What Next? 7 Tips to find what you should do next?

Finished!

Well I thought I had finally ended my academic life as a student when I recently submitted my Major Project for my Ma in Writing for Script and Screen. The next week I returned to teaching feeling accomplished.
Not only had I, as in me, completed a Masters but I had written a feature length film on one of my literary idols Mary Davys, based on a collaboration of her plays, novel and biography.
Part of my project was to add a critical essay which led me in a new direction of Adaptation Theory.
For me it looks like I’m heading straight back to uni, a PhD in the cards, as long as I can continue to teach creative writing.

But for others the decisions are not so easy to make or clear.

Here are my tips to discovering what you want to do next.

  1. Spend time on your OWN.

As a mum of four, I know how difficult and yet important this can be.  You NEED, yes need, to be able to hear your own thoughts. How else can you work out what exactly you want to do, if you don’t? Go for a walk, my go-to is a beach walk.  Do it as aften as you can.

     2. Recall when you were last happy.

This doesn’t mean to say you are miserable and unhappy now, but think back to the happiest days. What were you doing and who with? The who is just as important as the what. Let your past help solve your future.

   3. Write down your dreams you remember.

This is when your brain is sorting out those quirks and issues you have had when awake and been unable to solve.  Reflect on what you see, symbols, people, places or situations.

    4. Keep a journal.

This does not have to be daily, so don’t feel guilty of you forget.  Write how you are feeling, if you feel unmotivated at work, put that, and if you can why.  If you find yourself randomly doing something else, or googling new jobs, hobbies , ask yourself if you could change one thing now what would it be and why?

Write about what your love about yourself, be honest, no-one is going to see this, its not bragging, OWN IT. Ask friends and  family what they see as you talents?

    5. Spend time with inspirational people.

Who in your circle of friends and family that inspires you? What have they got or done differently to you? Don’t be afraid to ask them, chances are they have been where you are now.  Instead of asking for advice, ask how they would do something.

   6. Explore your passions!

Take a beginners class or the next level. What really brings a smile to your face. Meet like-minded people and widen your circle, if this is where you want to be, then these are the people who will be able to help.  Does your passion offer you the potential  for happieness now and growth tomorrow?

    7. Keep your mental and physical health in check.

No matter what you decide to do, your well-being is important!  Get that check-up, take that walk, talk about how you are feeling. There is no point in doing anything that sucks the life and soul from you!  I can whole-heartedly promise you that.  Yes, we all need to work and pay the bills, but check what you are spedning you money on now to make life bearable. if you did something else, would your downtime be the same?

Remember: Focus on the best case, plan for the worst. That way when things work out, you will have it covered!

 

Good Luck.

M.x

 

 

 

 

 

 

Motivating new writers.

Excuses range from their reading is not good enough, or they didn’t do well at school. Some believe that no-one would want to read their story but most lack the confidence to show their work to others, even loved ones.

 




Helping Each Other.

This week is the last of the latest set of ten writing lessons in the beginner’s course I run. I deliberately have no more than six on each course. It’s enough to be intimate and works well when writers share their work with each other.

As a writer, I love hearing everyone idea’s on what they would do if they could write. When I ask why they don’t write themselves, they have a barrage of excuses. Intrigued I often push further asking if they have ever given writing a go. Most say no.

Excuses range from their reading is not good enough, or they didn’t do well at school. Some believe that no-one would want to read their story but most lack the confidence to show their work to others, even loved ones.

I started writing as a child, and apart from my high school English teacher, keeping it pretty much a secret until three years ago. I have not included the work I did as a copywriter or the odd articles I wrote, to me that was ‘professional writing’ I had a topic, I had a deadline, a word count and audience etc all chosen for me. All I had to do was string a few words together.

I taught in high schools yet I wanted to know the difference from writing academically to writing fiction.  So I joined a community writing class.

At first, the idea of reading my fiction aloud in a room of strangers was terrifying. This was personal, so far removed from my previous writing, that it never existed. This was me laying bare not only myself but my ideas, my private thoughts and processes. It was hard.

We started the with snippets and the odd sentence here and there before we finally built up to full short stories. Pages of my words being shared and reviews by others.

My confidence soon soared.  I wrote a novel and a collection of short stories, enough to enrol on a Masters program in writing for tv and film!

I’ve nearly finished but over the time I have written a feature film that has gained production interest. My short film is currently in production and I had a short play out.

I am currently working on my dissertation, a biopic about an inspiring woman, who believed a writing career was possible despite at of life’s struggles.

So what do I take from this, what do I give my students?  The inspiration that anything is possible if you work hard enough. Hope, that they will be a writer.  If I can then it’s never too late for anyone, and finally motivation. For when those days that hit that you want to give up, that you feel it isn’t going right or you just can’t seem to find the words. Carry on it will come eventually.  Have Faith in Yourself.

M x