Self-publishing my first book in May 2014 changed my life in more ways than one. Not only did I accomplish a life-long dream, but it opened doors to many opportunities and events that I’d never considered before.
I still remember my first talk, when I clutched my cards in sweaty hands and babbled for an hour. I’m reasonably sure it made no sense to the audience, but I was proud nonetheless. These days I’ve got my talks down to a fine art and can happily chat about writing, publishing, and motivation without any notes. Talking fast is something I’m still working on – I’m an excitable (chatty) Gemini after all!
After I started networking back in 2015, I was repeatedly asked if I ran workshops to help people get started on their writing projects. Self-doubt kicked in immediately, and I neglected the idea until the founder of the Socially Shared Women’s Business Support Network talked me into running back to back workshops on writing a book for her headline event, the Women in Business Conference. It was a turning point for me, and I began to schedule two workshops a year around the topic of ‘Start Writing Your Book.’ I adore running these workshops and add new dates whenever I can.
If you’ve read Adam Croft’s excellent book, The Indie Author Mindset: How Changing Your Way of Thinking Can Transform Your Writing you’ll see a little guest spot from me talking about running workshops to supplement your author income.
With the success of my physical workshops, I began to receive requests from people further afield (even in America!) asking if I could either visit them or offer my courses online. As an avid travel fan, I was tempted to pack a bag and do a tour of the U.S. However, a lack of funds has kept me grounded on that project (boo, hiss!) Going virtual, however, was a possibility as I already had the content. After researching platforms and the technical tools required I’ve begun the daunting task of getting in front of the camera to record my new online courses. Watch this space.
More recently, I’ve officially launched my Shelley Wilson Writing Mentor business and begun to focus my attention on this project. I still have five books to complete as part of my traditional publishing contract, and as much as I love writing books, life as an author doesn’t pay the bills and support three kids and a cat! My mentoring is as varied as the British weather, and I absolutely love it.
On any given day I can be writing a press release for one client, a newsletter campaign for another, organising a book launch campaign, creating content for my online courses, spending a two-hour session working 1-2-1 with a book or blog client, or creating blog posts for small business platforms.
My dream of writing for a living has come true – albeit not in the exact way I’d imagined it as an eager eight-year-old, but being flexible to change, and open to the possibilities means I can drive my writing career forward and also help others along the way.
Being able to help people with their writing projects, big or small, is something I thoroughly enjoy. I’m not an editor, proof reader, or technical whizz who can format manuscripts or design incredible books covers. I may be a hybrid author (self-published and traditionally published), but I’m not running a publishing business. My job is to get people started, focused on their end goal, motivated to keep going, to be fearless with their projects, and to enjoy writing and creating.
My own writing journey has evolved over the years, and the path I’m on now feels fabulous. I’ve learned to embrace change in my personal and professional life, and I’ll keep on challenging myself and growing to accommodate the needs of my clients and readers.
Don’t shy away from change. It can be good for you! If you’re an author I hope you can see the fantastic openings your books can create. Embrace them, and shout about them – who knows where it will take you.
Share some of the opportunities you’ve encountered on your writing journey in the comments below.
If you’re interested in working with me on your book or blog projects, or would like support with your business writing needs, then drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, you can sign up for my monthly newsletters and receive top tips, advice, and articles straight to your inbox.