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Hey, it's me, Amanda!

Mental health professional, mentor & published writer.

For over twenty years I worked in mental health social work, a job I loved but wasn't truly what I wanted to do. What I wanted to do was write. So I made the rather impulsive, some would say reckless decision to leave a well-paid job to try and make it as a writer. 

I knew I had the skills, the creativity, the ideas. But somehow it wasn't happening for me. All around me, my peers were blasting out submissions, getting to the page, building a name for themselves on social media. I couldn't organise myself, focus for long enough to get to the end of a story, or deal with the internal critic. Why did everything take me so long? Why were the rejections sending me sailing over the edge? Why couldn't I make a decision about which piece to work on and when? Why did a gloriously free afternoon of unstructured writing time leave me paralysed and unable to do anything at all? Why couldn't I put into practice what I was hearing in webinars aimed at writers?  I attended everything I could, and it all made sense. Of course, get organised. Of course, rejection comes with the turf. Of course, ignore the inner critic. So why couldn't I do it?

Something was wrong. 

 

 

Image by Nick Morrison
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I stumbled on, trying my best, pretending to have it under control. I won a few competitions, had a few things published. "Right," I thought. "Clearly I can do it. I need to just work harder, do more, up my game." 

In the meantime I had a day job as a specialist mental health mentor for students with a range of disabilities; students who were living with ADHD, ASC, or both. With my support and guidance, they were finding workarounds, getting results, flourishing. After a few more excruciating months of denial, I was diagnosed with ADHD and Tourette's syndrome.

After that, it was obvious. 

I needed to start taking the advice I was dishing out daily to my ND students. So I did, and things got better.

"Maybe neurodiverse writers need a specialised mentoring approach," I thought one morning, after hyperfocusing for three hours on a flash piece I had no intention of sending out. 

"I could do that. I know writing, I know mentoring, I know neurodiversity."

So I did.

Vintage Typewriter

And Reconcile Creative was born

I'm not going to pretend that I'm up at dawn, kneeling at the altar of creativity, or that I've found a shortcut to a prolific, stress-free, focused writing life. Often, it's a mess. 

What I can tell you is that mentoring works. That two heads are better than one, and my head contains a lot of techniques, tools and approaches that have worked for me and for the people I support. All you need to do is show up, in all your disorganised glory. Whatever your goal is - to be published, to get to the end of your novel , or just to get on the bloody page - I will help you figure it out, with wisdom, kindness, and enthusiasm.

 

You do not have to be out there alone.

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