Let’s KEEP Writing

Creative Writing, Writing Workshops

Quite a few people emailed me after finishing the Let’s Start Writing online workshop saying that was so great, I want to do another one.  Well great news, now you can!

Let's KEEP Writing imageStarting on Monday 12th November, Let’s KEEP Writinghas been specially designed to be the perfect follow-on from the first workshop.  Taking the same 3-week cycle as the Let’s Start Writing online workshop, this workshop focuses on how to keep the inspiration coming, the all-important editing and developing your work.

This workshop is aimed at people who have already completed an online workshop with me.  If you haven’t and would like to, that’s awesome.  Sign up for the Let’s Start Writing online workshop which is starting on Monday 7th January 2019.

Both workshops are completed online and over email, so you can take part no matter where in the world you are!

Places are limited so make sure you book today to avoid disappointment.

Really look forward to seeing you on an online workshop soon!

Nicola x

April Catch-Up

Any Human Heart

April catch-up image

It has been a strange few months as March and April have been full of health issues.  First, I had a middle-of-the-night dash to A&E, where I was quickly diagnosed with Sepsis, brought on by kidney and bladder infections.  I was immediately put on treatment to bring me back from the brink.

What is Sepsis?

Sepsis is when you have an infection and your immune system goes into a crazy overdrive, starts attacking your organs and causes inflammation throughout the body.  It is a life-threatening but easily treatable when caught early.

Visit The Sepsis Trust for more information.

Recovering from Sepsis is much harder than I would have ever believed and I was medication for quite a long time after getting home from the hospital.  However, I was on the mend and just when I was finally starting to feel much better, I felt the same symptoms coming on again!  The A&E doctors had told me that if I suspected I had another infection I should come straight back, so that was what I did.  I was showing early signs of sepsis but I was put straight on antibiotics which seemed to stop it in its tracks.  Then it was back to trying to get better again.

Basically, not dying has taken up an incredible amount of time recently!

Getting ill is strange after having had cancer.  In a strange way, it takes me back to those old moments.  Laying in bed recovering = feeling like I have just had chemotherapy.  Going back and forth for hospital appointments = feeling like I am waiting to get some horrible life-changing results.  It is amazing how the brain can immediately trick you into thinking something else is going on and bring old emotions back up.  In some ways, the biggest challenge getting better was the mental battle rather than the physical one.

Needless to say, all of this put me rather behind with work, University and writing but I am finally getting back into the swing of things and I’m still in that dizzyingly excited period you get after you’ve been ill for a long time, where you just want to throw yourself into everything because it is just such a relief not to feel ill.

Writing

Screen Shot 2018-04-24 at 11.53.04However, in March I did have a short story, ‘Connected’, published in Fifty George Street literary journal.  It’s future fiction, imagining what it might be like trying to stay connected in a technological world.

You can read it on the Fifty George Street website.

Reading

I have read some wonderful books in the first quarter of this year, so I wanted to recommend my top 3 but I am finding it so hard to choose!  So I have ended up going for 4.  All 4 books are emotional but amazing and take you on a complete journey of the heart.  I highly recommend them all to you…

Heart Berries by Terese Marie Maillot ~ The Tidal Zone by Sarah Moss ~ Soho by Richard Scott ~ Blue Nights by Joan Didion

Writing Workshop

After listening to the wonderful feedback I have received from people who have taken part in the ‘Let’s Start Writing’ workshop they have a had a bit of a revamp to include the chance to get more feedback on your writing.  I am thrilled with it and can’t wait to get started on Monday 7th May.  If you think you may be interested, please sign up here!

Let’s Start Writing

Sign up now to join the Let’s Start Writing Workshop starting Monday 7th January 2019

£20.00

For the rest of the month, I plan on getting on with writing and working and giving my body time to get stronger and stronger.  What have you been up to?  What have you been reading, writing and doing?  Leave a comment down below so we can have a chat.

Happy April x

Let’s Start Writing!

Creative Writing

I have very exciting news…

REGISTRATION FOR MY NEXT LET’S START WRITING WORKSHOP IS OPEN!

Taking feedback on board I have re-designed the LET’S START WRITING workshop to include a chance to share your work with the group and get encouraging and useful feedback to help you develop and go on to write more!

This online workshop spans over 3 weeks beginning on Monday 7th May 2018.

To ensure everyone has good feedback PLACES ARE LIMITED so book now!

First Week: Monday 7th to Friday 11th May, I send you a daily email with a discussion, tips & hints, examples and a small task.

What could you spark in 10 minutes copySecond Week: You have time to write a short story and send it to me, I will then format (remove emails etc.) and make a document of all the groups writing and send it out.

Third Week: You have a chance to read everyone’s work before we have a text only chat where I will give feedback, and we can all give words of encouragement, talk about what we loved, what we would like to have read more about and why, and so on.

I have specially designed the daily tasks to be done in 10 minutes.  Trust me… you will be amazed what can be achieved in 10 minutes of writing!

You don’t need any previous experience and all writing prompts will ask you to draw from your own life and experiences, so again, no need to be nervous about coming up with epic novel ideas!

Let’s Start Writing

Sign up now to join the Let’s Start Writing Workshop starting Monday 7th January 2019

£20.00

What previous participants have said…

This workshop was exactly what I needed. The beautifully presented, upbeat and thought provoking emails sent every morning were a welcome bit of ‘me time’ after the school run. As a mum of four little ones, finding time to sit down, think and write is challenging but your short 10 minute exercises made it feel achievable and although they only took ten minutes, the ideas, inspiration and techniques will last far longer. I enjoyed it so much that this mum of four with no time on her hands has just signed up to the next stage!

– Emily Taylor

I had been thinking about writing but it can be overwhelming knowing where to start.  By day one I suddenly had an organised list rather than randomly going from one thing to another.  By day two I was able to face that blank page and the words just kept coming.  The freedom of just writing was exciting.  I loved every day of the workshop and was really looking forward to receiving the
emails and discovering my next task. The workshop was clear with guidelines and examples which made it all very easy and the fact that we only needed to give 10 minutes a day made each task very do-able.  I now have a clear plan on what I would like the outcome for my writing to be, and an abundance of lists to work from.

– Lesley Barlow

I loved the course. I am a total novice when it comes to writing and you have given me some really useful tools to get me started. I love a list and a mood board and would have never had thought to use these as a starting point and for inspiration for my writing. Thank you Nicola, through doing this course you have opened up my mind to viewing and approaching writing in a different way.  

– Sarah Bienvenu

The two short courses have been very enjoyable and very therapeutic for me. I was taken on an unexpected journey. You can’t get better than that!  I really enjoyed crafting the final story in the Let’s Start Writing course.  I would like to say a very warm thank you. I will keep a look out for your next set of emails on writing courses.

– Christine Grieves

Let’s Start Writing

Sign up now to join the Let’s Start Writing Workshop starting Monday 7th January 2019

£20.00

Registration Open!

Creative Writing, Writing & Blogging

Hello all,

I have great news!  After the successful Let’s Start Writing Workshop that I ran in September, I have decided to run it again in January – perfect for your New Years Resolution to write more or for your to buy for someone else for Christmas – and you can now sign-up for the next Let’s Start Writing Workshop now!

new writing workshop

Read all about it here…

So exciting!

Creative Writing, Writing & Blogging

banner lets start writing workshop copy

I get a lot of questions about writing and where to start.  There is no doubt that starting is the hardest part, so I had the idea to help you do just that!

This September I will be running a free

LET’S START WRITING WORKSHOP

From Monday 11th September till Sunday 18th September I will send you a daily email with a discussion, tips & hints, examples and a small task for you to complete.

You don’t need any previous experience and you won’t be sharing anything so don’t be nervous.  This is just about and for you.  All writing prompts will be Creative Non-Fiction based meaning all tasks will ask you to draw from your own life and experiences, so again, no need to be nervous about coming up with epic novel ideas.

And… September is the perfect time to start because…
Changes in seasons always spark inspiration, classes start in September and (arguably more importantly) it means you have a valid excuse to get involved in a bit of ‘Back to School’ stationary shopping!

Sign Up Here and wait for the first email to hit your inbox on Monday 11th September

If you are worrying about writing, read my last post But I Can’t Write to remind you why you totally can!

This is going to be super relaxed and super fun and I can’t wait to see you there in September! xx

But I Can’t Write?!

Cancer & Me, Writing & Blogging

Unknown-1.jpegThis has gone through your head, hasn’t it? I know it has.  You know that you want to write but then the fear and the doubt creeps in, takes the pen from your hand and tells you to go sit down and stop getting ideas above your station.  I know this because this is one of the biggest things people tell me whilst also telling me how much they would LOVE to write.

It might not just be that you believe you can’t write.  It could be a belief you hold on to that everything needs to be perfect before you write, that you need to ensure you know everything before you start, a fear of failure, or a fear of success, you don’t think the time is right, the environment is right, your house is tidy enough… whatever it is, it all comes back to the little voice in our heads telling us do NOT put yourself out there.

Ultimately you are lacking the self-belief that you can do it – and you shouldn’t be!

And I get it, I totally get it!  Even though I have had a book published, articles published, a short play performed, a First Class Honours degree in Creative Writing, been accepted to Cambridge University and write an award-winning blog, I still have that same little voice nagging in the back of my head telling me that I can’t do it and I’m not good enough!

So if you are feeling it, remember – feeling ‘the fear’ is fine. It’s normal. But you can never let fear control you because then it distracts you, demotivates you and will leave you regretting things you’ve never done.  Take control.  Get those thoughts and fears out.  Dispel them by using them to fuel your writing.

Write about what you are afraid of. What could go wrong?  What’s the worst possible outcome?  But then write about why you are going to do it anyway.  Write a list of all the amazing things you are going to gain from writing. Acceptance. Understanding. Perception. Control. Creative living. A place for your stories and memories. Ten minutes out of your day when it is just about you and your thoughts. The ability to control your own narrative… write down anything that is positive. In fact, do that now…

Write a list, right now, of at least 5 things you will gain from writing…. Go!

Amother idea… Whenever your inner critic comes screeching into your mind, make a note of what they are saying, give yourself some time to reflect on it and then write your critic a letter, giving them some advice on how to be kinder.

Another common thing people tell me when they are asking about blogging or sharing their story is – but there are already so many blogs about cancer / serious illness / make-up / whatever it is you want to blog about, out there!

And I always reply with this… Yes, there probably are BUT only you can tell your story your way. Only you know what it was like going through the things you have been through.  Only you know how you feel about certain books / make-up / parenting.  Only you can write that specific piece of creative fiction.  And if you don’t tell it, you are denying the world from hearing what you have to say.

Don’t worry about what other people are doing – just worry about all the awesome stuff that you are doing.

Sometimes it’s just about giving ourselves permission to write. So take this, here and now, as your permission to write and to allow writing to help and heal you. 

images.jpeg

There is always going to be a day when you start. Everyone, even JK Rowling started at the beginning, having never had anything published, looking at a blank page, wondering if anyone was ever going to give a shit.  Is the first thing you ever write going to be exceptionally amazing – maybe not, but it is going to be a hell of a lot better than a blank page! Seriously, no one is ever going to read that!

 

Happy Writing! x

P.S. I wanna read what you are writing so if you have a blog / book / anything, please leave the link in the comments below so that we can all take a look.

Write Away!

What's Happening?, Writing & Blogging

Ever wanted to write a book but unsure where to start? Ever wished you could have 2 bestselling authors show you how? Then I have awesome news…


I am so excited to be helping put together this Creative Writing evening with Bibliomaniac where we will have authors Leigh Russell & Helen Cox showing you their tricks of the trade! 

No experience needed, no pressure, just an evening of fun to unlock a little creativity.

An evening of creative writing with Leigh Russell and Helen Cox
Harpenden Arms (upstairs)

8-10pm

Tuesday 25th April 2017

£25*
**TICKET PRICE HAS BEEN REDUCED TO £15 FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY**
*ticket price includes 1 free drink & nibbles and 2 hours of a creative writing activities led by two incredible authors 

TICKETS AVAILABLE HERE!

Whether you’ve been writing for years or whether you’ve never picked up a pen before, come along for an evening of fun activities that will give you ideas, tips and advice as well as the chance to have a go at writing something in a secure and supportive environment!