Dream, Believe, Create
Writer Mentoring Services with Dr Helen Edwards, PhD
Have you always wanted to be a writer, but thought you could never find the time to write, could never write 'that many' words, never be good enough? Or maybe you are already writing, but experience self-doubt, anxiety, fear and uncertainty?
Are you looking for support and guidance around a writing project, how to get started in writing, how to prepare for and survive the process of submission, dealing with blocks and rejection, managing anxiety about sharing your work, or just need someone to walk beside you as you write?
In my new #WriterWellbeing menotoring sessions, you may choose to focus mostly on your wellbeing as a writer, or to focus on your writing projects, or both.
This is not mental health counselling.
I provide one-one mentoring and support services for writers at any stage of your career.
I have a PhD in Psychology and more than 25 years' experience working in mental health. I founded a national not-for-profit online counselling service for people with diabetes in 2001 and ran this for 16 years.
During this time, I won numerous grants, including a $1.3 million grant from the Commonwealth Government. I was an Australian of the Year state finalist and a Telstra Business Woman state finalist for this work.
I have been writing for most of my life, across fiction, non-fiction, academic work, and as a freelance writer published in a range of publications. I edited and published a book about Diabetes Burnout and contributed to many publications about diabetes.
In my past I have also studied visual art, have a certificate in colour and design, and performed as a singer and in theatre. Creativity is what hums within my heart.
As well as founding my own national charity, I have created numerous businesses, worked as a professional blogger, and have over 100,000 social media followers.
I am well versed in the complexities of developing a creative business and life, knowing how to market this, and how to connect with your community.
Whilst these sessions are not counselling, I use my vast range of skills and experience in supporting you to achieve your writing and creative goals, and to improve your wellbeing, while you work towards your dreams and goals.
I have acted as a mentor in my role as lead counsellor in my prior work in diabetes, and have provided peer mentorship in numerous roles.
I have self-published a children's picture book about diabetes and a non-fiction book about sustainable living.
I began writing children's and YA fiction in 2018 and obtained an agent in 2019. I have since written 6 manuscripts and my debut middle-grade novel will be released in 2023. I won a grant to support this work from Arts SA in 2020.
I currently have a number of middle-grade novels and picture books on submission. I have spoken at a variety of events nationally and internationally. I have presented for the Australian Society of Authors and will be presenting for Writers' SA in 2023.
I am being published in the School Magazine in an upcoming edition and was the winner of the ZestFest writing competition in 2019.
I live with chronic conditions, anxiety and have ADHD. I am experienced in managing the ups and downs of life as a multi-creative human being, trying to balance the realities of life with your craft, and understanding the supports and tools required to make the space to breathe.
Mentoring & Support Services For Writers
How The Mentoring Sessions Work
There are a number of options for working with me. This will be determined once we have an initial session.
Each session runs for 60 minutes, via Zoom video or telephone. Once you book your session, I will send some questions to help me establish an outline for our chat.
From here, we will agree on your goals. You may simply need a one-off session to get yourself into a positive frame of mind, or work out what you actually need to help you in achieving your writing and other creative and business goals.
You may want me to have a look at the first few chapters of your writing and provide feedback, or get some help on preparing for submission to agents or publishers.
Or, you may decide to book a writer mentoring package. There are discounts for 3 or more sessions booked at once.
An individual session is $250. A series of 3 sessions booked at a frequency to suit your goals and needs is $600 and we can discuss further packaging of sessions if you require ongoing support.
I will direct you to my online shop to make payment for your session/s prior to beginning our work together.
Supporting Your Wellbeing
During our session/s, you may choose to focus mostly on your wellbeing, as well as, or instead of, your actual writing. This is not mental health counselling.
This may include, for example:
- How to grapple with negative thoughts and attitudes towards becoming a writer – from others and yourself.
- How to respond when doubts and negative thoughts arise.
- Building an emotional, social, mental health toolkit as a writer.
- Growing your confidence, taking risks and stamping your place as a writer.
- Dealing with fear of submitting your work, rejections and reviews.
- Filling yourself up, nurturing your creativity and your wellbeing.
- Knowing when to rest and when to write.
- Finding your people - networking and growing a community of writers.
- How to fit writing into your life, writing when it suits you, following rules but not following rules!
- Dealing with all of the waiting and developing patience.
- Managing and addressing anxiety about public speaking and sharing your work.
Supporting Your Writing
You may want to focus on your writing in our sessions, or combine mentoring and feedback about your writing, with some support for your writer wellbeing. You should have at least a writing project idea in mind.
This may include, for example:
- Finding ideas and crafting your voice as a writer.
- Working out what it is you want to say and how you want to say it.
- Help in preparing for submissions and querying.
- Do you need a blog? How do you manage creating enough content? Do you need to be on social media? How to manage social media.
- Getting started on a writing project. Sticking at a writing project. Finishing a writing project.
- Different options for publishing.
- Manuscript feedback, self-editing, and sensitivity reading of your work, particularly as it relates to mental health, chronic conditions and neurodiversity.
- Refining your work and making it the best it can possibly be - with me walking alongside you as you progress your manuscript.
- Resources and suggestions for courses, workshops and ongoing learning.