Julie's Quest

Hello, and welcome to my blog. My blog is about the trials and tribulations of writing, where we celebrate successes and commiserate our near misses. We tell it like it is here and will do our very best to help you on the road to being published and pick you up after the rejections (they will come!) Whether you are a professional or amateur writer you will find something useful here.

I hope you enjoy reading my posts and will visit again soon.

Happy Writing

Julie Phillips - freelance writer - member of the Association of Freelance Writers - member of the Society of Authors

Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Want to read a good book?

I'm not a fan of 'self-help' books - particularly cheesy American ones that promise to help you to change your life. But I came across a book recently that, although, is, in essence a self- help book, it's very different and refreshing to the usual 'if-you-do-this-you-will-have-a-fabulous-life-and-no-worries' book.

I've been lucky to have met the author twice now and I interviewed him last year. He is a motivational speaker but not like any other I have read about or seen. He genuinely believes in his craft and wants to motivate people to see the problems in their lives in a different light and work out for themselves what they want to do to change things.

He's been through some struggles in his life and so knows what he's talking about and he certainly had a profound effect on my attitude to my life and writing. And I know he inspired a lot of other Wrekin Writers too when he came to do a workshop for us last year.

The book is called My Fire's Gone Out! How to cope with change in your work and your life by Liam O'Connell. It's his second 'motivational' book. His first book 'Don't Feed The Ducks' was more geared towards businesses and motivating staff and managers. But his new book is slanted towards anyone who is demotivated or having struggles with life and feeling deflated.

It's a short book but packed with helpful tips and it tells a story in fable style of how four 'devils' with different personalities cope with change. It's such a great book I read it in one sitting as I couldn't put it down! That's really unusual for me. I know I'm an avid reader but it usually takes me a few days or a couple of weeks to get through books.

Liam's advice in the book is well placed to be of use for writers too. I know most writers go through phases of losing their inspiration and motivation to write. This book helps you to think about and see what you can do to help get your spark back. It certainly got me thinking and I realised that a lot of what Liam says in the book I had already used when I had the troubles with my health and work a couple of years ago. So it was good to know that I'd gone about getting my life back in a way that worked for me, and testament to the fact that Liam knows of what he speaks! As he says in the book: change happens and it's how we react to that change that makes all the difference.

You can buy the book on Amazon (where I got it from) ISBN no: 978-1-90701651-6  or go on Liam's website  http://www.liamoconnell.co.uk/

Half the battle in writing is not to listen to the devil on your shoulder dissing your writing attempts. Brush him off and stamp on him and just keep writing and keep going! Think about your thought patterns and how you view your writing and rejections. Do you let the spectre of rejection stop you from writing or sending your work out? Is your writing important enough to you to want to get published? Do you have a tantrum and vow never to write another work the minute a rejection comes through? STOP IT NOW! Change your attitude to your writing  and stop sabotaging your chances of publication. I had the attitude switch a couple of years ago and can't believe the stuff I've had published. And if I may quote Liam: 'You can, not you can't. You will, not you won't. If you have a dream, make the dream come true. And never, ever give up .....'

Happy writing

Julie xx


Christine said...

Hi Julie
I'm with you on not being a big fan of self-help books, but if anything helps us to get on with the writing then it has to be worth it. How interesting to have met the author!

We all need a bit of help to get us through the difficult days when we doubt ourselves. I have to repeat to myself, 'you are not too old and it is not too late'. The hard bit is believing it!

Sue Ross said...

I think I tend to be a bit lazy. Tantrums take too much effort so, if I'm feeling a bit demotivated, I usually just pretend I'm too busy.
Does the gorilla put in an appearance in Liam's book Julie?

Jayne said...

Sounds like something I could do with at the moment Julie, I'll certainly look into it. thanks for the blog :-) xx

Carole Anne Carr said...

Hi Julie,
Anything is a help. Just attended an Expo where I had to 'perform' to an audience about my work. I'm usually ok after a minute or so, but this time I wanted to 'sell' myself and my work from the word go, have no nerves or worries. So dug out Paul McKenna's Confidence tape, love yourself, the usual thing. Headphones replaying it every morning and every night for a fortnight.
When it came to the event I was on top of my form from the moment I stood up, had they all laughing and interested, it was a great success. The best I've ever done, on stage or off it.
Good old Paul McKenna, worth his weight in gold.
Hugs and love... keep up your good work! Candle Dark to the printer, finally, next week. Thank goodness!

Julie P said...

Hi, Christine

You are definitely not too old and it is definitely not too late!

It was great meeting Liam - he's a great chap and I'm hoping his book sells well.

Julie xx

Julie P said...

Oh yes. I'd forgotten about the gorilla, Sue! It made us giggle when I was interviewing Liam. I reminded him about the time he was at Wrekin Writers. I didn't see any gorilla! It's not until he played it back to me that I saw it! I think I was just a bit too focussed on the ball that day! Funny how your brain and eyes can plays tricks on you.

I'm a lazy moo most of the time and then I get frustrated when I don't get the writing done that I wanted to. Procrastination is a terrible thing!

Julie xx

Julie P said...

Hi, Jayne.

I think we all need motivating at some point in our writing life and Liam was the one of the people who did it for me - Simon Whaley being the other chap. I know who to blame when it all goes pear shaped! Just joking - I only have myself to blame if it all goes wrong!

Julie xx

Julie P said...

Paul McKenna - I used to love watching his shows on TV. He's a very clever man. I haven't got the patience to lie down and listen to his self help cds though. I wonder if he'll release a cd that will help me to lie down and listen to his cds?!

Glad the expo went well and so pleased Candle Dark is going well. I can't wait to buy ny copy and read it - al of youe books that I've read have been fantastic.
Scones and tea/coffee soon.

Julie xx

HelenMHunt said...

Sounds like a fascinating book.

Julie P said...

It is, Helen. It certainly makes you think about what is important to you in your life which helps in deciding which directio you want your writing to go.
Julie xx

Suzanne Jones said...

I really like self help books so will definitely check this out. My favourite self help writer is Paul McKenna - he can make me rich, he can make me thin, he can give me confidence... I love Paul McKenna.


Julie P said...

Yay, Suzanne! Anyone who can make us thin is to be celebrated.
Julie xx