Do mentors matter?

I have been lucky enough to have had many mentors in my life and I think they are so important when you are discovering a new field of interest. When I was inventing my first product, Runaway Spray, which is a ‘ladder’ or ‘run’ stop spray for hosiery, I had great support from business mentors from The Prince’s Trust When I wrote my first book, I discovered an international book club full of writers (RRBC) and they have been amazing in helping me to find my way in my new career, as have my fellow authors at my new publishers. I  provide mentoring myself through my networking hour on Twitter (#CreativeBizHour) and have been able to support people with new creative ideas through being a judge for Shell LiveWire’s Grand Ideas Award, and having a Facebook group where I share creative ideas with fellow artists/designers/ businesses/writers (Lizzie’s Book Group)

If you are starting a new career, or looking to push forward with your current job or hobby, then you might be surprised to find out how many people and organisations there are out there to offer unbiased help and support. Facebook and Twitter are full of networking hours and groups, you just have to search for them in the search bar and then join. With these groups, it’s good to join in and support others too. It’s about teamwork. When you have found a mentor and learnt what you need to, perhaps you can in turn become a mentor for someone else and help them on their own journey?

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In your opinion, do mentors matter and has one helped you in your life? It will be exciting to hear if anyone else has been nurtured and helped to blossom into the person they have always wanted to be.

Have work, will travel.

It’s holiday season and I’ve been trying to be organised, as the term finishes for this school year. Fitting writing into family life can be great fun, but also a challenge. I write all of my books by hand in A4 green Tink notebooks and then transcribe them onto a computer. This means that I can easily pick my work up and carry it anywhere with me. This made me think about travel and holidays. I do like to relax on holiday, but also find it a great inspiration for my work. Different scenery and a change in temperature can make you feel more at ease and able to let the words flow. I particularly love to write in Spain and France as I enjoy looking at the countryside and the architecture. The U.K. inspires me with it’s history and eclectic styles too.

If you are stuck in any kind of writing rut, perhaps a change of scenery is all you need. I don’t mean two weeks in Cannes, but even working outside or moving rooms for a while with your laptop if you have one, or taking your notebooks and sitting on a beach nearby or somewhere with a good view, might be enough to change your mood and give you fresh ideas.

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Top tips for utilising the views nearby. 3 Quick Tips. 

  1. Plan a day where you can take your writing tools to a new location. Sit and take in the scenery and draw inspiration from your surroundings.
  2. If you are already on holiday, keep a notebook in your bag or pocket. You never know when you might see something interesting, or notice a location that could fit seamlessly into your latest book, blog or article.
  3. Take photos. These photos can become your own stock photography. Keep them in folders on your computer and instead of buying stock images for promotion, upload your own images into software like Canva to keep costs to a minimum for your own designs. These photos might also come in useful when you are writing about locations for descriptive reference.

Cover Wars!

Ninja School Mum is currently on Cover Wars. It’s already got quite a few votes and the competition runs until 8am on Sunday. The winner wins a week of promotion for their book, so it’s a great competition for authors. Every person who clicks their vote is seeing all of the lovely covers there.

You can vote once each day via iphone and once via computer or iPad. A big thank you to everyone who has voted so far or is still voting. #TeamNinja

To add you vote for Ninja School Mum click here: Cover Wars

 

Too much information.

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Last weekend I had been trying to manage my work tasks, plus organise Christmas for my family after a week of being unwell. Sometimes my head felt like it was full of too much information for it to be productive at all. After climbing a mountain of wrapping paper and filling the cupboards with two Christmas puddings and various festive treats as we have people coming to stay, I decided to stop worrying about what I had to achieve  and do something completely different.

I was probably thinking of a brisk jog with my dog or getting some housework done, but I must have walked past the kitchen and I cooked and scoffed one of the Christmas puddings… it was a very small one… instead! The change of thinking (and probable sugar rush) from the process of stepping away from my work load, managed to clear my mind and I was then able to sit at my desk and complete most of the work I had been fretting about finishing for two days.

We sometimes overload ourselves with useless information that holds no relevance to what we need to do. By thinking of them over and over and procrastinating, we are adding to our own confusion and wasting precious time not doing the things we are thinking about. This week i’m going to try not to overthink and also to not walk past the Christmas cupboard too often, as although it was helpful in this instance, the repeat journey to the shops to replenish what I ate is definitely not the way forward!