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Joanne Phillips

Mission Statements – How I Rediscovered Mine and Why That Matters

Do you have a mission statement? If you work for an organisation, there is probably one embedded somewhere in the ethos and culture of your daily life – or possibly even printed in bold on a wall somewhere. Way back in 2012, I wrote my own – the aim was to focus my attention and realise the point of being a writer, for me.

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Recently, writer and broadcaster David Berner got in touch with me and asked if he could use my mission statement as an exemplar in a piece he was writing. Obviously I was thrilled, not only that he thought my author statement so worthy, but also because it jolted me into going back and revisiting it myself!

Here is what I found:

I write stories to entertain and offer a temporary escape into another life. I create interesting characters who may linger with the reader long after she’s finished the story. I write about characters who learn to examine their lives – their motivations, their hopes and fears – and find the courage to change. I write about the important stuff, but with a light touch. I write about the four Ls: life, love, loss and lies – including the lies we tell ourselves. And yes, I want to change the world. A little tiny bit of it, anyway.

It’s fascinating to discover that, after 4 and a half years, my ‘mission’ has not changed one bit. Even though since the day I wrote that post I have changed direction many times, studied for a Masters, written in different genres, seen lots of changes in self-publishing and publishing in general, and been through many personal challenges that have changed me as a writer, I still have EXACTLY the same feeling about my writing practice and what I want it to achieve.

You can read David’s post about mission statements here – it’s well worth a look. What I’d love to know is, do you have one? Are you inspired to have a stab at writing one now? And if you did, would you print it out on a big sheet of paper and stick it to your wall, instead of leaving it to languish until some awesome person from the other side of the pond gets in touch and says, Hey …

 

Happy Christmas and Good Riddance 2016

If you’re a regular reader of this blog you’ll have noticed that there’s not been much to read lately. But thanks for sticking around to get this post – read on for some fun photos and Christmas gossip, and an idea of what’s coming in 2017.

First off, here’s 2016 in a nutshell (I couldn’t be bothered with a long, boring, explanation of why I haven’t written much or blogged much or done much etc):

It’s been sh*t!

And now on to more fun things …

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This week my daughter and I went Christmas shopping – she wore a reindeer headband and I had on my (now ubiquitous) New York hat. Lulu is eight and a half and is making her debut appearance on the blog – Go Lulu!

 

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A few weeks ago I met up with ace authors Jan Ruth and Debbie Bennett for Christmas fun in Chester – we had the most awesome time, and I would have had a lot to drink if I hadn’t been driving!

2016 was most definitely the year of the selfie – much to my friends’ and family’s annoyance and disgust. My poor long-suffering sister has been dragged into many selfies – but I’m not going to annoy her even more by posting one here. Instead, here’s one from earlier today during the family Christmas Eve festivities …

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So, what will 2017 bring? You can expect me to be blogging more, but less about just writing and books and publishing and more about life and fun and other stuff.

There will be books! Yes, more books will be written and published next year. Don’t forget to get on that mailing list if you don’t want to miss news of when they are released.

There will be selfies, and also a resurrecting of the vlog. And PhD stuff, and bits and bobs about my creative writing teaching practice, and I’m pretty sure Lulu will make an appearance or two as well.

Happy Christmas everyone. I wish you a wonderful 2017 – keep in touch and come back and see me soon x

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Listen To My Indie Author Podcast – “Total Transparency Is My Style”

A few weeks ago I was interviewed by the awesome Paul Teague for my first ever podcast – and boy, it was fun! I was pretty nervous, but relieved that the recording wasn’t live. Paul has instructions on his website – including things you might not think about such as trying to make sure your environment is as noise-free as possible (phones ringing, kids screaming, barking dogs don’t do well on podcasts for obvious reasons) – and I had to get hold of some headphones and a microphone and log into Skype. No video, just audio. So I didn’t need to worry about how I looked!

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The recording of the interview itself was stress-free – apart from an incident with a neighbour’s howling dog (!) which saw me dashing into another part of the house to find a quiet spot. And Paul is so incredibly professional, he put me at my ease immediately. I had no idea what we were going to talk about beforehand – Paul likes to avoid over-preparing to keep the content and the conversational flow nice and fresh. Chatting over Skype was fun and easy, and it wasn’t long before I was sharing … probably a little too much!

But hey, that’s what I do. Complete transparency has always been my default position, and while I completely support and understand other people’s desire to keep their mouths shut about such things as how many books they sell and how much they earn every year, I just open my big old mouth and it all comes gushing out. Along with some interesting thoughts about publishers, the world of writing courses, and writing in general.

If you’re ready to listen, click here. And please leave a comment below to let me know what you thought. Be kind!

The Myths of Publishing

This should be the definitive word on self-publishing – well done Jan!

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Self-Publishing is a Last Resort.

No. To self-publish or operate as an Individual Publisher or an Indie, is often the best creative choice. Without the shackles of commercial pressure, genre-blending or your own personal genre, is the new kid on the block! The author retains global selling rights across all platforms and retains the majority share of any royalties. Most importantly, the author is in complete control of the entire process, from designing the cover to organising events, to advertising and pacing the release of new material. The more you invest of yourself the greater the opportunity for growth, development, and experience, not only as a writer through valuable on-line networking but in all aspects of the publishing world.

Depending on your technical skills, it’s quite possible to design your own covers and 13735790_873470892758672_4699674544226635043_opromotional material using a range of high quality software, some of which is accessible for free…

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