The Entrepreneur's Guide to Cultivating a Powerful Writing Habit for Business Success

In the fast-paced world of entrepreneurship, effective communication is often the key to success. One powerful way to communicate your vision, expertise, and insights is through writing. Whether you're an entrepreneur, a leader, or a coach, crafting a book for your business can establish you as an authority in your field and amplify your influence. However, the challenge lies in developing a consistent writing habit amidst the myriad demands of running a business. In this blog, we'll explore actionable strategies to help you cultivate a sustainable writing routine that aligns with your entrepreneurial lifestyle.


1. Embrace the Power of Consistency

Successful writing, like any other skill, is cultivated through consistent practice. As an entrepreneur, it's crucial to carve out dedicated time for writing amidst your busy schedule. Start small – commit to writing for just 15 minutes a day or 90 minutes a week. Pick something that you can slot into your current routine without too much disruption. Over time, you can gradually increase the duration. Consistency builds momentum, turning writing into a natural part of your routine.

Carve out dedicated time for writing amidst your busy schedule.
Carve out dedicated time for writing amidst your busy schedule.

 2. Set Clear Goals and Deadlines

Entrepreneurs thrive on goals and deadlines, and writing should be no exception. Define your writing goals, whether it's completing a certain number of chapters, hitting a word count milestone, or finalising a specific section. Break these goals into smaller, manageable tasks and assign deadlines to keep yourself accountable. This not only provides structure to your writing process but also ensures steady progress. I’m a big fan of using Trello to break tasks down and set dates.

Define your writing goals, break them into smaller, manageable tasks and assign deadlines.
Define your writing goals, break them into smaller, manageable tasks and assign deadlines.

 3. Create a Dedicated Writing Space

Establishing a designated writing space can signal to your brain that it's time to focus and create. This doesn't need to be a lavish home office – a quiet corner with minimal distractions will suffice. Consider investing in tools like noise-cancelling headphones or ambient music to enhance your concentration. I love my Amazon playlist of focus music for those moments when I need to get things done. Having a consistent writing environment can trigger a Pavlovian response, making it easier for you to slip into a writing mindset.

Establishing a designated writing space can signal to your brain that it's time to focus and create.
Establishing a designated writing space can signal to your brain that it's time to focus and create.

 4. Morning Rituals: The Power of the Early Hours?

Many successful entrepreneurs attribute their productivity to early morning rituals. If that’s you, consider incorporating writing into your morning routine. The quiet hours before the chaos of the day sets in provide a serene environment for creativity to flourish. I have done this on occasion but I am not an early bird. If you’re like me, identify when you work best and have the most energy. Use this time to outline ideas, flesh out chapters, or edit your work. A morning writing routine not only jumpstarts your day but also ensures that writing doesn't become a neglected task. If you opt for another time of day, ensure it’s scheduled so you don’t skip over it.

 5. Make Writing a Priority

Entrepreneurs often juggle multiple responsibilities, making it easy for non-urgent tasks like writing to be sidelined. However, treating writing as a priority is essential. Schedule it into your calendar just like any other business meeting. Communicate your writing time to your team or family, ensuring that you're not disturbed during these dedicated periods. By making writing a non-negotiable part of your schedule, you send a signal that your book is a significant investment in your brand and business, which it is.

Treat writing as a priority and schedule it into your calendar just like any other business meeting.
Treat writing as a priority and schedule it into your calendar just like any other business meeting.

 6. Use Technology Wisely

Leverage technology to streamline your writing process. There are numerous tools and apps designed to enhance productivity and focus. Consider using writing software like Scrivener or Grammarly for a seamless writing experience. Set up project management tools to track your progress and stay organised. Embrace dictation tools for hands-free writing during hectic moments. By incorporating technology strategically, you can optimise your writing workflow and make the most of your time.

Leverage technology to streamline your writing process and make the most of your time.
Leverage technology to streamline your writing process and make the most of your time.

Building a writing habit as an entrepreneur, leader, or coach requires intentional effort and dedication. By incorporating these strategies into your routine, you can transform writing from a daunting task into a powerful tool for business growth. Remember, the key is consistency. Whether you're outlining a business strategy, sharing leadership insights, or crafting a coaching manual, your words have the potential to resonate with your audience and elevate your brand. So, set aside the time, create a conducive environment, and embark on the journey of becoming a successful author in the realm of business literature. Your book could be the catalyst that propels your business to new heights.

If you are ready to add a book to elevate your business then book a call and see how I can help.

Uncover Your True Calling: Identifying Your Passion and Purpose

In the labyrinth of life, discovering your passion and purpose can make a real difference, not only to your health and well-being but also to those you connect with. This journey, often filled with self-reflection and exploration, can lead to a life of fulfilment and contentment. In this blog post, we delve into the art of identifying your passion and purpose, and why it's a journey worth embarking on.


What is Passion and Purpose?

Passion and purpose are often used interchangeably, but they encompass distinct facets of your life:

Passion refers to that intense, burning desire or enthusiasm you feel for something. It's that activity or subject that makes your heart race and ignites your inner fire. It's the I can't wait to get out of bed in the morning feeling. 

I am very lucky that that is how I start every single day. I am without a doubt working within one of my passions right now because I am a) helping people, b) getting to use the techy stuff within publishing books and c) getting to be creative too.

Purpose, on the other hand, is the deeper reason behind your existence. It's about understanding why you're here, what you can contribute to the world, and how you can make a difference. Purpose, is the what am I meant to do in this lifetime? question. 

I guess I always knew deep down that my purpose was to try and make an impact and help people. I did it through teaching, my side hustle and now through book coaching and publishing. You may have heard me say this multiple times but books really do have the power to change the world. That might be changing the world for one person or maybe more. Either way, it’s done its job.


Why is Identifying Your Passion and Purpose Important?

1. Personal Fulfilment: When you align your life with your passions and purpose, you'll experience a profound sense of fulfilment. Work won't feel like work, and your days will be filled with meaning.

2. Motivation: Passion and purpose are powerful motivators. They provide you with the drive and determination to overcome obstacles and persevere through challenges.

3. Health and Well-being: Studies have shown that people who live in line with their passions and purpose tend to be happier, less stressed, and even healthier.


How to Identify Your Passion and Purpose

Identifying your passion and purpose isn't a one-size-fits-all process, but there are steps you can take to uncover them:

1. Self-Reflection

Begin by carving out quiet time for self-reflection. Consider these questions:

- What activities make you lose track of time?

- What are you naturally good at?

- What issues or causes deeply resonate with you?

- What are your long-held dreams and aspirations?

Your answers can offer valuable insights into your passions and potentially your purpose.

Carve out quiet time for self-reflection.
Carve out quiet time for self-reflection.

2. Explore New Interests

Don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and explore new interests. Sometimes, you'll stumble upon your passion when you least expect it. Try a new hobby, join a club, or travel to unfamiliar places.

You could stumble upon your passion while exploring new interests.
You could stumble upon your passion while exploring new interests.

3. Seek Feedback

Sometimes, others can see your strengths and passions more clearly than you can. Ask friends, family, or mentors for their perspective on what you excel at and what activities make you come alive.

Ask friends, family, or mentors for feedback.
Ask friends, family, or mentors for feedback.

4. Embrace Failure

Don't be discouraged by setbacks or failures. Often, the path to discovering your passion and purpose is riddled with trial and error. Each experience, even the less successful ones, can teach you something valuable about yourself.

Don't be discouraged by setbacks or failures.
Don't be discouraged by setbacks or failures.

5. Pay Attention to Your Emotions

Your emotions can be powerful indicators of what resonates with you. Pay attention to the activities and situations that make you feel the most alive, fulfilled, or deeply moved. These emotional responses can lead you to your passions and purpose.

Your emotional responses can lead you to your passions and purpose.
Your emotional responses can lead you to your passions and purpose.

6. Seek Inspiration

Read books, watch documentaries, or listen to podcasts that inspire you. Learning about other people's journeys to find their passion and purpose can spark your own insights.

Seeking inspiration can spark your own insights.
Seeking inspiration can spark your own insights.

Identifying your passion and purpose is an ongoing journey, and it's perfectly normal for it to change over time. It's about understanding who you are, what drives you, and how you can contribute to the world in a meaningful way. So, take that first step today, and embark on your journey to uncover your true calling. 

If you think your passion and purpose are worth sharing with the world, why not write a book? To find out how, book a call with me.

How to Develop a Writing Habit: A Guide for Aspiring Authors

For aspiring authors, the dream of writing a book can feel both exciting and overwhelming. However, developing a consistent writing habit is the key to turning this dream into a reality. By committing to a regular writing routine, aspiring authors can overcome procrastination, unleash their creativity, and make significant progress towards completing their book. In this blog post, we will explore effective strategies to help aspiring authors like you establish a productive writing habit.


1. Set Achievable Goals 

One of the first steps in developing a writing habit is to set achievable goals. Start by determining how much time you can dedicate to writing each day or week. It's essential to be realistic and consistent. Set specific word count targets or time goals, such as writing for 30 minutes every morning or writing 2000 words in the week at times that suit you. By breaking your writing process into manageable chunks, you can eliminate the overwhelming feeling of tackling an entire book at once. As Will Smith discusses in his book, Will, when his dad had him building a wall. Don’t look at the whole wall, focus on one brick at a time and tackle one section of the wall at a time. Before you know it, the wall is complete. The same applies to your book.


"Focus on one brick at a time and tackle one section of the wall at a time."


2. Create a Dedicated Writing Space 

Having a designated writing space can significantly impact your productivity. Find a quiet and comfortable area where you can focus and let your creativity flow. This space should be free from distractions, allowing you to immerse yourself in your writing. Personalise your writing space with inspiring items, such as books, quotes, artwork or even your identity statements. If you don’t know what those are you need to get in touch as how you see yourself and in turn what your beliefs and values are will all impact on whether you stick to your habits. By associating this space with your writing routine, you'll signal to your brain that it's time to focus and dive into your book. You can enhance this brain signalling by using essential oils or music to help you focus. Do not underestimate the impact this can have on kicking your brain into creativity/ writing mode.


Find a quiet and comfortable area where you can focus and let your creativity flow.


3. Establish a Consistent Writing Schedule 

Consistency is key to forming a habit. Set aside dedicated time for writing in your daily or weekly schedule. Treat it as an important appointment with yourself that you can't miss. It might be early in the morning, during lunch breaks, or in the evening—choose a time that works best for you. Stick to this schedule as much as possible, even if it's only for a short period. Over time, this routine will become ingrained, making it easier to sit down and write, regardless of external distractions or excuses.


Set aside dedicated time for writing in your daily or weekly schedule.


4. Embrace Freewriting and Drafting 

To overcome writer's block and unleash your creativity, embrace freewriting and drafting. During these sessions, allow yourself to write without judgement or self-editing. Set a timer and write continuously, letting your ideas flow onto the page. Don't worry about perfection—focus on getting words on paper. This exercise helps generate ideas and build momentum. By separating the creative process from the editing process, you'll feel more liberated to explore your story and develop your book. Clients I have worked with often say they have a block and it’s normally because they can’t decide whether to include something that is on their mind. It might be a personal part of your life if you are writing a memoir or deciding how relevant something is to a story or non-fiction book. Whenever you find yourself overthinking or second-guessing, that’s the time for freewriting. Let it flow and decide later. 


Set a timer and write continuously, letting your ideas flow onto the page.


5. Find an Accountability Partner or Writing Group 

Accountability can be a powerful motivator. Connect with fellow aspiring authors or join a writing group where you can share your progress, seek feedback, and offer support to others. This is why I set up my Aspiring Authors Programme. Not only does it have content to guide you through the entire book-writing and self-publishing process but we have an accountability community and group calls that are great opportunities to support one another. An accountability partner or group can help you stay on track and provide valuable encouragement during challenging times. By participating in discussions and sharing experiences, you'll feel connected to a community that understands the joys and struggles of writing a book.


Connect with fellow aspiring authors or join a writing group where you can share your progress, seek feedback, and offer support to others.


Developing a writing habit is crucial for aspiring authors looking to bring their books to life. By setting achievable goals, creating a dedicated writing space, establishing a consistent writing schedule, embracing freewriting, and finding an accountability partner or writing group, you can cultivate a productive writing routine. Remember, forming a habit takes time and effort, but with perseverance, you'll progress and transform your aspiration into an actual book. Start today, and let your inner author emerge. Happy writing!


If you’re looking for support with your writing, book a call to see how I can help. 

A Book Inside You

The saying goes, “There’s a book inside all of us.”

I recently attended a local primary school's Career Fair for 10- and 11-year-olds. The students were all fabulous and asked lots of questions about being an author, including many questions I had not actually thought about myself.

Here are a few that got me thinking…


1. What skills and/or qualifications do you need, to be an author?

I hadn’t considered this before this session, which I find strange given my background in teaching. I didn’t want to discourage any budding authors in the group and it made me wonder just what skills and qualifications you did need. 

To embark on your author’s journey, the most crucial prerequisites are a burning passion and a vivid imagination. While a solid understanding of the English language is important, editors can assist in refining your work. Remember, it's your passion and commitment that will drive you to excel. If you're unsure about the book hidden within you, I encourage you to identify your passions and let them guide your creative process. Everything else can be learned along the way or through collaboration with others.


The most crucial prerequisites to start your author's journey are a burning passion and a vivid imagination.


2. What inspired you to be an author?

For me, my inspiration stemmed from my experiences as a teacher and my desire to help young people. My own children, as well as the countless students I had the privilege of teaching, played a significant role in sparking my creativity. 

I was a secondary teacher, working on a project with a friend to help students to identify what they wanted to do when they were older, including acknowledging their strengths. Something that many teens struggle with. After a session on that project, my first picture book flew out of my fingers onto the paper. I wanted a way to help others to be their best selves and belief that they can achieve what they desire.

If you're seeking inspiration, reflect on what drives you and evokes strong emotions. Look at the world around you and consider how your unique perspective can contribute to positive change. Your book idea has the power to make a lasting impact, so join me on my quest to change the world one book at a time, whether on an individual level or a global scale.


3. What do you enjoy about being an author?

As an author, I love the freedom to express myself, share my stories, and impart knowledge to readers worldwide. The ability to make a difference in someone's life through my words brings immeasurable joy. Whether it's through entertaining fiction or empowering non-fiction, the opportunity to touch hearts and inspire minds is an extraordinary privilege. The fulfilment derived from seeing your book resonate with readers and knowing you've made a positive impact is incomparable.


4. What do you dislike most about being an author?

While being an author is immensely rewarding, it's important to acknowledge the challenges. Negative reviews may be disheartening, but they provide an opportunity for growth. Embrace constructive criticism as a chance to refine your craft and connect with your audience on a deeper level. 


Negative reviews may be disheartening, but they provide an opportunity for growth.


They also asked which was my favourite book. When most of your books are named after and inspired by your family, that is literally like asking you to choose your favourite child. Each book, like each child, brings something special to the mix and they are all a favourite of mine for different reasons.

If you've reached this point in the blog, it's evident that the desire to write resides within you. Don't let anything hold you back! Take the first step toward fulfilling your writing dreams by booking a call with me. As an author and book coach, I am dedicated to helping you translate your passion onto paper and sharing it with readers around the world. Together, we can make a difference—one book at a time.


A one-on-one session with a book coach can help translate your passion onto paper.


Remember, the world is waiting to hear your story. Start your journey as an author today!

6 Book Writing Tips for an Aspiring Author

Writing a book can be intimidating, but with the right tips and strategies, it can be a rewarding experience. Here are six book writing tips for aspiring authors that will help you get started on your journey to becoming a published author.


1. Create an Outline


Creating an outline is one of the most important steps in writing a book. An outline will help you organise your thoughts and keep you focused on the main points you want to include whether it’s fiction or non-fiction. It will also help you plan out the structure of your book and make sure that all of the pieces fit together logically. Take some time to brainstorm ideas and create an outline before you start writing your book. Don’t worry too much if this changes throughout your writing journey. You will likely find that other things come to mind as you write. Revisit your outline when those moments arise and decide whether anything needs adapting/adding or indeed removing. 


An outline helps you plan out the structure of your book and make sure that all of the pieces fit together logically.


2. Set Writing Goals


Setting writing goals is essential for staying motivated and on track when writing a book. Make sure to set realistic goals that are achievable within a certain timeframe, such as writing 500 words per day or completing one chapter per week. Having specific goals will help keep you focused and ensure that you stay on track with your project. I also highlight this in last week’s blog when trying to create a writing habit


Write for yourself first, then write for others. Start by writing down your thoughts and feelings in a journal. It will feel less intimidating to then start writing your book. It may also help to keep journaling throughout your book writing to help ensure you don’t get overwhelmed by the process.


Set realistic goals that are achievable within a certain timeframe.


3. Read Books in Your Genre


Reading books in the same genre as yours can be highly beneficial for aspiring authors. Not only will it give you insight into what works well in that genre, but it can also provide inspiration for your own work and give you ideas for how to structure your story or develop characters more effectively. While reading is often better than listening to audiobooks, do what’s right for you. If audio is how you consume your books, stick with it but dip into a hard copy every now and again. 


It also doesn’t mean you shouldn’t read books in other genres. It’s important that you maintain your love of books, so ensure you still read/ listen for pleasure as well as to aid your book writing.



Read for pleasure, as well as to get inspiration for your own book writing.


4. Take Breaks


Taking regular breaks while writing is important for maintaining focus and avoiding burnout when working on long projects like books. Make sure to take breaks throughout the day so that your mind has time to rest and recharge before getting back to work on your project later in the day or week. Have you used the Pomodoro technique before? I find it’s quite effective and discuss it in Becoming the GOAT* as a study strategy. It works effectively when trying to complete long tasks as you essentially break them up into more manageable chunks. 


Pomodoro Technique:

  • Set your task.
  • Choose the chunks of time you want to work in (usually 15–25-minute blocks).
  • Set an alarm for the end of the block.
  • Take a 5-minute break, walk around, grab a drink, or look out of the window.
  • After 4 work intervals, take a longer 15–30-minute break.
  • Repeat until the task is complete. 


There are loads of Pomodoro timers online that you can set for the time intervals you choose. If you have Alexa or Siri, they can also help you out. If you tell Alexa how much time you have, she sorts out the time chunks for you!


Try the Pomodoro technique.


5. Get Feedback From Others


Getting feedback from others while working on your book can be incredibly helpful in improving its quality before submitting it for publication or self-publishing it online. Ask friends, family members, or other authors in the same genre as yours to read through drafts of chapters or sections of your book so they can provide constructive feedback about what works well and what could use improvement before publishing it publicly yourself later on down the line. If you have already identified your target reader, then you could always use them as beta readers for feedback. 


Remember, whoever you choose, it is their opinion and you do not have to take it on board. It is more beneficial if the feedback is from someone from your target audience rather than a friend as ultimately, they’re the people who you want to read it. 


Ask friends, family members, or other authors in the same genre as yours for constructive feedback.


6. Don’t Be Afraid to Make Changes


Finally, don’t be afraid to make changes throughout the process of writing your book if something isn’t working out quite right or if something needs improvement after getting feedback from others who have read through drafts of chapters or sections of it already. Making changes throughout the process is normal and expected when writing books, so don’t be afraid to go back over things multiple times until they are just right before submitting them later down the line.


With that in mind, don’t keep changing for changing’s sake. You could spend weeks or months trying to perfect your work even though it is fine just as it is. You need to know when to stop and say this is good enough. 


If you’re looking for help getting started as an aspiring author or with publishing, then book a strategy call with me to see how I can help.

The Power of a Writing Habit: 8 Tips and Tricks to Get Started

Developing a writing habit can be a game-changer for anyone looking to improve their writing skills. Writing is an essential skill that can help you express your thoughts, feelings, and ideas clearly and concisely. It’s also a great way to organise your thoughts and communicate with others. Whether you're a professional writer or just starting out, consistent practice is vital to honing your craft. But why is it so important to develop a writing habit? In this guide, we'll explore the benefits of a writing habit for both personal and professional development and provide tips for establishing one that works for you.


1. Developing Writing Skills

One of the most obvious benefits of developing a writing habit is that it helps you hone your writing skills. Writing regularly allows you to practice your craft and become more proficient in expressing yourself through words. You can also learn how to structure your sentences better, use more descriptive language, and improve your grammar. As you continue to write, you’ll be able to create more compelling stories or arguments that will be easier for your readers to understand.


2. Organising Thoughts

Writing regularly can also help you organise your thoughts more effectively. Writing down your ideas allows you to sort through them and prioritise which ones are most important or relevant to your current writing project. This makes it easier for you to make decisions or come up with solutions since you’ll have all the necessary information laid out in front of you. Additionally, having a writing habit helps you keep track of any progress that you make on projects or goals since you can easily refer back to what you wrote down earlier.


3. Boosting Creativity

Having a regular writing habit can help boost creativity by giving you an outlet for exploring new ideas or concepts without worrying about judgment from others. When you write down your thoughts without fear of criticism, it allows you to think outside the box and come up with unique solutions that may not have occurred otherwise. Additionally, having a regular writing habit encourages creative thinking by allowing you time each day or week dedicated solely towards brainstorming new ideas or exploring different perspectives on topics that interest you. Whether it’s something to work into your current book or a future one, it’s not possible to have too many ideas. By writing them down you ensure they are not forgotten about. 


A regular writing habit encourages creative thinking by allowing you time dedicated solely towards brainstorming or exploring different perspectives.


4. Set a writing goal and schedule

One of the most important steps in developing a writing habit is setting a goal and schedule for yourself. This could be a daily or weekly word count, a certain amount of time spent writing each day or week, or a specific project deadline. Whatever your goal may be, make sure it's realistic and achievable. Then, create a schedule that works for you and stick to it. Consistency is key when it comes to developing a writing habit. As well as setting your schedule, it’s handy to have an accountability buddy who will help ensure you stick to your planned schedule. While I was writing Becoming the GOAT*, I used an accountability buddy. I had to check in each week with my word count. If I hadn’t made it I had to pay £5. I kept my end of the deal every week. 


Set realistic and achievable goals, and be consistent in achieving them.


5. Create a designated writing space

Having a designated writing space can help you get into the right mindset for writing and minimise distractions. This could be a separate room in your home, a corner of your bedroom, or even just a specific desk or table. Make sure your writing space is comfortable and conducive to creativity, with good lighting and minimal clutter. It often helps to have a separate space from where you complete admin tasks, even if it’s your local coffee shop. When you sit down in your designated writing space, your brain will start to associate that area with writing, making it easier to get into the writing mindset.


Having a designated writing space can help you get into the right mindset for writing.


6. Eliminate distractions

One of the biggest obstacles to developing a consistent writing habit is distractions. Whether it's social media notifications, household chores, or other responsibilities, distractions can quickly derail your writing progress. To eliminate distractions, try turning off your phone or putting it on silent, closing unnecessary tabs on your computer, and setting specific times for household tasks and other responsibilities. You can also try using noise-cancelling headphones or playing background music to help you focus. By eliminating distractions, you'll be able to focus more fully on your writing and develop a more consistent writing habit.


Having a designated writing space can help you get into the right mindset for writing.


7. Use prompts or exercises to get started

Sometimes the hardest part of writing is simply getting started. If you're struggling to come up with ideas or find inspiration, try using prompts or exercises to jumpstart your creativity. There are many resources available online, such as writing prompt generators or creative writing exercises. I recently shared a post about using AI as a tool to generate ideas and overcome writer’s block. You can also try setting a timer for a short period of time, such as 10 or 15 minutes, and writing whatever comes to mind during that time. The goal is to get your creative juices flowing and start building momentum with your writing habit. I’m sure that after those first 10 or 15 minutes you’ll be in the zone and want to write for longer.


8. Don't be too hard on yourself and celebrate small victories

Developing a writing habit takes time and effort, so it's important to be patient with yourself and celebrate small victories along the way. Maybe you wrote for 10 minutes longer than usual, or you finally finished that difficult paragraph you've been struggling with. Whatever it is, take a moment to acknowledge your progress and give yourself a pat on the back (or treat yourself to a chocolate bar! That can’t just be me, right?). This positive reinforcement can help motivate you to continue building your writing habit and improve your skills over time.


Take a moment to acknowledge your progress and give yourself a treat.


In conclusion, developing a regular writing habit has numerous benefits both personally and professionally such as improving communication skills, organising thoughts more effectively, honing writing skills, and boosting creativity. So if you want to take your personal growth or career development further, then consider making time each day or week dedicated to developing your writing habit!


If you’re looking for accountability and support to develop an effective writing habit then come and join like-minded authors on the Aspiring Author’s Programme.

The Fallen Tree

The Fallen Tree (20th February 2022)

When I was out walking recently I came across a fallen tree. Actually, there were a few given the recent storms that we’ve had. This one particular tree made me pause and question what I do when something takes me off course, literally uprooting me from my current goal.

Now this tree had been uprooted, its previous purpose changed, was that the end of it? Not necessarily.

Next to the tree were some other trees and branches that had been chopped into smaller lengths, potentially to be used as firewood or possibly something else more fun or purposeful. Even as firewood, it produces energy and warmth, a comforting and possibly essential source. As a piece of art, it could bring beauty or happiness to the maker, grifter and receiver. I guess I’ll never know what it becomes but it’s irrelevant.

So when you are fallen, uprooted or blown off course by an external force, do you let that stop you entirely? It may be that you’re intended to have a different purpose. A different meaning for your life and being. To serve others or yourself in a different way. 

What beauty and value can you bring to the world in a different form?

Chop your values, beliefs and identity down into more manageable chunks and think about what direction you’d like to take. It’s the start of a new adventure. Where will it take you?

a fallen tree

I broke (14th February 2021)

Last week I broke. I temporarily broke.

Ever had those moments where everything is against you? Or you thought it was, well that was my day...

I had a cardiology hospital appointment for Ava to check whether her leaking valve had changed and if we had a better idea of when she would need surgery. Fortunately, it was similar to August, it wasn’t any worse but we’re still none the wiser as to when surgery might be needed. In a way that’s great news but for someone who likes to plan, the unknown is hard. 

To add to that it was snowing. The one time I have to leave the house during a pandemic and it’s bloody snowing! I had a car accident in 2014, I aquaplaned on the M74 on my way to work and hit the central reservation. I wrote the car off and damaged my shoulder so I was unable to move it and still to this day it causes me pain. I’m also still dealing with the psychological after-effects. PTSD. I still have minor panic attacks if I have to drive in heavy rain or snow if I know the road is wet or slippy. But you know what? I didn’t let it stop me from taking Ava to her appointment.

I thought I was ok, I got on with the work I had to do once I returned home. I know that I’m always tired after driving in those conditions but I felt ok. I guess there was the added issue of having left the house for the first time in forever to go to a building with other people. That clearly took its toll too. 

I carried on with my zoom calls and work and later that afternoon I heard a thud. Oscar had dropped his laptop. The laptop that he has depended on for his school work. Dropped. The screen was damaged and rendered unusable. That’s the point when I first cried a tear. I wiped it away as I jumped on another zoom. I’d deal with that issue later. 

We found a temporary solution and set up an old iPad with apps, etc that he’ll need and got him logged onto his school accounts. Not ideal but better than nothing. It was 7pm by this point and I had one final zoom for the day at 7.30pm. I got set up for that while finishing sorting his iPad out. I connected to the meeting, and it froze. I restarted my Mac and connected again, but it froze. Third time lucky? I managed a bit longer but yet again it froze. Turns out my Mac had a small update and that was enough for zoom not to be my friend. At that point I cried, I cried that horrible snotty ugly cry. 

It felt stupid, that I was crying over a stupid piece of software not working but it was more than that, it was an accumulation throughout the day that triggered it but being kind to myself, I acknowledged we’re all in difficult positions right now. I can cry if I need to, but it’s done. We’re all just trying to do our best. Today will be a better day for me. 

Thank god it's half-term this week!

So, how have your last few weeks been?


You will probably have heard of Schadenfreude; taking pleasure in others’ misfortune, you know the videos of people slipping on ice or tripping up steps? When I was younger I thought the TV show ‘You’ve Been Framed’ was hilarious. I still have a chuckle every now and again when posts do the rounds on Facebook of misspelt texts and other calamities.

Slapstick comedy was based on the whole concept of Schadenfreude because it is a fundamental human emotion, a part of all of us.

But have you come across Freudenfreude? No?

Neither had I until recently when a friend told me about it. 

Freudenfreude is the term used for taking pleasure in other people’s joy and successes. A much nicer trait than its cousin Schadenfreude. In 2019 I had the pleasure of speaking at the Women’s Economic Forum on this very topic but I didn’t have a word for it. At that time I referred to the importance of us being each other’s cheerleaders.

As very young children, we bask in Freudenfreude, encouraging each other and cheering each other on. How many times do little ones clap at relatively minor achievements-both their own and others? If Ava is around when I go to the toilet, I get a full round of applause, we all need more of that in our lives (maybe not the live audience for toilet trips). 

I remember when Ava was learning to walk, I shared a video of her on social media and there were so many people cheering her on in the comments, willing her to take those next independent steps, so even as adults, we have it in us. But, somewhere along the way, we can get too comfortable with hiding our Freudenfreude away. Is the competitiveness that’s encouraged by society partly to blame?

Maybe you resent the friend who is getting married while you sit on the sidelines waiting for Mr or Mrs Right, maybe the colleague at work who really did deserve that promotion but you feel like it will take forever for you to get there, possibly the new mum down the road with that perfect little bundle of joy. The struggle to balance empathy and competitiveness is real.

Does it really serve you to resent any one of those people? Do the feelings you have in each of those moments actually help you? If you always find that competitive streak overrules the empathy you may find that relationships fall away, it may become a self-fulfilling prophecy of doom and gloom. 

How about you Freudenfreude it? Ok, maybe it can’t be used as a verb but, hey, who cares?! Bask in my joy of a new word! 

Over the last year, I’ve had the pleasure of spending time in the virtual company of some amazing people, they are all Freudenfreuders. One thing we have in common, we’re all writers. The reason we’re Freudenfreuders too? We get so much joy from seeing each and every one of them publish their books, the outpouring of love and joy in sharing their success is second to none. 

You have probably heard time and time again to surround yourself with like-minded people, or successful people to help you continue on your pathway to success. I genuinely believe we should surround ourselves with Freudenfreuders. Success, joy, happiness is contagious. If you are happy for someone else’s success, you feel an element of that joy and success for yourself too, that can only be a good thing. It’s like a never-ending circle of warmth and fuzziness which keeps on taking you to the next level of wherever you want to be. 

Over the next week, keep this idea in your mind in each situation you find yourself in. Given that you have both schadenfreude and Freudenfreude within you, what balance of the two have you got? Which do you tend towards most?

Why not come and join my lovely group of Freudenfreuders, Be More, Give More, Get More

Me with my mini freudenfreuders
Me with my mini freudenfreuders

Why I'm Grateful

What else do you do when you’re sitting on a delayed train for the best part of four hours… update your blog that you’ve abandoned for the last couple of months while life was happening!


I have recently found out that a friend of a friend has given birth a few weeks ago to a beautiful baby who happens to have Down’s Syndrome. On hearing the news it has made me reflect on the last 6 months and all of the things I am grateful for since Ava’s arrival.

Eleanor, a blonde lady holding her newborn baby, Ava who has Down syndrome

I’m sure there are many more things that I will think of but my minor OCD will not let me have an odd number for now and certainly not 13 so when I get my thinking cap on there may be another list added.

Please do one thing after reading this, consider an event that has been difficult for you, has been an inconvenience or just something you weren’t expecting in the last 12 months and write down at least 10 things you are grateful for as a result of it happening, possibly even try and get to 13!