Thursday, 3 August 2017

The Importance of Finding Awesome People

By Jo Wyton

Maureen Lynas is one of those people. You know the sort.

You appear at a conference and suddenly someone’s behind you and there’s a pair of arms around you, but no need to wonder who it is - it’s obviously Maureen. You need some encouragement – it’s OK, Maureen will reply to your anxiety-ridden Facebook post. You need a smile – it’s OK, Maureen is right over there and she’s already heading your way. You need advice on a plot, a character, an exchange with an agent, a book title, a dispute, a pondering – don’t panic. Maureen's got your back.

And whilst she’s doing all that and supporting everyone and generally being everywhere at the same time and always her kind, warm self, Maureen is also working her butt off. Learning. Making mistakes. Trying new things. Over and over again. Evolving, never content to stay still. You try to pay attention because she seems to be navigating the publishing industry with all the grace you’ve never managed to summon, and you’re certain that what you are learning from her will come in handy.

And whilst you’re watching, Maureen is working, working, working.

One wonderful day in London town, you sit opposite her in a bar and she has this quiet smile on her face and you are instantly excited on behalf of this person who is always so excited for everyone else, and she tells you that she’s spent the last two days meeting multiple publishers, and that they all want her book.

And from that moment, marvellous things begin to unfold.

Bowie gets it.

You? You get to absorb it all and learn from it and be inspired by it. You get to watch all the pieces fall into place and see the spot every part of that learning curve has been leading towards, all this time.

Over on Facebook right now, there is a proliferation of people wearing multi-coloured witch hats. Go find them, they are brilliant. And they're there because Maureen has lots of Maureens in her life, too (in this case being herded in the right direction by the hat-tastic George Kirk). And today, they are celebrating the publication of Maureen’s first book: You Can’t Make Me Go To Witch School! 



Everyone needs a Maureen in their life.

As a writer, you need several.

Find them. Pay attention to them. You and your writing will be better for it.

(Congratulations, Maureen. You are really quite splendiferous, you know.)

From the Notes of the Slushpile crew (above) ... and all these others (below)





16 comments :

  1. Waaaaah! Love this. And it's all true folks, we love that woman. Buy her book.

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    1. I came over all emotional when I read it. Slushies are so special. Love you all xxx Mwha. Just talking yesterday about how important being in this group has been.

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  2. Too true!!! Maureen is a star. Xxx

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    1. And you are one of my favourite treats xxx You're better than rum & raisin icecream. And I LOVE rum & raisin icecream xxx

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    1. Kathy Evans you are one of a kind xxx Although I am suspecting More of Me is actually non-fiction because no one can do everything you do xxx

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  4. Love this post soooo much, and so happy for Maureen, her book is amazing and so is she xxx

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    1. It's been lovely connecting with you Melissa. You are so enthusiastic! And busy!

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  5. So true! So proud for Maureen, who well deserves this tribute. And what a wonderful thing for George to do, too!

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    1. Awesome George, Julie. I'm having her name changed by deed pole.

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  6. This! Yes, so this. Maureen inspired me hugely when I was starting out, and one of the friendliest faces at my first-ever SCBWI conference when I didn't know a soul. THRILLED Witch School out in the world and a proud wearer of THE hat :o)

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    1. We met at the bottom of the steps leading up to the dining hall, Rowena. I remember it well. I thought you were lovely.

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  7. This is brilliant. Love this post so much. Congratulations Maureen x

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    1. Thanks, Susan. Jo needs a big hug for this.

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  8. I keep trying to leave a comment and can't find adequate words. Anyway, Jo's said it all. Much love to you, Maureen!

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    1. And I thought I'd answered you! And now I can't remember what I wrote. I think it was a gushing emotional memory about that first meeting in York and not having a clue about what it would lead to. The friends. The learning curve. Publication!

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