Bespoke One-on-One Writer Mentorship
Writing is a joy, once you find the words, but it can also be deeply lonely. You can spend forever second-guessing yourself and falling down the hole of self-doubt.
Let’s say you’ve stayed up late for weeks, writing a post for your new blog - but something’s stopping you from publishing it. Or perhaps you’ve been asked to write for a magazine, only it’s the first time you’ve ever been commissioned and you just don’t know if your piece is any good. You’re not sure you want to show your writing to your sister or your partner or your best friend; they don’t know your writing and you’re not ready to share it yet.
So, then, what do you do? What do you do when you’re stuck for a word or you’re just not sure if you’ve got a good idea? What do you do when you’re faced with a big creative block the size of an ogre? What do you do when you’re bored and all out of ideas and all you want to do is delete everything you’ve ever written? What do you do then?
Or how about this: what do you do when you think you’ve written the perfect piece of prose, and your heart is dancing, and you want to share it with someone, to see if they feel it too? What do you do when you’ve caught an idea in your fist, a brilliant cloud, and you feel a flurry of writing coming on? What do you do when you wish you had someone to whisper those inspired secrets to? What do you do then?
Well: either way, you can write to me.
Writing Friends is my one-on-one four month mentorship scheme. We can call it bespoke mentoring, but I’d rather we call each other friends. I’m here for guidance and support and to help you arrive at a place where you can write without doubting your strengths.
I’m here to get you through the dark, lonely, bits. I’m here to pull you up when a rejection falls in your lap. But I’m also here to punch the air with you when you get a commission or when your blog post does spectacularly well. I’m here to nudge you - a little harder each time (for which I make no apologies) - when I see an it’s instead of an its. I’m here to sing your triumphs, but I’m also here to tell you the truth. If a piece you’re battling with just isn’t working or doesn’t read very well, then I’ll tell you it’s time to move along onto something fresh. No ideas? We’ll make up writing prompts together and I’ll help you find inspiration again.
How Writing Friends Works
Perhaps you’ve already taken my writing course, The Quiet Words, with me and feel you want to continue on that journey. Maybe you’ve read my book or remember me from my journalist days or just like the way I think and write on my blog. We still need to get to know each other. So when you first sign up, I’ll ask you for a sample of your writing plus a series of detailed questions to sound you out on your writing goals.
Assuming it feels right for both of us, then we’ll be Writing Friends.
And so, we shall write to each other.
As Writing Friends, we’ll email each other twice a week and set writing goals. I’ll share reading suggestions and writing prompts when you feel stuck. And every fortnight, you’ll send me your writing and I’ll read it and send it back to you with detailed, honest feedback.
Why choose me as your Writing Friend?
For personal and honest feedback on your writing that will help your writing flourish. My feedback will encourage you to uncover your writing voice and perfect your very own editing skills so that each time you write, you’ll do so with confidence in your own style.
For the chance to work one-on-one with a published, agent-represented and award-winning writer.
For accountability. If we agree a deadline, I’d want and expect you to stick to it. And if you need help with that, we’ll work together to make sure you meet your goals.
What Writing Friends includes
Fortnightly personal and honest feedback on one written piece at a time. Your pieces must be: blog posts, magazine or newspaper articles or short stories up to 7,000 words.
Two detailed emails a week comprising:
One email to set goals at the start of every week
Another email at the end of every week (during email office hours) to catch up on progress made, discuss any issues or questions you have.
Bespoke suggestions of books, articles, blog posts or podcasts to help you on your specific writing journey
Writing prompts when you are stuck for ideas
Writing Friends is a four-month scheme, with limited slots available starting from January-April 2019.
Can we talk on the phone, Facetime or Skype?
I much prefer writing to talking. I feel your time and mine would be better spent writing than talking on the phone for an hour at a time. Corresponding by email is more flexible for both of us and also, I feel, leaves room for thoroughness and thought and the time to think things over.
I’m writing a book; can we be Writing Friends?
Sadly not. I am here for you to lean on, but I am a writer myself, who is also writing, and so I am simply unable to take the load of reading manuscripts for fiction/ non-fiction books in progress.
I’d like to start freelancing for magazines and newspapers. Will you be able to help me pitch my ideas?
While I’d be over the moon if you told me you won a commission for a piece, I’m not available to help you with crafting individual writing pitches to publications you’d like to write for. I’ll be busy doing my own too!
How detailed will your editing be?
My feedback will be detailed. I won’t amend your work without explanation but instead I will guide you towards polishing your pieces, explaining why I’ve made a particular suggestion. You’ll soon learn to be your own best editor. We’ll share documents in Google Docs, and I’ll add my suggestions as I read your pieces. If you’ve worked with me on The Quiet Words, you’ll be familiar with how I’ll do this; I’ll pick out what works, what doesn’t work, if something needs restructuring or rewriting. But I won’t re-write your work myself or continually correct typos or grammar; it’ll be up to you to be thorough.