Do you consider yourself a person with high self esteem? Do you feel you have a purpose, or does it really matter whether you do or not?

For many different reasons, I have always considered myself less than everyone else. A carbuncle on the side of life; and because of this, I have frequently suppressed my own interests, talents and motivations in order to serve others. After all, I had to give back in some way for being such a sore on society.

As you can imagine, this hasn’t led to a happy, productive life. Writing has always been a way for me to find a voice, to make sense of the senseless, to gain control in a chaotic world and to find a way to matter. Unfortunately, I had beaten myself down so much over the years that I began to think I no longer had a voice or an imagination; that my stories weren’t important.

Thanks to Terrie Leigh Relf, I rediscovered the joy of writing. It wasn’t about being the best writer, but it was about writing my best stories. I found again the freedom that immersing myself in my imagination brought, but writing the stories wasn’t enough. I wanted these stories to be read. Sharing my stories was not only about having my voice heard, but also about connecting with others. Books have been my escape, my teachers, my friends. Perhaps one day something I write will comfort or entertain someone out there too.

I decided to continue investing in my writing. I had been getting emails from Joe Bunting and The Write Practice for some time, and I liked what they had to say, but I didn’t think they applied to me. One day I got an email for the Story Cartel course . It set out a way to find your writing cartel – a group of people who were on the same journey as you, but perhaps at different stages; all with the one aim to support each other to be better writers. It sounded like just what I needed.

After I joined up, I realised I had bitten off more than I could chew when the first assignment was design a website. I had set up a website before, but this time around it seemed much more difficult. The course asked questions like why are you writing, and who are you writing for? It required sharing work with others and critiquing their work, and it ended with publishing and launching a book for the whole world to read.

I felt out of my league, often disheartened and an imposter, but then something magical happened. I made friends with others on the course. For one assignment we had to interview an author, and I aimed high, thinking there was no way on earth that they would agree to be interviewed by me, but they did. One author interview turned into two, into three – and I was reminded of the truth of ‘ask and you shall receive’. Over the last year I have spoken with some amazing, interesting, talented people and I have made some good friends.

Super special giveaway #1

Want a chance to get your hands on these great giveaways? Simply comment on this post to be included in the draw. Be sure to include READER or WRITER (or both!) in your comment to indicate which gift you would like to receive.

Good luck!

9 thoughts on “”

  1. Hello Iseult;
    It is good to hear a tale with the promise of the cartel working. I saw your post in Write to Publish and decided to visit. I don’t often read horror but I am a fan of SF&F fiction. I would be interested to read your Return to Hades, or your work in progress character arc. But, I would really like to know what you think of my website if you have a few minutes free from the demands of your overlords..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Patrick. Thank you. I love your website. Your articles on world building are very insightful and informative. I couldn’t see a way to comment on them though. I’ve signed up for your newsletter and downloaded your story. Out of interest, why do you ask for birthdate on the newsletter sign up? Hope we can become cartel members. 🙂


  2. The Story Cartel course sounds really good, and I really like your website design. It’s great to have a network of writers too! I would love to be included in both readers and writers draw. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Congratulations on your anniversary! I think your journey is similar to a lot of writers’, and your story will be a great inspiration to all of us 🙂 Keep writing and good luck! (Also, I’m a writer for the purpose of your incredibly generous giveaway)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Iseult Murphy

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