Today, I’m interviewing Emma Dhesi about her Teachable course, Build Your Confidence, learn the tools needed to start your book, the perfect course for those beginner writers who just don’t know how or where to start.
Emma Dhesi is a fiction writer specialising in contemporary women’s fiction that delves into the complexities of family life, including postnatal depression and addiction.
Before settling down to writing, Emma trained as a stage actor and worked for a number of years in London before moving with her husband to Hong Kong. There, she became mother to three children: two girls and a boy. After seven years in Hong Kong, Emma and her family relocated to Edinburgh, Scotland, where her writing came together and publication beckoned.
She considers it important to have mentors and regularly turns to Joanna Penn for publishing, K.M. Weiland for writing craft.
Build Your Confidence
Hi Emma! I’m so glad to be interviewing you! Tell us, what is your course, Build Your Confidence, learn the tools needed to start your book about?
It’s a short, no-pressure, online course for beginner writers. Many new writers struggle to find the time or have the confidence they need to take their writing to the next level. In this course, I give them tools and strategies they can use to get started. It’s all about baby steps.
How is your course different from everything else out there?
I’m a relatively new writer myself and I remember only too well how difficult it is to find the time. You have a full-time job, caring responsibilities, a social life—it’s already hard to fit everything in!
My course teaches students to work around their schedules and I encourage them to write what they can, when they can. It’s amazing how, by taking baby steps, you can train your brain to quickly settle down to writing and, because you’re enjoying the process, you begin to seek out extra time to write. And so builds your writing habit.
My course really is a no-pressure course, a great starter for those writing their first novel.
Why did you create Build Your Confidence?
Stephen King taught me that, if I wanted to be considered a writer, I had to write for two hours every day, as he does. Even when he’s on holiday, he writes. At first, I took this to heart and tried hard to do as he instructed.
But, I had three children aged four and under; it simply wasn’t possible for me to write for two hours each day or, indeed, each day!
There are very few of us who have the luxury of time or someone else to take care of the kids. Mr King’s wife very kindly put her writing career aside to raise their children. My husband wasn’t going to do that for me!
As a result, I had to find a way of writing around my children and other commitments. I struggled in the beginning because I had to, first of all, find time in my week to write. That time was literally for ten or fifteen minutes at a time. The second struggle was training my brain to settle down quickly and concentrate on the writing at hand.
Eventually, I devised a way of finding the time and building my confidence so that, eventually, I began to seek out more time to write and enjoyed my writing time more and more.
I created this course to help others like me, people who have the desire to write but need a little help in fitting it into their life.
Who will benefit from Build Your Confidence?
My course is a good fit for anyone who is at the beginning of their writing journey. It doesn’t matter if you’ve written nothing at all, or have been writing here and there over the years, this course will help you take your writing one step further.
Before I let you go, please share: what was the best writing advice you were ever given?
Anne Lamott’s book Bird by Bird was life changing for me. That one story told me that all I needed to do was write my story one little bit at a time. It helped to break down the overwhelm of writing a full-length novel into manageable chunks.
The other advice is from Elizabeth Gilbert, who wrote that ‘Remember that you’re nothing but a beginner—even if you’ve been working on your craft for fifty years. We are all just beginner here, and we shall all die beginners. So let it go.’
For me, this is sage advice. Gilbert is reminding me that I’ll never know it all. She’s telling me to buckle up and enjoy the ride!