers called?

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Dad… with writer Elizabeth…

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Writing Tweets and sharing tips!

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Thanks to all those who came to celebrate the launch of our books!

And the theme for next time is Gliterary Tales! Opens for submissions January 1, closes March 31st

www.bridgehousepublishing.co.uk 

Also check out www.cafelit.co.uk always open for stories!

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Let’s get Festive

I always know that Christmas is finally on the way when I download my Jacqui Lawson Advent Calendar to my desktop and find myself in a Victorian festive scene. Day 2 decorating the snowman was FUN!

So as I gear up for another working day and the launch of the new Bridge House and CafeLit anthologies in London tomorrow I will give you my snowman!

Guaranteed to make you smile!

snowperson_1

Looking forward to seeing some of you tomorrow!

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Colleagues

One of the downfalls of working for yourself, from home, is a distinct lack of colleagues to bounce ideas off. Thankfully I have a lot of writer friends. But it is rather nice that I do take some of my work from Cornerstones, the big literary consultancy group, and last night I got to meet the team at last!

I had a consult with a client who I had worked for via Cornerstones and so I managed to arrange my meeting with him first at the Grange Hotel near Fenchurch Street for some interesting discussion. Then I headed over to Hammersmith and the Brook Green Hotel to meet with some of the other Cornerstones editors and the team I have been emailing for the past three years.

Always nice to put faces to names!

Helen was telling us how the agency started with six of them in a room and now they have sixty editors as part of the team and this year launched Cornerstones USA where they have sixteen editors.

Check them out! http://cornerstones.co.uk/uk/

So I kicked off the Christmas season with drinks with the team and this Saturday we have the launch of the Bridge House Anthology Baubles and The Best of CafeLit 5. And Gill and I have the one payment we ever get from BH that comes in the form of our annual Christmas meal afterwards. Whoop!

People last night were asking me about the private work I do and the way I built my business, because in truth most of my work is private, although I have done a lot more with Cornerstones over the past two years and am currently mentoring two writers and have two novels to work on this side of Christmas for them! I love to tell people how I feel like I created the ideal job and I am so lucky to do what I love every day. I knew when I was first invited to  work for Cornerstones that it was a good fit as their in-depth and very detailed analysis was exactly the kind of thing I was already doing; so all I had to do was the same kind of reports but on Cornerstones letter-headed paper and change some of my headings. Now, in fact, I use the same ones in my reports (having now added a useful section on ‘Marketability’ so where work sits in the marketplace) and so I don’t even have to change headings, only the paper, when I work on one of their reports. The nice thing is the work is proofed and checked by them before it goes to the client. You are paying more to work through them; they do have a vetting process and they do scout for leading agents, so they can really help to get you noticed.

There are a lot of people out there doing what I do and if you really want good feedback on your work then do check then out or come to me direct. If you’re serious it pays to have one detailed critique at least once in your life. What thrills me is that people keep coming back to me 🙂 And I see the people who have success; the ones who were prepared to put in the work — time and time again. The message has to be: DON’T GIVE UP.

Have a great day everyone!

Love what youdo 2

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