Many writers have to deal with blockages of different kinds, but can those blocks actually teach us something? And once we have learnt the lessons, how can we free ourselves from blocks in order to create again?
Tom Evans is a British author, bookwright and poet who mentors other authors how to unleash the books inside themselves. He specialises in removing writer’s block and helping authors connect with their creative muse.
There may be concepts in this podcast you don’t agree with, but be open to new ideas – you never know what you will learn!
In this podcast, you will learn:
- Why writers block is like an onion and what the different levels are
- How fear of failure is a common block for authors, and why fear of success can also block you
- Why there is a great life learning in every block
- Why blocks can be real but can also be used as creative avoidance
- How to tell the difference between a real block and procrastination
- The use of visualisation, meditation and walking for creativity
- How blocks can actually help you
- Sharing my own personal block!
- Site mentioned by Tom Authonomy – Harper Collins
- Why you need a big idea behind a fiction novel as well as a personal reason to write it
- How you can unleash the book inside
- Ways you can experience lightbulb moments on demand from the collective consciousness
- How Author 2.0 was my lightbulb moment
- What mind mapping is and how it can help you with your book. Tom uses iMindMap and MindManager
- How you can be a creative AND take advantage of new technologies – they are not mutually exclusive! Both are exploration.
- An example of using multiple mediums to get your book into the public
- How writing books is so much fun and can lead to places you can’t even imagine yet
You can find Tom at these sites:
Transcript of Interview with Tom Evans
Hi everyone. This is Joanna Penn for the Creative Penn Podcast, and today I’m interviewing Tom Evans.
Tom is a UK author, bookwright, and poet who mentors other authors how to unleash the books inside themselves. He also specializes in removing writer’s block, and helping authors connect with their creative muse, which is what we’re going to talk about today. So welcome, Tom.
Tom: Hi, Joanna. Good afternoon.
Joanna: Yes, great to have you here.
Can you start off by telling us a bit about you and about your background?
Tom: I’m a serial entrepreneur and inventor, and I’ve always had light bulb moments all my life. And I’ve been researching recently where they come from. I’ve been looking into the human mind and how we operate, and as a result of that, I’ve discovered not only where they come from but what stops them from coming in, hence the interest in writer’s block.
Joanna: You’ve written a couple of books, haven’t you? Just maybe explain a bit about your publishing and writing background.
Tom: The first book I wrote, I wrote by accident, and this is what got me into this. I was on a plane flying off on holiday, and all of a sudden I had this idea to write a book. By the time I got off the plane, I’d written the whole book.
It’s a book called, “100 Years of Ermintrude,” written in poetry, written in rhyme. And it’s based on a book by Gabriel García Márquez called “100 Years of Solitude.” But I thought it’d be great to write a book like that about birth, life, and death, but that people could read on the Internet in about 15 minutes.
It basically came in out of nowhere, and I spent the last three years researching where it came from, and being able to teach other people how to do the same.
Joanna: Wow, that’s amazing.
And people can presumably find that online as well? Because I haven’t read that one of yours. Can you tell me where it is?
Tom: It’s available from a website, www.100yearsofermintrude.com. That’s the printed version, but I’m just about to re-release it. I wrote it in 2005, and would you believe that every four line stanza which comprises each page of the book is less than 140 characters? So guess where I’m going to re-publish it?
Joanna: On Twitter?
Tom: You’ve got it. I’m going to re-publish it over the next week or so on Twitter so people can follow “100 Years of Ermintrude” for free, and the Twitter moniker is going to be Trudy 100.
Joanna: I’ll put that on the podcast.
We’re here today to talk about writer’s block. So can you tell me, what is your definition of writer’s block?
Tom: Well, blocks come in at about three levels. It’s like an onion. You take one level off and then another level and another level.
The basic level is that life just gets in the way, and things conspire against you setting out your best intention to write a book. That’s level one. And there’s loads of really practical ways around that block.
The second level of block is where your creative muse runs dry. And again, I use techniques like whole brain thinking, whole mind thinking, mind maps, and even some physical exercises, and the things that you eat and drink, to get you around that sort of block.
The third level of block is one where you’ve got some sort of trauma. It tends to be something that might have happened in early life, in your early days between maybe now and 10 years old. I’ve even found blocks that have happened in the womb.
For some people, I don’t know whether you believe in this sort of thing, I’ve even trained as a past-life regressor. I don’t do this very often, and I don’t know whether past-life as a model is true or not, but it doesn’t matter if people think it is and it resolves blocks. So blocks like this tend to be traumatic. They can be fear of failure, fear of ridicule, and even fear of success stopping people getting on with writing.
Joanna: That’s really interesting. I’m just thinking about myself there.
When you talk about fear of failure, I think that everybody has that. For authors especially, submitting their books to publishers and being rejected means that you have to face fear of failure all the time.
Tom: Yeah, and of course the real upside to this is that there’s no such thing as failure, because from every block, the main message is that there’s a great life learning to be had. If you take that failure and see how it can be used constructively, and you learn to love your blocks, then amazing things start to happen. I’ve been running fear of success for about a couple years.
Joanna: Some people say that blocks aren’t real, that they’re actually just things that people make up to serve as an excuse I guess for not actually writing. What would you say to that?
Tom: You’re in a creative process, and it’s amazing how creative you can be about not getting on with the process. So typically we might get on to Twitter and spend half an hour there or be answering our e-mails, or the kids might want something from us, and we say that we really have to do something for somebody else. And if it wasn’t for somebody else, we’d get on with the process of being creative. We’re actually being creative about not being creative. And this can go on for a long, long time. Believe me, I’ve been there.
Joanna: How do you tell the difference between a real block and procrastination?
Tom: I ask a few questions of someone and you can tell pretty much straight away by people’s language what is running inside their head. Our words say much about us, and also if I’m doing a one to one session with someone, their body language and their posture will tell me where the block is.
For example, if someone meets me and they’re late, so people come to the meeting and they’re a little bit late, that tells me they’ve got a time management problem. I’m not angry about that. It just gives me a clue to where the issue is with the block.
If somebody comes and they’ve got bits of scraps of paper everywhere about their book, and is pretty disorganized, that gives me a clue that their desk is going to be disorganized.
When people come and you can see that they’re either holding their neck, or their chest, or moving their hands around to protect themselves, that means there’s a deep seated fear that we’ve got to clear. And of course you can get any mix of those.
Joanna: And I guess those are things that you can tell, as someone who’s an expert in this area, if people are listening and they actually think that they are blocked.
Are there signs that they can tell about themselves?
Tom: Sure. There’s a really easy test, actually. If you were to just maybe close your eyes and go inside yourself, and think about where the thoughts to do with either your blockage or your book are coming from. If they are coming from your neck, or your chest, or your gut, then it tells you that there’s a blockage somewhere in the system.
If you find that your head is just buzzing with thoughts, that just tells you that it’s a thinking process. It’s a cognitive process to do with procrastination or management, and that sort of stuff. But if you just go inside, close your eyes, and just sense where you think the block is coming from, I guarantee that your first instinct will be correct.
Joanna: That’s really interesting. I had another thought then while you were talking.
Some people say that they want to be a writer, and they desperately want to write, but they don’t have any ideas. Is that a blockage?
Tom: Yeah. That last blockage that I discussed where you’ve got lots of internal dialogue going on. You’re continually thinking or perhaps you’re just thinking about the outcome, about being a millionaire and retiring on the back of your book, then that’s a blockage which you can deal with.
I teach everybody very simple visualization and meditative techniques. About the best tool that any writer can have. Going for a walk is even a fantastic thing to do. If you haven’t got a dog, get a dog and go walking daily. I guarantee that works for writers. But certainly not having the ideas is a continual block, but by quieting the mind, you’d be amazed how ideas start to come in.
Joanna: That’s brilliant advice. I’ve actually read your book which is called “Blocks,” and in that book, you do talk about a lot of these things. But you also say that blocks are to be welcomed and embraced.
And you also mentioned that there would be a life learning to be had. Can you explain a bit about how blocks can actually help people?
Tom: Yeah. I use a lot of models, and one of the models I use…I don’t know whether this is true or not, and I don’t want to discuss necessarily here whether it is true, but I use the model of reincarnation. The idea that every time we come back, we evolve, we learn things, and we move on. Now I’m never going to be able to prove this. I don’t make a big thing out of it at all. But it just helps you, as a model, think about the world in maybe a slightly different way. It certainly helps you, as an author, understand a little bit more about your path through life.
If you see a block not as a barrier but a challenge and an opportunity to learn and grow, it’s amazing how that block transforms. What happens is even sometimes just understanding a block like that is enough for it to dissipate. Then you might get another block, another block, another block, but they all sort of vaporize once you understand that they’re there for a reason.
But there’s a great collateral benefit as well. So many people that I’ve been working with, this has happened to them. As they write their book, the blocks that come up as great source material so they can understand the next chapter and the next chapter. People start to manifest what they’re writing about in their lives as real events, and it just gives them a huge deep vein of source material. Quite magical.
Joanna: And that’s interesting, because I guess some people say that if you have a block, you should just ignore it and sit down at your computer and just get on with it, you know? Get over yourself.
But what you’re saying is that people should focus on those blocks. Is that what you’re saying?
Tom: I wouldn’t say focus on them. This might sound a bit namby-pamby or something, but just learn to love your blocks. Learn to embrace them and understand what they’re there for.
When something’s not going right…you know, before when we started this interview, and I started to say something and then the audio quality broke up? What I understood straight away is that I was actually saying the wrong thing. Perhaps I needed to start introducing myself in a different way. That’s a good example of learning to understand your blocks.
Things that happen, not only internal, inside you, but externally as well. Understanding that they’re there for a reason, and as soon as you tune in to them, things start to go incredibly well for you. That make sense?
Joanna: Yes. That does make sense. Now you’re making me think. I’m just thinking about something about myself, for example. I’ve written three non-fiction books now, and I have a blog, and I do a lot of writing, and I’m quite confident in that. But I feel like I almost can’t write fiction. That’s kind of in my head as something I can’t do. Maybe there’s other people who are listening who might feel that way. Or maybe they write fiction, but they feel, “I can’t get a publisher.”
Now are those examples of blocks, or are they not blocks? I’m guess I’m trying to get to how people can deal with what they’re feeling.
Tom: Okay, well let’s deal with them in reverse order. There’s a sort of perceptual side of this, and there’s also a reversity side of things. It’s traditionally more difficult to get fiction published because you’ve got to go through that hoop of getting a literary agent and what have you. It’s a longer time. I think it can be longer to write fiction, certainly if you’re writing it in long-handed narrative, not in my shorthand poetry version that I put “100 Years of Ermintrude” out in. So there’s that perceived block, but as you know, there’s so many ways now of getting your books published.
So either through the various e-book aggregator sites like Scribd, or Smashwords, or Myebook. And there’s also a lot of the big publishing companies now are launching initiatives like Authonomy where you can submit your fictional work to a community site.
And the ones that get the best reviews by the readers go up to the top and get commissioned by the editors. In fact, they launched Authonomy, this is HarperCollins, they launched Authonomy in October last year, and in January this year, the first three authors had their commissions for publication in summer 2009.
So that whole paradigm of fiction taking ages to get published is pretty much disappearing at the moment.
Then there’s the internal thing about writing fiction. Have you got any children? Have you ever told stories to children at night, nieces and nephews?
Joanna: No, I don’t. No, I don’t.
Tom: I don’t have children either, but…or have you ever made things up?
Joanna: Yes. I mean, yeah. I think I could write it, but I’m just not doing it.
Tom: Okay. So basically, yeah. There’s two things you need when you’re going to write fiction. You want to make a point. So you’re going to say, “Well, this fiction isn’t just some yarn I’m going to spin out. It’s going to make a point, and it’s going to make a difference.” So you’ve got what I call meta-constructs behind the book, things that you want to get over.
And also you’ve got something that you want to get through yourself, so you’ve got a personal motivation to get the book written. That could just be a sense of pride.
For example, I’m more than halfway through a book called “Soulwave,” which explains high level concepts on cosmology evolution consciousness to people. And I could write a scientific book about that, but it’d take me a long time to do research and to back everything up, so I’m finding it a lot easier just to write the whole thing as a story.
And as a metaphor what happens, not only does it allow you to be completely creative, but you can also get points across to people on an unconscious level which has a much deeper resonance. Books like “Who Moved My Cheese?” and that sort of thing, and “The E-myth,” all written in that sort of style, allow you to get very deep concepts over at a very simple level.
Joanna: That’s fascinating. Let’s stop talking about me. But I think a lot of people listening will have similar issues to I guess what I’m talking about, and what you’re saying resonates with me, so it’s very valuable.
I want to talk about a course that you have which is called “Unleash the Book Inside.” Which I think many people would love to do that, but they have a lot of problems doing it.
Maybe you could just talk a bit about what you do on that course? I know it’s a live course, but are there some concepts that you can give to people listening that will help them unleash the book that’s inside them?
Tom: Sure. It’s available online as a home study course as well. So you can take it anywhere in the world over an Internet connection. It’s about two hours of narration, loads of interactive mind map exercises, and four amazing MP3 visualizations that take you off into those states of consciousness that allow creativity to flow.
And what we do on the two day version of it, which I’m just about to expand to a three day version, is that we get people into a state where you’re slightly entranced. And you also write in trance.
Have you ever read a Dan Brown book where…I don’t know. We think about Dan Brown, but he’s certainly successful. And if you read one of his books on holiday, you turn one chapter, and then you’ve got to read another chapter, and another chapter, and another chapter. What he’s done is get you entranced.
What I do is I teach people how to write books that entrance readers. And obviously one of the ways to do that is to be in trance yourself. Now that doesn’t mean you’re in deep hypnosis and about to perform some silly act on stage. What it means is, you know that time when you’re so creative that in an hour you seem to get about four hours work done, and time just disappears? Well that’s a state that you can get into with conscious volition.
It’s not a random state in the same way that having light bulb moments isn’t something that’s random. You can actually induce them on demand by getting into this slightly trance-like state. That’s what I teach on the workshop, and it’s the most fabulous couple of days. I enjoy them thoroughly as well.
Joanna: Tell me a bit more about those light bulb moments on demand, because I think people would be very keen to experience them. Can people actually do that themselves?
Tom: Yeah. There’s the online course. I teach the techniques to have them. Some of the exercises in the book “Blocks” are going to help with that as well.
You know when you have them, it’s because you know, those times when you have a thought that seems to be less than a second, but yet you get a whole vision? I don’t know whether you got that for Author 2.0, but all of a sudden the whole thing just comes in. Then it takes you an hour or two to jot everything down.
Those states are the ones that aren’t random and that you can induce. What you have to do is understand first off why they don’t happen, and then you can start to understand how to make them happen. I build my whole writing day working like that. It’s amazing what comes out from the whole process. Things you really didn’t expect.
Joanna: Now it’s interesting you say that. I guess sharing that, you mentioned Author 2.0 there. That was an idea that came to me a few months ago, and I just had the whole idea all at once. But obviously then it took me about three months to actually create everything that went around that.
Is it a case of acting on these flash ideas that might come to you, and if you don’t act on them they disappear?
Tom: Yeah. I use another model. This is a slightly esoteric model, but it’s one that’s been around in human consciousness for many years, is the idea of this collective consciousness. It’s something that Carl Jung postulated, and it’s a feature of many Eastern traditions.
The idea that we have a collective mind. What’s happening is that current scientific thinking is going that way, that we haven’t just got three dimensions. We’ve got multiple dimensions. The debate is out whether it’s 10, 11, or 26 dimensions. But in these dimensions is wrapped up what’s called an information field, or an Akashic field. There’s a fantastic book on this by a guy called Ervin László, a very well renowned scientist. And a lady called Lynne McTaggart wrote a book called “The Field.” That’s another book worth reading.
The idea is that we have a field of consciousness that we’re all tapped into, and this consciousness sits outside space and time. So if you think about it, the way I describe it is that, if that sits outside space and time, there’s a version of Joanna and Tom in the future that’s also tapped into it. Through morphic resonance, which is a concept by a chap called Rupert Sheldrake, you tap into the future you that knows the words you haven’t written yet, and you get them sent back to the present.
Now again, it might sound like a bit of a strange concept, but when you think like this…a great friend of mine has got a phrase. He says, “It only has to be true enough,” which I think is a lovely phrase.
And if you think about these things in such a way that they only have to be true enough, it’s amazing how they start to happen. So imagine that it was Joanna in a year’s time, really successful millionaire that’s been selling Author 2.0 for a year, and you tapped into her ideas and tuned them back into the present. Then it took you three months to get them out there.
And you could only evolve to being the millionairess Joanna in the future if you listen to those ideas now. And how many times have you had an idea, not acted upon it, only to see someone else do it six or nine months later?
Joanna: That’s very interesting.
And what about if people have had these ideas, and then they haven’t acted on them, will those ideas come again, different ideas? People don’t have to give up, do they, if they didn’t act on one of those ideas?
Tom: What tends to happen, if it’s a cracking idea, is you’ll get reminded about it again two or three times. And if you then don’t act upon it after two or three times, then it goes back into the collective consciousness. I like to think that it’s free for someone else to tap into then. So you’ll be reminded of it.
For example, with Author 2.0, you may have seen someone else doing something 2.0 or saw the word Web 2.0 more often than you might have done before. That’s just a reminder. Or you might have seen car number plates with the number two on it or something like that. You know, you see strange things that remind you of the things that you should be doing.
Joanna: It’s fascinating. I’m just wondering how people are feeling, because we’re having quite a spiritual conversation, which is quite unlike most of the podcasts I’m doing. So I’m going to ask you a few more practical sided questions, because I know that everything you do is not just around the spiritual side. You also do a lot of technical stuff.
You were also a professional mind map trainer, and you use this iMindMap software, so could you explain a bit about that and how authors can use that as a tool?
Tom: Mind maps are brilliant, because you’ve heard of that model of the brain where we’ve got a left hemisphere and a right hemisphere. The left hemisphere is the logical, controlling hemisphere, and the right hemisphere is the creative hemisphere.
You’ve also probably heard this phrase that we use about two or three percent of our brains. Well, what mind maps do is allow the two hemispheres to work in harmony. And a mind map is something…because it’s a map. The left hemisphere says to the right hemisphere, “Leave this to me. I do the maps in this part of the ship. I’ll deal with the structure.”
And while the left brain is busy doing the structure, the right brain sneaks in and can be fantastically creative. So that’s one aspect of mind maps where the two brains halves work together.
The other aspect is that mind maps map into your neurology so that you remember them, and you notice coincidences. So once the map is in there, you start to notice all the things that are going to help you with your book. That might be source material. It might be ideas. Or it might be just bumping into just the most perfect literary agent, or publisher, or illustrator that’s going to help you get the book into print.
Joanna: And can you just explain? I guess, try and draw a picture in people’s heads as to what a mind map looks like?
Tom: Yes. Imagine a central image. So what I say to people when we’re starting out in the course, I say, “Well just draw an image in the center of the bit of paper,” an A3 bit of paper, “that represents your book, what your book means to you.” Then draw some branches, some lines, off of that image radiating out, maybe three or four lines. One going to top right, one going to bottom right, one going to bottom left, one going to top left.
And what you say is, “On the top right one, just what is that book going to do for you? How is it going to transform you? How is it going to transform the world?” In terms of the bottom right, you’d say, “What would be the biggest benefit that you would get from writing this book? So what’s the biggest learning? What’s maybe the biggest financial benefit?”
Down to the bottom left draw, what would be great to clear from your life as a result of writing this book. So maybe bad habits you want to break, what things you want to get out of your life. Up in the top left, you might say, “What would the other learnings be for you that you’d get from writing this book?” And that would be an example of a great mind map to start out your process of writing.
Joanna: And people can put words on it and pictures and whatever they want, basically. There’s no rules, really, are there?
Tom: Absolutely. When you get more sophisticated with mind maps, you can do more than that. You can put audio notes on it, so you can record sections of your book on a branch. You can hyperlink to research. You can even bring in RSS feeds of research or Google searches in onto branches. Your mind map becomes a living document whereby which you manage the whole book production process.
Joanna: Now that’s interesting, because I’ve done mind maps for years, but I just draw them in my diary by hand.
I generally use words and little arrows and things. But what you’re saying is using software to do it.
Tom: Yeah. On the course, for example, I use pen and paper as you’re saying because it actually activates slightly different sections of the brain. And sometimes putting a computer in front of somebody will force them back into left brain mode, which is the last thing you want to do as a creative. So I only advocate using a mind map in that mode, when you’re into the production of your book, not in the inception of the book.
But yeah, there’s a couple of programs I use. I use iMindMap, which is Tony Buzan’s software, and also MindManager, which is a fantastic bit of software as well. And iMindMap is just coming out on the iPhone pretty soon, which is even better.
Joanna: Well, there you go. What I want to pull out for people as well is how you’re moving from talking about super-consciousness and creativity and things into using software. You can meld those two, can’t you?
You can be a creative, and you can also get excited about what the Internet, and software, and iPhones are all about for being an author.
Tom: Yes, and I see them both as exploration. Since I was a child, if something occurred in my life that I thought is interesting, or, “How did that work?” I felt compelled to research it. When I was a kid I thought transistor radios were magic, so I used to take them apart and see how they worked. I went and did a degree in electronics to find out how they worked, and I used to design electronic components and circuitry and make the magic happen myself.
Later on in life, I’m just finding that the mind is the most amazing tool. If you just learn a little bit about it, and no matter how weird and wacky that might sound, but just be open and embrace these ideas. If you experience something, don’t shy away from it, but just embrace it and go with it.
I just think from an author’s perspective you’d be a fool, especially if some of the ideas that are coming to you are coming from the you in the future that you’ve not evolved into yet, to ignore them. Even though that’s a wacky idea, you’d be foolish to ignore messages from the future, wouldn’t you, if they were true?
Joanna: Absolutely. Maybe just tell us a bit about your techie side.
You do a lot with e-books and social media. Can you give a few tips to authors as to what they might be using?
Tom: The first thing is that when you write a book, I don’t think you should be prescriptive about how people should read it. So obviously it’s lovely to pick up a printed book and leaf through the pages, but more and more people now are reading and consuming things online, or on their phones, or in their cars on CDs.
For example, I’ll give you an example of “100 Years of Ermintrude.” It actually started life as a PDF, then it became an audio book, then I did a video version of it. There’s a program in the UK, used to be on for children, called Jackanory where an actor would sit on the chair and read out a book. And I got this lovely lady to read out Ermintrude as if it’s a children’s story, which sounds wonderful. Then it became a printed book. Now it’s about to become a Twitter book. And so it’s got about four or five different incarnations. And different people using different media can get access to it.
And I know on your Author 2.0 program, the first module has got some even more fantastic ideas about how you can get a book out nowadays. Which I’m absolutely enthralled about, and got me really thinking about other ways of doing things. I think get a book out to as many people as possible. And early on in the book’s production process, be pretty wild and creative about how it’s going to get out to the market.
Joanna: That’s excellent. You mentioned iPhones there briefly.
I think I read somewhere you’re considering an iPhone app as well. Is that right?
Tom: Well, yeah. I’m going to do the second book in the series. The next book after “Blocks” is going to be called “Unleash,” and that’s going to be how you unleash a book inside you using mind maps. Now that could be paper based mind maps, but it can also be software based mind maps.
Everybody that comes on my course gets access to the software templates that I use. So it’ll come out as a printed book, but it’ll also come out as an iPhone book with the software and with the templates so you can go and create your book on the move, which I think is just going to be fantastic.
Joanna: No, that does sound really interesting. I’m particularly looking at iPhone apps at the moment as a new form of technology that we haven’t really got a handle on yet I think as authors. You know, at the moment people are just trying to put a book on the iPhone, which is quite boring.
There’s got to be something else, doesn’t there? What you’re saying sounds quite cross-media.
Tom: If I look at my online course at the moment, it’s great. But you’ve then got to generate the maps yourself on paper. But imagine if you could read the theory or listen to the theory on the iPhone, and then actually create the map on the phone itself so you’re actually using the same device. I think that would be phenomenal.
Joanna: Absolutely. It’s brilliant, and I love the fact that you’re kind of taking ancient ideas about consciousness and talking about iPhone apps. I think that’s great. It’s embracing all parts of you, isn’t it?
Tom: It is, and I’ve never been more creative in my life, nor have I been having more fun. So something’s got to be right about it.
Joanna: Maybe just talk about that fun, because I guess the subject of this podcast was writer’s block, and for a lot of people that has nothing to do with fun.
Can you just finish by synthesizing those two things?
Tom: Yeah, because I am a great believer. I think a book is the best business card you’ll ever have. It doesn’t matter if it’s a non-fiction book you’ve written about your domain expertise, or whether it’s a fiction book. It opens doors for you that you just really wouldn’t have imagined.
I had no idea when I wrote “100 Years of Ermintrude” it was going to end up with me walking around London in a bra with 15,000 women for 26 miles at night. It just wasn’t on my career path.
I didn’t know that that was then going to lead to me becoming not just a writer’s coach, but a writer’s unblocker, and somebody that could help people tap into creative ideas. There’s a few things on the horizon now. It’s all because I wrote a short book of poetry about a woman’s life, a lady that lived to 100 a couple or three years ago.
And this has been just a ticket that’s taken me around the world to places I wouldn’t have expected, situations I wouldn’t have expected, because I’ve been open to the ideas that have come in. I was slightly worried when I first started doing this that opening up the floodgates would be a bit of a problem, but it hasn’t done that. It’s just opened up opportunity after opportunity, and it’s just fun.
I don’t call it working. I’m meeting some fantastic people and working with some fantastic people, having this great conversation with somebody I wouldn’t have met if I had not got on Twitter.
Joanna: Yes, and it’s great that we met on Twitter. I’m a real fan, and I know you are. Can you just tell people how they can find out more about you and about your books?
Tom: Okay, well I’ve got a website, a blogsite, called The Bookwright. That’s like playwright, so it’s B-O-O-K-W-R-I-G-H-T-dot-com. I’m also on Twitter. Twitter.com/thebookwright. And pretty much everything you need to know about the work I’m doing, the books, the courses, and the inspirations that I’ve got coming in, they’re going to be published on there. But Twitter’s my inspiration channel.
Joanna: Fantastic. Well thanks ever so much for your time, Tom. That was brilliant.
Tom: And thank you, Joanna. It’s been a pleasure to talk to you.