Posts in News
TSLS 0030 - 3 practical ways to make a living from your writing (and a special announcement!)

No way, you clicked...I'm so excited for you!

No seriously, making a living creatively is one of the most fulfilling things you can do, so congrats for looking into it further for yourself, God knows you’ve found the best person to help you get there. *Cue shameless self-promotion grin*

It seems that most of the writers I come into contact with on social media these days are either jaded, hopelessly optimistic, or a combination of both. They've either succumbed to a life of poverty, or are spouting book links on Twitter and pretending that strategy works.

There's really no one in the writing industry today that immediately jumps into my mind when it comes to "an author making loads of money."

So today I hope I can be that person for you. I've been doing this for over 7 years, making a living and doing it strong, winning awards and bossing shit up. Take me as the example that it is possible before we move onto the next steps that will make it possible for you.

Now here are the three pieces of advice I want to share with you. If you take anything from this article, please take this - these three simple words of advice for your continuing journey. They’re the most important things to remember, and if you remember these things you’re golden. 

Don’t discouraged by the people around you
Don’t let the gatekeepers get you down, and
Build a business around your craft.

That’s it. That’s all you need to succeed, honest honest. But just so you completely understand what I mean, let’s dig into these things a little deeper, shall we?

Don't get discouraged by the people around you, the news or your peer's failures or successes.

This is the #1 thing that will mess you up on your journey - worrying or envying what other people are up to, or any other external influence that tries to convince you that it's not the right thing to do. Puh-lease! Please. I genuinely think what's wrong in the world is this obsession with trying to control or govern what other people are doing, but if you're going to succeed as a writer, you're going to have to learn to ignore all of this.

Don’t let the gatekeepers get you down

I am not the biggest fan of gatekeepers in any form. I like my creative control, I like my creativity as the ultimate act of rebellion and full self expression. Having said that, I know that you might be one of the people out there that do want the traditional publishing deal and are going about it with full force. In this case, there may be times when the vicious industry will break your heart.

What I need to say to you, dear writer, is don’t let it get you down.
Build a business around your craft.

I often ask people in coaching with me this question: name one writer you know that makes money simply from books. With a 99% success rate, I can usually point out that the author they tell me about or think about has some other means of sustainable income that they didn’t think about.

If you're counting on your £3.99 paperback to make you enough money for a house and a bi-annual holiday, you're probably going to be disappointed. Look at any successful authors these days and you'll find that not only do they do the writing (which is the part they love) but they also have some way of repurposing it for higher profit. J.K. Rowling and Stephen King were lucky enough to have their books turned into movies, then there's audiobooks and author signings and speaking gigs and tours and and and. 

I know this way of making a living from your writing is not “the dream” and it’s not the vision of what you have in your mind of what a “real writer” looks like, but to be honest, you just have to get over it because for now, having that additional thing will be what keeps you afloat as a writer and that’s just how the world works at the moment until you get to a stage where you’re famous enough to choose otherwise.

The idea that you can make millions from one or two books and will never have to work again is a fantasy. The book will become the anchor for a vast web of alternative money sources, but not the be-all and end all. And so, if your book sales are pocket money at the moment doesn't mean you're a failure, it just means you need to expand, repurpose, or use the impact/influence/opportunities that writing a book provides you.

Ultimately, I will leave you with this:

The thing about writing and making money is that there are no guarantees, and it will only ever work if you do. 

Thanks for reading, I love you.

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TSLS 0012 - Don’t let anyone get you down. (My new shirts + the story behind them)

New shirts today!

These are part of the #wholewriter collection, and they are special to me because they're so simple, yet effective. You'll come to notice that this is the theme of all my apparel designs soon enough! These ones read:

Don't let anyone anyone anyone get you down.

And that means so much to me.

This message came to me when I was pretty low.

I'd been betrayed by friends and family alike, stolen from, heartbroken and was just barely surviving after being abruptly ejected out of everything I knew. I looked to my right, then left, and there wasn't anyone I felt I could talk to about the issues I was having. No one I felt would even miss my presence if I wasn't around.

But then, that same day, as I was collecting old scraps of abandoned stories and diary entries that had somehow spilled out from my suitcase as I went to open it - right there on the hardwood floor was a piece of paper that had been completely destroyed by water, other than the words:

Don't let anyone anyone anyone get you down.

I couldn't remember writing that but there it was, in my handwriting. The only legible sentence in the right-hand corner of this tattered A4 sheet. And I couldn't help but think that in the depths of my despair, this message had been sent, either by myself subconsciously from a past life or from The Universe itself, to me, and specifically for me, in this precise moment.

Images of all the people that had wronged me flashed red before my eyes, but then, in blinding white, I let them all go. And decided that another human being should never be the cause of your ill health or struggle. Another human being is not worth you losing all the wonder and potential and power that makes you, and they do not have the power to take that away from you. You get to choose the impact other people have on your life, and how long you're going to allow it. That might not be an easy choice for other people to make, but it was the choice I made on that day, and I've never looked back.

So yes, such a simple phase...but one with so much power.

If you've ever felt that you were trodden down by something as inconsequential as another human soul, know that you were wrong. Because THE UNIVERSE created you. The flesh, blood or bone of others can not defeat you. So lean into the indomitable power of you.

You'll find your strength, and passion, and energy and creativity again, I promise.

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TSLS 0011 - The official wholewriter t-shirt is here!

Let me tell you a little about what this little ol' T-Shirt means to me. 

It's a message. This shirt means you're a writer who wants to take care of themselves in the pursuit of all their hopes and dreams, and is proud enough to let the world know it. You're willing to share that message with all the other writers who struggle with self-worth, and with feeling that their talent or passion isn't good enough in the eyes of the world. 

It's a community. And one that others will find because of you. Can you imagine being the person who saves someone's life...someone who was feeling alone and unloved and unheard but finally finds their tribe, all because of you and your t-shirt? It opens a new world for those few people out there in the world that our message has not yet touched.

It is a plea to all struggling writers. Your mental, emotional, spiritual, physical and financial health? They are all so important to me. And I know that's a lot to believe when you're out there feeling all alone with your fears and weaknesses, but this shirt is to remind you that you are NOT alone. You are not the only one feeling this way, you are not the only person to have ever experienced setbacks or insecurities, and you are not the only person who cares about YOU. Because we do.

It is an invitation. To join the movement, to stick around, and to grow with the community into the best version of yourself that you can be; the person inside of you who is not afraid, to set an example to all those around you who were ever afraid to pursue their destinies on the account of them being "not seeming important enough in the world". For not being a STEM subject.

It's the future. It's the next generation of empowerment and compassion for all creative people worldwide. It is an era of open-hearted communication and respect for the wellbeing of some of the most vulnerable people in our societies. It's working from the bottom up. And I hope you're ready.

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TSLS 0008 - Introducing The #Wholewriter Movement

Inside each and every writer who has ever been afraid to spread their message or use their voice...

Every writer who has grown terrified of what people think, or how they are perceived; who has ever received abuse for their art, or has ever failed, or has ever felt like giving up...

Inside each and every writer who has experienced these things, is a #wholewriter.

I'm talking about the person inside you who is not afraid. 

The inside you, somewhere, who is still a dreamer, a romantic, and who is still creative as ever. And who has never been harmed by criticism or negativity from others or from your own troubled thoughts. A person who is strong, and confident, and perfect. This person is just waiting for the day you realise that staying small isn't doing you any favours. 

This person is lying dormant under the weight of your fear and your insecurities, but it's easy to reconnect with them if you're willing to do so.

This is the movement:

The #Wholewriter Movement is an open conversation on social media dedicated to developing the next generation of writers through empowerment, advocating self-care & ending creative shame.

THERE IS A #WHOLEWRITER INSIDE YOU WHO IS NOT AFRAID. Welcome to the movement.

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