The famous line from Forrest Gump goes: ‘life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get.’ Last year life offered me a lovely box of chocolates, all tempting and sticky-finger making: the sort you don’t mind getting a bit fatter for. My writing was going well but not earning me much so I decided to branch out in a little bit of entrepreneurism and start my own business selling online gifts, as well as self publish two of my previous books.


One of my great blessings in life is that I am an optimist and never afraid to try new things. On the other hand, it is also a bit of an albatross for I tend to jump wholeheartedly into places where even fools dare to tread. I knew I had good products, and I put an immense amount of time into building up the websites etc as well as money for the stock (for the online gifts). On the premise that hard graft should equal a decent return I even felt confident that I would end the year with enough money for a holiday for once.

Well, the chocolates, although bloody lovely to look at and nibble around the edges turned out to be disappointingly hollow. The business flopped and made losses and the books didn’t really shift either (unless I gave free copies). It was a hard realisation to come to that I am no Richard Branson, and not just because I don’t have a beard or a dodgy taste in clothes. Alan Sugar would fire me on the spot. No, I am what I’ve always been: a writer. That’s what I do best. And so from now on that’s what I’m sticking to. No more wacky schemes taking the time away from the novel whose writing never seems to end (it will! This year!) and no more flights of fancy. Nose to the grindstone time. Pen to paper. Fingers to keyboard.


But, thankfully I am still bloody annoyingly optimistic. I think it’s what keeps me from jumping off high buildings and making a mess on Gloucester’s pavements. I slipped sideways for a little way but now I’m back in the saddle (oooh cliche alert!) and determined to get it right this time. So you can take away the box of many-flavoured chocolates; I think I’ll stick to plain old toast because at least then I know what I’m going to get. And it’s more satisfying.


Method writing the next Fifty Shades!

Method writing the next Fifty Shades!


  1. Jules,

    I wholeheartedly agree that 2013 is the year of the writer. I have made painstaking efforts to simplify all areas of my life, in order to apply the utmost dedication to my writing. It’s an economically difficult time, yet there remain those of us optimistic enough to have a go. And that’s a great attribute to have; that ‘never say never’ pursuit of our heart’s desire. Creation is our fuel and this is our year.

    😉 love Elaine xxx

  2. Thanks Elaine. I made a lot of mistakes last year. On the other hand, they could have worked out well and I would have been justified in making those decisions. Hindsight and all that! I think that if you are a writer, nothing ever discourages you, because writing is your lifeblood – it is what you do regardless of any financial reward (although it would be nice!). And yes, for both of us, hopefully 2013 will finally be our year!

  3. Thanks for that inspiring post, Jules. A great contrast to another writer blog that I read which seems to consist of nothing but solipsistic whinging and whinnying of the ‘When will the world recognise my godlike genius?’ variety. I have tried a bit of entrepeneurism, too; for a while, all went well; then it crashed – if I was a true entrepeneur, I would’ve just pickd myself up and started again, but I suppose I’m not and don’t really want to be. Fortunately for me, it didn’t involve much of a financial outlay, so no losses were made.
    But writers are entrepeneurs, are they not? If we’re serious about making a living, we are targeting a market and then creating a product to appeal to said market. It it works, great! If it doesn’t work, at least we have the satisfaction of having created something.

    • Thanks Richard – and so true! I must admit I cannot stand whingers. We are all entitled to five minutes of feeling sorry fr ourselves now and again but then the trick is to get back up, learn from any mistakes, and try again. And again, and again if necessary. I think that writers are entrepreneurs too – in their own special way. It is that creative streak, I think, which links the links the two. It’s just that my creative streak is far better thinking about making up stories than marketing campaigns!

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