Having worked as an editor and book coach for nearly ten years alongside working on books as an author, I really know what it takes to write a manuscript. I understand the difficulties many writers face and the fact that more often than not those difficulties have nothing to do with a lack of talent or know-how, but rather they are to do with the internal battles we each have with ourselves surrounding the novel-writing process.
I started writing the book of my heart when I was eighteen. Then I moved away from Liverpool to study English and Drama at Goldsmiths, University of London in the hope that by taking in all of that inspiration of other people's great works, it would help me to write my own book. Then life happened. Then life happened some more. I found myself living out in Antigua (the island where I was born) working as a ghost-writer, editor and writing mentor for other people's soul books whilst barely writing anything of mine.
I had some success. I got picked up as a Performing Arts contributing editor for a major international magazine group. I worked sixteen hour days writing articles, interviewing dedicated artists, reviewing the world's most interesting new works for stage and screen. I got to call myself a writer in a way that I understood others would see as more legitimate because it was paying the bills and putting my name in print; but inside I felt like somebody had turned off the air. There was no time now for working on my own book. No expectation from the people around me that it was something I would ever return to. Nobody but me really rooting for it, willing it into existence. But of course willing it to be a tangible, finished thing, didn't mean the book continued writing itself. It just stayed there. A sorry, half-formed thing.
Then I became a sorry half-formed thing too.
My body broke.
My mind turned in towards itself and just kept asking me, 'What now?'.
I spent three years largely bed-bound by Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/M.E. along with other co-morbid conditions. They were triggered by an infection but undoubtedly caused by many contributing factors, the biggest being the denial of my true self and the calling I felt. The calling was the book. The work it would take to complete. The places it would take me inside myself to get there.
Five years on now, I have healed in so many ways. My body walks. Long, ambling, invigorating walks around Edinburgh, Scotland where I now live with my husband and partner in most things, Ben. I can hold a pen again. Sit at a desk. I worked with my brain to create new neural pathways that meant I could read books once more. Now I love spending time with page-turning hardbacks, mind expanding non-fiction, and pouring my insides out into the pages of my journals. And I've finished writing that book. From start to finish, edits complete, its out in the world getting lots of love and happy feedback from literary agents (which gives me a grin and a sense of deep satisfaction every time one such email comes in!).
I didn't go from where I was to where I am overnight, it took years of daily dedication to recovering myself in every way I needed to. But I'm here now. And I'm ready to help you do the same.
I use a Schema Mode Therapy-informed approach to my book coaching which I combine with my belief in creative living, the insights gained through my lived experience (there's been a lot of different types of mess and a lot of finding my way through them) and my expertise as a writer and editor, in order to help you find whichever parts of yourself you are best relying on to help you make progress in writing your book.
Recent continued professional development:
Recent published/produced works:
- The Good Life, personal essays column for Cohorted Cult
- Freelance travel writing articles
- Contributing writer 'Love, Liverpool' stage production at Playhouse Theatre, Liverpool
Coaching continued professional development:
-Schema Therapy course with Latanya Richardson, academic and clinical counsellor
- Webinar: Introducing the New Young Schema Questionnaire (ISST accredited CPD)
- CBT Cognitive Behaviour Life Coach certification (current)
Editing/writing continued professional development:
- Advanced Writing Lives course, University of Oxford
- Planning and Plotting your Novel: The Practical Way with author Abigail Mann
-7 day writing your novel course, The Novelry
- Pitching masterclass with literary agent Juliet Mushens
- The Book Proposal Masterclass, with author Beth Kempton