Channelling your inner armadillo…

When I first started writing, I had no idea what being an author in this day and age actually meant. I thought I could hide away in a writing shed at the bottom of my garden (not that I have one!) and create exciting fantastical stories. Every so often I would emerge into the real world to pass them on to a publishing house.

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This didn’t turn out to be the case. Authors, especially at the beginning of their careers, need to be so many other things as well…

  • An armadillo

Yes – most authors need to challenge their inner armadillo.

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I needed to build up my own body armour to deal with all the disappointing blows I received from agents and publishers. But in the end, I grew stronger and learnt so much from my rejections. Ultimately, I became a better writer.

  • Social media guru

Ok – I’m still working on this.

Up until 2014, I had NEVER been on social media. People mentioned the words Facebook or Twitter and I felt like it was a different world. Yes, I know – you’re probably thinking I was living in the dark ages. But when I finally got my wonderful agent (Anne Clarke -wahoo!!!) she suggested I go on social media.

When I started up my Twitter account, it blew my mind. Who do I follow? Would anyone ever follow me? How do I make a tweet? But soon I realised this was great place for meeting other authors and book lovers.

Then I decided to delve into the world of Facebook. The first thing I learnt – when you press return, your message sends. I thought I was just going to start a new paragraph. Again, Facebook is a great way to connect with people.

A school pupil asked me if I were on Instagram. And so a few months ago, I signed up. But now, I’m going to put my hand up. I have yet to post my first picture. If anyone has any tips on how to get into Instagram, it would be greatly appreciated.

  • Web designer

I was a technology muppet!

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I am not techy in the slightest. In fact I still only use two fingers on each hand when I type, and I have to look at the keys, not the screen!  So you can imagine, when the suggestion came, I should have a website I wanted to run a mile. But I gave it a go. In fact I gave it many, many, many gos!!!

It took me days but eventually this was created: tamsincooke.co.uk

  • Quiz Master

This is an added extra

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I wanted to add a quiz to my website so that my readers could work out what their animal spirits were. I mean how hard could it be?

Hard. Very, very hard!

It became a whole new adventure where I researched personality types. I created questions and had to work out which answers the different personality types would chose. Luckily I didn’t have to work out the computer programming involved, otherwise my computer might have been flung out the window in frustration…

  • Performer

Dressed up as a cat burglar, I share my love of reading and writing.

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I have to say this is one of my favourite author activities, other than writing. I love meeting school children. I find them so enthusiastic and creative.

If anyone had told me three years ago, I could achieve any of the above, I would have laughed in their faces. But it just goes to show what we are capable of, if we put our minds to it.

When I write stories I push my characters to their limits, making them do things they never thought they were capable of. And now, in real life I’m pushing myself too. I’m jumping out of my comfort zone. And yes I make an awful lot of mistakes on the way but I don’t give up, and I eventually get there!

 

 

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