MANY FINGERS MANY PIES Or How to create multiple income streams to support your writing habit.

woman-with-money-c1950-60s-debrockeclassicstock

We all know the dream – write a fabulous book and start a bidding war, preferably in American dollars. Sell gazillions of copies worldwide and become an international bestseller. Do book tours with mile-long signing queues in New York. Sell the movie rights. Go bigger than JK Rowling and Liane Moriarty combined. Wonder if it should be Meryl Streep or Cher who plays you in the bio pic of your life; and if you really want plastic dolls of yourself.

But wait! You’ve written your fabulous book, you know it’s fabulous because many people have told you so, just not the right ones. Not the ones who could start your high-flying trajectory. You’ve sent your book out to every publisher in the known world, and it still hasn’t found a home. Or maybe it has, just not with a big publisher. Your book has done its best, but the massive royalty cheques have failed to materialise. You feel as if it’s all been for nothing. But the thought of only doing your day job for the rest of your life makes you feel like running off the nearest cliff. You just want to write stories.

91lhaz4gtpl._sy679_.jpg

Don’t despair. You’re not alone. You’re a writer.

Unfortunately, the dream is only a reality for a miniscule percentage of writers – the few who shoot up like lucky stars. For the rest of us the trajectory is much slower and not nearly as dramatic. It doesn’t make us lesser writers than those who become overnight successes.

The trick is to keep writing, no matter what. And to find ways to make money related to writing. It’s extremely difficult to do a full-time job, cook dinner, put the kids to bed and want to do anything except stare at the telly. It’s vital to find ways to pay the bills without draining all your energy and creativity. But how?

writing woman

Writers and creative thinkers are in demand. People will pay good money for your skills. You can spend each day writing or talking about writing and be paid for it. This also takes time and effort, but it’s worth it if your days are filled with words and the fun of playing in your imagination.

Recently, I was talking to an artist friend who’s been painting since his teens. Even though he’s not famous, he’s making a living too – the same way I do— Many Fingers Many Pies! We each have a number of small contract jobs. He teaches art; I teach writing. He does people’s gardens and runs design courses. I write for online magazines, do blogs, run retreats, edit other people’s work and rework every story idea of my own across multiple genres.

150315-fingers-in-many-pies

In a recent interview on Oprah’s podcast channel, Liz Gilbert referred to people who thrive on working this way as hummingbirds. I like the idea of flitting between lots of different flowers, cross-pollinating and fertilising, all while filling up my own tank.

So, if the old 9 to 5 isn’t for you and you’d love to discover many ways to make money doing what you love, then join me at my Building a Career as Writer workshop at QWC on July 13. Making money from your writing skills can be easy and fun!

leaping wiht joy!

Come along and find out how.

Contact me if you’d like more hints and tips and advice on the writing life and if a writing retreat on beautiful Magnetic Island sounds like just the ticket, then HURRY and CONTACT ME NOW to secure one of the last available spots .

100booksofsummerheaderbig-632x362

Put yourself in this picture : )

Lots of love

Edwina

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FREE MEMOIR WORKSHOP!

writer writing-w

Have you always wanted to write stories from your life?

Come along to the FREE memoir workshop I’m running for the Queensland Writers Centre at Everton Park Library in Brisbane on Saturday 12th of May from 1:30 – 3 pm.

I’ll show you some easy ways to unearth your stories and get them out of your head and onto the page.

Contact the library directly to book a spot – be quick it’s filling fast!

Did I mention — It’s FREE!

Come along and join the fun. I’d love to see you there 🙂

 

Interview with QWC

edwina pic

Guess who got her noggin in the most recent Queensland Writers Centre (QWC)newsletter?

Me!

I did the interview so long ago now I’d forgotten about it, so had a wonderful surprise when I opened the newsletter yesterday.

It includes such words of wisdom as …

“I just glue my bum to the seat and write until something worthwhile comes out.” 🙂

and a few hints and tips on the writing life.

Click HERE to read the full interview.

I have been a member of QWC since 2002, when I first dedicated myself to pursuing writing as a career. They hold great workshops by fabulous local and international authors on the craft of writing, and run a number of programs to assist emerging and mid-list authors as well.

I am a mentor for QWC’s Writer’s Surgery Program, guiding new writers and advising them on their works in progress.

In other news, I’ve submitted my screenplay to Screen QLD and am now waiting (as patiently as I can!) to hear back from them about the next steps forward.

Happy writing everyone! xxx

 

WRITER’S SURGERY

I’m not really a doctor, but I can help act as a midwife for your book babies.

midwifeculturehistory

I’ve just recently signed up to be a mentor for the Queensland Writers Centre as part of their Writer’s Surgery program.

I’ve been teaching creative writing for over a decade now and writing in earnest since 2002, so I’ve got plenty of tricks up my sleeve to help make your story the very best it can be.

Here’s a testimonial from writer Azra Algaic, author of Not Like My Mother.

“Edwina Shaw is the kind of editor you hope to find: caring and nurturing, but also frank and bold. She challenges you on structure and logic, helping you to create a tighter, cleaner plot, while also honing in on those grammatical oversights and inevitable typos. Her technical and craft knowledge result in a holistic and detailed assessment of your manuscript that leaves you inspired to tackle that dreaded rewrite.”

For this program I’ll only be looking at the first 20 pages, but I can certainly put you on the right track and help you to find your way forward from there.

If you’re interested please contact QWC at the Writer’s Surgery and book in for a consultation.

Happy writing!

 

 

 

 

WRITING THE BODY COURSE

Happy Yogi

Happy Yogi

On the 31st of January, I am running a half-day WRITING THE BODY workshop through the fabulous Queensland Writers Centre, combining my twin passions, yoga and writing.

I have enjoyed a regular daily practice of yoga since 1993, and currently teach professional dancers at a local university. I’ve been doing yoga longer than most of my young students have been alive! It’s certainly the only thing that makes it possible for me to keep up with them, if only for a couple of hours.

However, yoga is much more than a physical discipline.  It is the perfect remedy for healing a multitude of woes, working on the emotional and spiritual planes alongside the physical in every pose.

Writing is a sedentary profession. Like most people these days, I spend far too long sitting down in front of a screen. A daily yoga practice helps keep my body pain-free and my mind clear. It also helps to build that discipline which is so necessary for those of us on creative paths –self discipline. Otherwise known as bum glue!

happy writer

happy writer

In the WRITING THE BODY workshop I lead participants through gentle yoga exercises to help relieve common postural problems writers encounter, such as sore necks, shoulders and lower backs. But more than that, we will discover how to express the sensations of the body through writing and use yogic techniques to go deep within ourselves to unearth the stories held there.

It’s going to be lots of fun. I hope you can join me. Click here for more info and to sign up.

Free mini-massages for every participant!

You can combine my course with another session on journaling which looks wonderful. I guarantee you’ll come away feeling more relaxed than you have in years, with a renewed enthusiasm for writing.

A NEW ADVENTURE

screenplay

screenplay

A few months ago I sold the film rights to Thrill Seekers. I was thrilled, as I’ve always envisioned my stories one day being made into films. Once I was sent the screenplay and read it over, I realised that writing the scripts was probably something I could learn to do myself. It didn’t look so scary after all. Then I went to see Gone Girl at the movies and learned that Gillian Flynn had written the screenplay herself based on her novel of the same name. Not only that, she’d made it onto Forbes list of top-earning authors. That’s one list I’d like to be on, one day.

So, after searching the internet for information and scouring the books on script writing I’ve collected over the years, I sat down to make a start on my own screenplay for Dear Madman. Hmm, it wasn’t quite as simple as I first thought.
Much trickier in fact – a whole new art form for me to explore and play with!

Fortuitously, the QLD Writers Centre was offering a Feature Film Writing Clinic with Duncan Thompson, one of Australia’s foremost screenplay editors and teachers of the craft, and I didn’t even need to be an experienced screen writer to join. I did, however, have to submit the first five pages of my screenplay! With a lot of help from my friends I got that together and I’m in! The course starts in ten days and I’m super excited.

I’m fascinated by this new way of looking at story and enjoying every minute I’m working on my screenplay in progress. I’m back at that absolute beginner stage I remember from when I first started writing fiction over 12 years ago. It feels like PLAY and I’m having a ball. Maybe that’s why they call them screenPLAYS?

It’s also keeping me busy, so I’m not compulsively checking emails to see if the publisher has read Dear Madman yet!

WHISPERS

The fabulous Queensland Writers Centre holds regular Salon Events, Whispers, at the State Library cafe.

This Saturday, I’m lucky enough to be on the program.

I’ll be reading an edited excerpt from Child Of Fortune (the as yet unpublished Cambodian novel of many previous incarnations).

I’d love to see some friendly faces in the crowd, so please do come along if you’re free.

From 3 pm till 5 pm at the State Library in South Bank, Brisbane.