My guest on today’s blog is Deborah Klée. Deborah is such a warm and friendly person and she offers great support to other writers. I’ve recently been a guest on her podcast. She asks really interesting questions and makes you feel right at home. I’ve also been a speaker at one of Deborah’s Friday Salon Zoom meetings where I met so many amazing writers. Deborah manages to bring together people from all over the world and is a very inspirational woman.
Thank you for inviting me to your website to talk about two resources I host for other writers: Friday Salon and The Mindful Writer Podcast.
Both of these projects have brought some amazing people into my life, including you, Lizzie. They have enabled me to network with writers from all over the world and to learn from them as we share resources, wisdom, and expertise.
Friday Salon started as a bit of an experiment. I had heard of tweet-chats but had little experience of them. I was new to Twitter and the writing community. I started out inviting writers to join me on Friday using the hashtag #FriSalon. Three writer friends from my local writing group turned up to support me and I was delighted that several other writers did too. I chose the name Friday Salon as I described the tweet-chat as a place where creatives could meet just as the Victorians did in the Salons of old.
Friday Salon started in October 2020. Encouraged by the success of the first tweet-chat I hosted one the following Friday and planned to continue until Xmas 2020. We grew in number and the tweet-chats became a popular place for writers to meet on Twitter each Friday at 4 pm BST (GMT) 11 am EDT (EST). I continued hosting until October 2021. In that first year, I invited at least one expert guest each month. I transcribed all of the tweets and posted them in a document the following morning.
By October 2021 I was running out of ideas and had other projects I wanted to invest my time in. Rather than discontinue Friday Salon I invited regular participants to share the role of host. The shared hosting arrangement is wonderful. We all own Friday Salon. It has just grown and grown. Everyone is welcome to pop into the chat. It is a great way of making meaningful connections with other writers. Friday Salon participants have supported one another by beta-reading, buying one another’s books, reviewing, and helping to promote new publications.
Now that I no longer host every week, I have been able to invest time in facilitating a virtual writing retreat three times a year. This was something that came about following a tweet-chat on writing retreats. Several participants said they would love to have a writing retreat with Friday Salon friends. As we come from across the world the best way to achieve this was by meeting on Zoom. We have had two writing retreats now, each with a guest speaker. There is no cost to participate.
Everyone is welcome to join in the Friday Salon tweet-chat and the virtual writing retreats. If you are new to the writing community and/or want to make meaningful connections with other writers then this is a great way to find your tribe.
To find out more about Friday Salon see:
Here is the link if you’d like to listen to our Mindful Writer chat.
The Mindful Writer Podcast
The Mindful Writer Podcast is a resource to help writers cope with the emotional highs and lows of being a writer. There are lots of resources to assist writers with the business of writing, publication, and marketing but not so much on managing the inner journey.
In 2019 I was struggling with the lack of control and uncertainty I was experiencing as a writer as I waited for agents and publishers to respond to submissions. At that time, I had an agent and my debut was out on submission. I knew that my emotional state was affecting my relationships and well-being. So, for Lent that year I decided to meditate each day. Forty days turned into a year, and then four. Daily meditation became part of my life. Today, I practice yoga and meditate every day. These practices alongside regular journaling have given me insight. I have developed a strong sense of self-belief, and compassion for myself. I have learnt to let go and trust the journey. As I went through this transformation, I shared my reflections and learning in a weekly blog.
I loved writing my blog and from the feedback, I have received I know it has helped others. However, I wanted to talk to other writers to learn from their wisdom. The idea for the Mindful Writer Podcast came to me many months before I dared to give it a go. It was scary, but it is only when we step outside of our comfort zone that we learn new things and grow.
Each week I chat with a guest exploring the psychological, emotional, and spiritual journey they have experienced as a writer, the lessons they have learnt – and are continuing to learn.
As I talk to other writers and reflect on my own experience, I am discovering how we might find abundance in our creative pursuits, achieving our goals the mindful way.
All of my guests have been amazing. Their words of wisdom lifted my spirit first during the live interview and again on editing the interview. It’s wonderful because I get a high each time I listen. This is what I wanted for other writers. So many of us struggle with feelings of disappointment, wanting something so much it hurts, imposter syndrome, comparisonitis, fear of failure, elation and despair. I hope that by listening to these podcasts writers will feel that they are not alone, that they will be inspired, and find emotional courage.
I transcribe the interviews so that they can be read:
or listened to as a podcast:
You can check out Deborah’s novels here: