I’ve never done this kind of thing before but was nominated by the lovely Julia Elmore to do a writer’s blog hop so here goes.
(I’m supposed to answer 4 questions, below, then introduce the two people I’m passing the ‘blog baton’ on to):
What am I working on?
I so wish I’d done this last week as I could have said, ‘Well, am writing about zombies, witches, ghosts, grim reapers and skeletons’ (something I’d never have been able to answer before and probably won’t again…). It was a self-help feature on dealing with our shadows.
In terms of current work, writing wise, am finishing off a piece about my kitten’s angel (seriously. Again, something that I’ll probably never be able to answer again) and working on more sensible pieces about running mind, body, spirit events, a piece for a women’s weekly magazine on anxiety, a couple of profiles of well-known coaches for a trade journal and my advice columns.
Am also toying with a book idea, self-help, drawing on all my holistic therapies for your mind, body, heart and soul but that’s in the early stages.
How does my work differ from others in this genre?
When I think of the freelance journalists covering psychology, health and wellbeing with a self-help focus, they’re ‘pure’ journalists or maybe qualified in one of the kinds of therapies I offer but I feel a bit out there in terms of my writing and client work . I don’t know of anyone else who combines mind, body, heart and soul (and writing) in a similar way.
I’ve also been fairly open about my own history / background (I had been freelancing for years before I qualified as a counsellor so a lot of stuff was already out there but I think it works in terms of being human and friendly rather than a distant figure).
The areas I specialise in (in my practice as well as my writing) are anxiety, stress, trauma, burnout and depression, sleep issues, wellbeing at work, maximising potential and finding purpose and meaning in life, work and relationships. It’s all pretty holistic and means I get to write for a wide range of titles (as well as some regulars) on an endlessly varied topics. I love it.
Why do I write what I do?
Some of it’s definitely addressed, in a way, to a younger me who felt broken beyond repair. I so wish I’d had the tools I have now back then.
I feel incredibly fortunate to be alive now – we have access to a gazillion (well…) years’ worth of wisdom from around the world as well as all that modern medicine and neuroscience have to offer. I’ve been fortunate to interview some amazing people.
I feel really strongly about sharing tools and supporting readers and clients in helping themselves. You’re your own expert and know what’s right for you.
And, over the years, they’ve become my specialist areas.
How does my writing process work?
I love juggling several features at a time (alongside my private practice and teaching yoga etc). I get a buzz out of the variety. And I love the split between private clients, teaching yoga and writing etc. It’s all interesting and all complements each other.
I was thinking about an actor cycling home from the pool today, thinking, he played two very different roles in different series for the same US channel at the same time. I was wondering if he shot scenes for them at similar times and guess, as an actor, you have to embody the role.
With my writing, I prefer to dip in and out. A change is definitely as good as a rest. Mark Twain apparently had semi written novels dotted around his abode. If he got stuck on one, he’d leave it. Sometimes for years.
While I’m no Mark Twain, we share a birthday and I like this idea of just going with the flow (although being a journalist, my flow is pretty structured! I’ve always filed ahead of deadline) rather than torturing myself in front of a blank screen.
I also use the term ‘draft’ a lot, in my head and desk diary. This way, I’m less likely to psyche myself out thinking it has to perfect.
Working to tight deadlines (my deadlines vary between a few weeks and a few hours depending on the title) also helps as it’s just a matter of getting on with it rather than over-thinking things.
Passing on the ‘blog baton’
Freelance journalist Hazel Davis
and blogger Linda Hobden
Am really looking forward to reading their posts.