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Coping With A Crisis In Confidence

Coping With A Crisis In Confidence

Back in 2015, I chatted to Glynis Scrivens, author of  about those moments in a writer’s life when we have a crisis of confidence. While many people experience these crises, whatever job they do, writers in particular are more susceptible to these moments of doubt, because we tend not to have that team of work colleagues to help us put things into perspective. It’s therefore extremely useful to have mechanisms for coping with these confidence-crushing moments.

Selling Out, Or Surviving?

Selling Out, Or Surviving?

It was a moment of dichotomy. I’d just been offered a job. An employed job. It was my first job interview for twenty years and they offered me the position. (Clearly, they were desperate!) I was going back into the world of employment, albeit on a part-time basis. But the euphoria was tempered with guilt. After all this time working as a full-time self-employed writer, was I selling out on the dream? Would this make me less of a writer?…

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The (Foreign) Cheque Is In The Post

The (Foreign) Cheque Is In The Post

I’ve just received a payment that I’ve been chasing since June 2017 (for a piece originally written in 2016). What made this slightly more challenging was that the publication was based overseas. Here in the UK we have the Late Payments Act that allows us to charge interest on overdue payments. And if the worst comes to the worst we always have the small claims court to fall back on. But when it comes to foreign customers, things are a…

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Media Kits

Media Kits

JK Rowling has one. Lee Child has one. You should have one too. Simon Whaley explains what to put in your Media Kit.   Eric James is a children’s author, word tickler and champion asparagus thrower. He’s sold over 2.5 million books in the UK, USA, Canada and Australia. How do I know all of this? Because he’s put all this information, and more, in his Media Kit on his website (www.ericjames.co.uk). When it comes to the business of writing,…

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The Joy of Tax

The Joy of Tax

It’s that time of year again. A new tax year. (Well, it is for me, as I follow HMRC’s tax year, which I like to think keeps things simpler.) While it’s also a good time to review your work over the last year, I also tend took look back a bit further … ten years, to be precise.

How Far Will An Idea Fly?

How Far Will An Idea Fly?

One of the most exciting things about writing, is that you never know how far your ideas will fly. Fifteen years ago, on 10th April 2003, I submitted the full manuscript of One Hundred Ways For A Dog To Train Its Human to a publishing director at Hodder & Stoughton. Two weeks later I had my first book contract. Last week, I received my latest royalty statement, for sales up to 31st December 2017. Lifetime sales, in all formats (print…

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Daydreaming is Good- Ditch the First Idea

Daydreaming is Good- Ditch the First Idea

The pressure’s on. You have a deadline (either external, or self-imposed) and you need to come up with an idea. You cogitate for a while, and nothing jumps to mind. You start to panic. Come on! Where is it? I just need an idea for my article/story/novel … Suddenly, you have one! Great! And so you get to work. But stop. Just consider your idea for a moment. This is your first idea. First ideas generally tend to be weak,…

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Spot The Difference

Spot The Difference

Something in this photo has not stood the test of time. And I’m not referring to the 13th century castle.             Four years separate the photo on the right from the one of the left. The one of the right was taken last weekend. It’s for an article I’m writing, and it’s a great example of how things can change. Things that you least expect.

Ride The Waves: Beware of the Pirates!

Ride The Waves: Beware of the Pirates!

‘I don’t want to worry you, but have you seen this website?’ Those were the words from a concerned fellow author who’d found all her books were being offered for free, as PDF downloads, via an unscrupulous website. I searched for my name and found nine of my books listed. My immediate reaction was “Shiver Me Timbers,” or words to that affect. Then I wondered what I should do about it. In this business of writing, copyright allows us to…

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Advice From More Than 50 Writers

Advice From More Than 50 Writers

Regular followers will know that I often comment how small steps lead to bigger journeys. Write 500 words every day and in 200 days you have a 100,000-word novel. (Well, the first draft, anyway!) Several years ago I had my first article published in Writing Magazine, and then another, and another, and then in 2014 the editor asked me to contribute on a regular basis. The Business of Writing column was born. For these articles, I often chat to other…

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