Today I’m excited to introduce you to Jane Beckenham, a writer from New Zealand. I love her creative spirit and desire to reinvent herself. I hope you will enjoy hearing from her too.
1. Please tell us about yourself and how you got to where you are.
Well, I’m Jane Beckenham a nearly 61-year-old, been married 35 years and have two daughters we adopted from Russia in 1996 (they were aged 5 and 7 years old). For many years I was a fiction author, but several bad experiences with a publisher and then losing my mother 4 ½ years ago, kinda sent me into a bit of depression spiral. It’s taken a long time to find the surface, but I have now, and so I want to use my life experience and my love of all things home to inspire others to create a home they love. Hence I’m back writing, but this time non-fiction, with an inspirational and workbook for those looking to create lives that matter to them, and a home that embraces them.
2. What advice would you give to your 25-year-old self?
Ooh, I’m not sure on that one. I did a lot of travelling when I was young. Loved it. Still do. I married at 26, so um… 25 was the year of wedding planning LOL. Okay, advice, be strong, go forward, don’t let fear take over and override your confidence, if you want to try something – do it. Don’t hold back.
3. In what ways are you growing and reinventing yourself?
Well, now I’m writing non-fiction which is a complete change for me, a tad scary, because it’s more specific writing, than dreaming of a fiction story. But, I’ve discovered a new passion (it took a while!), and I want to be able to reach out to women particularly and help them organize and plan their lives, but not expect perfection, because that truly doesn’t exist. My dream is to get my first non-fiction eBook published soon, plus set up an online course and also do public speaking workshops on the same topic of creating a home you love.
4. What are you excited to do, learn or try?
This non-fiction writing gig has been so uplifting and doing Fiona Ferris’ Create Your Dream Life as a Successful Author course has certainly been inspirational. You would think that having been an author for 20 years I wouldn’t need to do a course, but it’s been so worthwhile.
Technology is my nightmare, but I’m definitely trying, a slow learner I’m afraid.
Also I’m back on the treadmill! I have a disability and exercise is not my friend, and doesn’t come easy, so being able to use a treadmill and hold onto the handles as I walk is a great security. So far so good, I haven’t missed a day. I put off getting on the treadmill for nearly 10 months – why – because of fear of failure, so I’m so excited that I’m REALLY DOING IT – EVERY DAY.
5. Please tell us about the book you’re working on. What message do you want to convey to your readers?
I want readers to learn the process of loving their homes. I don’t think it comes automatically – we have busy lives, we don’t have time, money, or knowledge – but I’m hoping that through my book and its exercises I’ll help readers create a vision of what they want. And I’m not talking about spending money here at all, but a vision of the ‘feeling’ they want their home to offer them every time they walk in the door, and then a plan of action to get results. It’s a fun book, lighthearted at times, also with little excerpts of my life and the journey I’ve been on, particularly as a late starting mother.
6. Do you ever have writer’s block or feel “stuck”? If so, what do you do to get “unstuck” so that your creative energy starts flowing again?
As a fiction writer, the one thing I always did, and also taught my creative writing students, was, that if they were stuck for ideas, or where to go on a particular chapter, just to shut their eyes. And type. It didn’t matter what they typed, or if there were errors etc., I just wanted them to do a sort of free-form typing, letting the sub-conscious take over. And always – and I do mean always, it would result in great ideas, and I, and my students would know where we were going in our writing.
Non-fiction is a slightly different ball game. I think it requires more structure, because you’re trying to get a message across and more than likely teaching something. I do worry that I won’t be able to find the ideas, but brainstorming and writing bullet points like I would do for chapter and sub-chapter ideas for fiction, seems to be working in non-fiction too. Fingers crossed.
Thank you, Jane! Best of luck and I can’t wait to see what you create.