My creative writing students told me they wanted something short and simple to give them a burst of inspiration and motivation to write, so I produced this workbook for them, and I’d like you to have it too.
Inside you will find:
Goal Setting – your vision and your barriers
Ideas and Inspiration – where to find prompts in unlikely places
Motivation and Making Time – Scheduling and beating negative beliefs
It’s free to download and available now!
to sign up for your FREE WORKBOOK and start your writing journey with Rachel today.
Do you want to write for children or teens?
Maybe you have a burning idea for a story lurking in the back of your mind, or a first chapter sitting in a drawer longing to be freed?
Every nine weeks, I take a small group of chapter book writers, middle grade writers and teen fiction writers on a journey with me to learn to craft, plot and edit their next book.
We learn character building; story plotting; beginnings, middles and endings; effective dialogue; tense and viewpoint; submitting to magazines, competitions and agents, and self-publishing.
We cover ideas and inspiration; motivation; time and space to write; beating writers’ block; banishing self-limiting beliefs.
for more information about the programme and to find course start dates
What our say
I’ve had a passion for writing since childhood. In my teens, I’d send stories to magazines in the hope that I’d get published someday. In my twenties, diagnosed with post-natal depression and then Bipolar Affective Disorder, writing became my therapy.
In 2006, I hit upon an idea for my first novel, a children’s fantasy. I was working full time in a hospital and studying hard. A career in the medical profession beckoned as I put every ounce of commitment into the course as well as being a parent. It was tiring, hard work and it drained me of energy but I knew that it would all be worth it.
But sometimes life can throw you a curveball and force you to change your path.
Something was missing. The intricacies of medicine, biology and science had me hooked but it was taking its toll. I was juggling studying with spending time with my daughter but I soon realised that I had nothing left to give when it came to having fun and getting creative. I hadn’t read a fiction book in two years and I had no time to write. My passion was being suppressed.
During the final month of the academic year, I was presented with the opportunity to write a piece of reflexive writing for a clinical journal. The piece was about the heart and its place in literature. It was accepted for publication. Seeing it in print inspired me and I also received a financial award from the Dean of the medical school for an ‘outstanding piece of writing’.
The spark had been reignited. It was that lightbulb moment and I knew that becoming a doctor was not my true calling. I made the bold decision to quit medical school and take a place on a Creative Writing degree at my local university. I started writing short stories for magazines and competitions again and this time I did get published. Best of all, my first novel finally started to take shape.
The perfect ending, it seems. Not quite.
The degree was brilliant, I unleashed my creativity and I embraced spending more time with my daughter. However, I was having trouble finding the energy to write my novel. I would sit staring at a blank page. This went on for hour after hour.
In 2012, after six years of chipping away at my writing, I finally finished my 50,000-word middle-grade fantasy, Dragon Flu. I entered it into a competition and it won an award for ‘Book of the Year 2012’. I was relieved and elated. I started submitting it to agents. The feedback was positive but many asked whether I had written anything else. They wanted confirmation that I was not a one-book author and that I would have further work to publish if they took a chance on representing me.
At this point, I had to ask myself – could I spend six years writing a second book?
Did I have the energy to do it?
I was studying again, a Master’s in Writing for Children, and my daughter needed my support as she was taking exams. Then I started wondering. Why had it taken me six years? 50,000 words over six years equates to 160 words a week or 23 words a day. The numbers were eye-opening, to say the least.
A conversation with my university tutor helped me to gain clarity. She asked me whether I thought my writing was important. I told her it was, after all, I had spent five years learning about the craft and six years writing. It was very important. She then questioned why I was not making it a priority.
This thought-provoking conversation brought it all into perspective. I was putting everything in my life before writing. It was brushed aside as I gave myself permission to do everything else except write.
Each time I started writing, I would question myself. Why wasn’t I doing all the other important things that needed doing? Writing felt almost selfish.
I would not take the same kind of attitude with anyone else. I realised that I would encourage them to be creative because creativity is not a selfish act. It is essential, for our mental health and for our wellbeing.
Over the next three years, I began to embrace this new-found belief and way of thinking. I produced more short stories, which was great writing practice. I read plenty of fiction alongside books and articles about time management, self-motivation and self-organisation. I listened to podcasts and audio books on beating procrastination.
Then came another huge change in my mindset.
I took a diploma in Life Coaching and Neuro-Linguistic Programming. Negatives became positives and I encouraged myself more. The quality and quantity of my writing increased. I applied everything I’d learned to my writing and completed my second novel just six months later. I submitted it to a national literacy group – and they bought it!
I’m currently working on the last of a series of three chapter books: A Rat Called Twelve, Twelve and a Bit, and Twelve and a Bit More.
It’s my mission to put everything I’ve learned these past few years together and share it with you, and to build a positive, thriving, supportive community of likeminded writers around it. I look forward to getting to know your story along the way as well.