Writer of animation – Coacher of writers – On a mission to get writers writing, selling and loving both (yes, it’s possible!)
I always dreamed of being a writer
Today, I earn my living as a screenwriter.
After several years spent writing speculative romantic comedy film scripts, with mixed success, a chance encounter led me to the world of children’s animation, and I haven’t looked back. It’s such a fun medium to write in. I’ve developed my own animation series, ‘Happy Go Hopscotch’, funded by Creative Europe. I’ve pitched it on stage at multiple cartoon conferences around Europe, to hundreds of broadcasters, distributors and producers. I’ve led a team of writers – all coming up with ideas for my characters – what a thrill!
My animated Christmas Special ‘Hopscotch and the Christmas Tree’ was commissioned by RTE Junior and released in cinemas and broadcast in multiple countries around the world in 2018 and 2019, watched by over 100,000 people. It was nominated for Best Animation and Best Film at the Irish Animation Awards in 2019.
Following on from this, I was hired to write a total of 38 animation scripts for other people’s IP in 2020 and 2021.
But when I started out…
I couldn’t get myself to sit down and write for love nor money. It was HELL! How could I say I wanted to be a writer, yet never actually write?!
It took me years to get over my friend trashing my novel. I lost my way. I didn’t know what to write and I didn’t dare try – I couldn’t even make myself sit down and write. I certainly didn’t want to share my work with anyone – not that I had anything to share. But I still considered myself a writer. I knew, deep down, that I’d go back to it.
After a lot of personal development…
… and thanks to a very timely, gentle push from one of my flat mates at a later time, I signed up for a class called Introduction to Screenwriting – and I was back in the game, nervously writing and sharing my work again.
I also came across a marvellous book by Dorothea Brande called ‘Becoming a Writer’, which gave me an introduction to the power of habits. After following her tips very closely, writing finally felt joyful and no longer a struggle!
I went on to take many, many writing classes, including a Masters in Screenwriting at the London College of Communication – a truly wonderful experience.
Becoming a writer has been a long, bumpy journey. I learnt that first drafts are meant to be rubbish – but you don’t just stop there and ditch it – you get feedback and rewrite it again and again. I’ve also learnt who to ask for feedback (hint: not friends and family) – and how to hear the feedback without being crushed.
Another major hurdle was selling myself
Put me in a room with a load of directors and producers and ask me to network and I’d quickly retreat to the darkest corner of the room and grimly gaze into my drink for the rest of the night. Talk about a lack of confidence!
But after I met my husband, I learnt how to approach people in the right way. He’s an entrepreneur, not a writer, and helped me see that it’s not about big sales pitches (most of the time) but instead, a simple introduction, a friendly conversation, the process of getting to know people – over time.
The pressure was off!
I knew how to have small, friendly conversations with people – or at the very least, I could send, short, friendly emails! And as if by magic, it started to pay off.
I did some more personal development – on my mindset and my confidence – and I made a commitment to seek out good, talented people with a bit of a track record. Not the most famous producers and directors, but gifted and ambitious ones, who I liked, trusted and respected.
These changes in my mindset have transformed my career. Now I can’t get enough of networking! I love making new connections, having little conversations, developing relationships… because you never know where it will lead… For me, it’s led to the wonderful world of writing children’s animation.
It’s my privilege to coach other writers to live the dream. I love helping writers develop a supersonic mindset as well as the good habits they need to get where they want to go. Holding them accountable and helping them reach their true potential. I give writers the tools to develop a great support network, and I help them work through the tricky emotions that get in the way of writing or selling themselves.
I help committed writers go from procrastinating and blocked to writing every day and selling themselves with confidence
My Two Pet Peeves
- One-day courses that tell you how to do it, then leave you to sink or swim.
- When people tell you writers can’t get anywhere without an agent. Wrong! It’s all about having the right mindset.
I help ambitious writers, like you, figure out a plan and stick to it day by day.
I’m by your side, sharing all the tips and tricks that have worked for me. I’ll believe in you, cheer you on, hold your hand for as long as you need me. If you have a problem, we’ll work it out together. Simple as that.
What informs my coaching?
To a great extent, my coaching expertise is informed by my lived experiences, as well as some relevant coaching training. I’ve been stuck and blocked and frustrated in my writing career – and have spent years learning strategies to overcome these hurdles and make it easier. In my coaching sessions, I openly share what’s worked for me, helping writers to take similar steps, where appropriate.
I also read widely. About writing, obviously, but also about coaching – psychology – habits – productivity – motivation – how we can flourish – and what makes us stick with (or ditch) our dream goals – and all this feeds into my coaching practice.
I’m very influenced by the work of Gretchen Rubin – especially her personality framework, The Four Tendencies. I also love James Clear’s work on building lasting habits. More recently, Michael Bungay Stanier’s ‘The Coaching Habit’ has been a fantastic resource.
I’m on Your Side and I Want to Help
Quick Links to my Top 3 Coaching Packages
The Kickstarter Programme An intense 4-week programme to super-charge your writing routine. We’ll discuss what’s been holding you back, set a fabulous goal, and come up with a detailed, but simple plan to make it happen. I’ll keep you on track every step of the way.
The Front Runner Programme Three months to surge ahead with a big piece of work. Perhaps you’re writing a novel, screenplay or play, or maybe you’re trying to sell your work – either way, we’ll overcome your obstacles and make great progress together. Don’t be scared, I’ve got your back.
The Flex-It Coaching Programme You’re in it to win it. This programme is for the ambitious writer who is ready to make a real breakthrough, but who’s struggling to go it alone. On this flexible programme we’ll have a call every 3 weeks for as long as you need me. (Pay monthly)
Got a burning question?
Want to find out a bit more about me and my approach, see if we’d be a good fit? Click here to book a free 30-minute ‘Power Chat’ – ask me anything!
Want Free Writing Tips?
I share tips on all aspects of writing, productivity, habits, blocks and different ways of marketing yourself and your writing. You’ll also get my awesome 14-day writing coaching course, perfect for kickstarting a writing routine. Click here to sign up for my newsletter!
Links to my most popular posts
General Writing Tips
Writing for Children
~ Take my free Skillshare class ‘How to Write a Children’s Picture Book’