Salisbury Arms

Salisbury Arms.

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More about The Writer’s Bureau

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There are many writing courses out there and the Writer’s Bureau is a very good one. The main attraction for me, as a novice with no understanding of how to approach this venture,was two-fold:

  1. As the logo states…’they help you to get published’
  2. They refund you your course fee if you haven’t earned it through selling your work.

This course seemed like a fool-proof way to get my work printed and earning money in the shortest time possible. I even saw myself living off my earnings in a little over 12 months…a somewhat hopeful and wildly unrealistic goal. 

The course is made up of 30 modules ranging from much needed guidance on how to find your writing style, to presenting and selling your work, to trying different forms of writing such as for radio, male readers, female readers, and religion…to name just a few. 

The materials that come from the Writer’s Bureau are really crisp and easy to follow. The text books are well written and have plenty of good case studies and examples of what they are teaching; so I found that working through the early chapters was simple and enjoyable.

Another good part of the course is that they assign you a tutor that marks your assignments and makes valuable comments on your work. These are published writers in their own right and therefore they have experience in the right areas to help you, the student. 

I cannot fault the Writer’s Bureau as they clearly know what they are doing and have had plenty of success in doing it.

However…although I am still completing the course, I am finding certain parts of it hard to work with. Again, this is no fault of the course, but in my next post I will outline why this course hasn’t always worked with my needs and requirements.

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Writing for dummies

Imagine the scene…

33 year old man, fed up of being at the mercy of HR departments, suddenly deciding that he wants to become a successful writer and work for himself… I was practically beaming for weeks! I was so happy that I had found something I could do that would give me back control of my life. Woo.

But how to begin? As much as I had had some experience with putting words together, I was certainly no writer.

Please excuse this brief interlude, but it does have a purpose.

Don’t you just hate email marketing. I mean, come on, why do companies insist on sending you the same email every day for six months? I get everything. I am constantly deleting emails offering me PPI support, pills to help with erectile problems (no thank you), cheaper toner and ink, survey requests…you name it, I get it. However, one of the emails I had got and deleted numerous times was from The Writer’s Bureau that was offering me a writing course that guaranteed my success or my money back. Ahh, now I see why they keep on sending these out. After many months of deleting this tiresome email, I suddenly had to read it. Well played with your persistence Mr Marketer. Ps, the same is not true for the little blue pills…I am still a no on that one.

So back to the story. I found a writing course that seemed to fit the bill. It wasn’t hugely expensive and they offered a return on your investment if you hadn’t earned back your money within a period of time. So I looked at the reviews, paid the money, and voila! I had myself a pathway to writing success.

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Where it began…

So some of these stories happened a while ago…I am going to have to catch you up a little bit before we get to where I am now. This first entry is all about why I wanted to start writing.

In 2008 I was made redundant from a job I had enjoyed (endured, maybe) for ten years. I had become comfortable there and really couldn’t see myself doing anything else. I wouldn’t say I loved or loathed it, but I needed it. It was my second home and I grew attached to my routine of just being there every day. So as you might imagine, the redundancy hit me hard. I was forced to leave this very comfortable environment and enter the wider world.

I then spent four years in the wilderness. From 2008 to 2012 I never had a permanent, contracted job. While this was at first hard to cope with, I managed to get by. Especially when I was given a post within one of the loveliest NHS Trusts I have even know. Although the work was simple, to the point of degrading at times, the people I worked with were (are) truly remarkable and I spent nearly two years in one post.

This too came to an end in 2012.

Why all this detail? Well, by the time I was being forced to leave this position that I had loved for two years, I was thoroughly annoyed. I hated that my career, and happiness, was at the mercy of other people. So I wanted to do something that would allow me to work for myself. My first two options were: 1) become a plumber, 2) become a graphic designer/marketing communications.

After some investigation I realised that neither of these suited my personality or skills. So I decided to try writing. Writing…even saying it to myself sounded good.

I started thinking back to every instance where I had to write something; essays at school, promotional material at work, website content…everything; I had always enjoyed it.

So there it is. My first step was to decide what my passion was, and it didn’t take long to identify.

Hmm, how do you get into writing anyway??

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