Stephanie Brookes, 33, is an author who recently launched her new book ‘Meditation Made Easy’ which has been published by CICO Books in the UK & US. She also presents a talk show on Hoxton Radio every Wednesday afternoon between 3-5pm. She lives in South East London with her husband, John.

Stephanie Brookes Author and Presenter

I set my alarm for around 7.00am on weekday mornings and the first thing I do is make a cup of coffee, before meditating for 5-10 minutes. Afterwards, I turn on my laptop to check emails and read the newspapers.

As I write at home, I dress as casual as can be. It’s usually a pair of long, loose trousers and a comfortable jumper – as a Writer, I dress purely for comfort. I do like brands such as Zara and Whistles for going out, but I’m more motivated by what suits me, rather than the current trends.

I write in my living room, most often on my dining room table and sometimes I write from the sofa. It really is about how I’m feeling that day. I have a large dining room table so I usually fill it with notepads, pens, books, and cups from the all the tea I drink. If I’m researching or editing, I like a more comfortable, relaxed way of working such as on the sofa propped up by cushions.

I’m definitely someone who needs to eat breakfast so I’ll usually have something light like a bowl of cereal and a banana. For lunch I’ll make up something I have in the fridge – a medley of whatever is left over from the night before such as salad, or a pasta dish. For dinner, it can be anything that I can put together as a one pot meal (cooking isn’t my strong point). If I’m on a deadline, I will often order a take-away for the convenience.

I find that my work changes from day to day, and my structure is dependent on my deadlines. I’m currently planning ideas for my next book, so I will spend most of my time mapping out what interests me and ways in which I can move the book idea forwards. On Wednesdays when I present my radio show, I tend to focus on just that and when I come home after the show, I will start to draft out ideas for the next week. I tend to finish work around 8pm on these days but it varies from day to day. When I was on a deadline for my latest book ‘Meditation Made Easy’ I often worked through the night to finish the final edits. If I’m not on a deadline, I tend to finish work around 6:30pm, so that gives me the evening to cook, unwind and I can approach the next day feeling properly rested. To unwind I love a TV box set as it just allows me to take my mind off work and get totally engrossed in a story line. I also love going out to restaurants with my husband and my friends.

The best thing about my job is working alongside creative people and feeling that sense of achievement when I bring a book project together. Seeing the final product come to fruition is such a great feeling. I recently saw my book ‘Meditation Made Easy’ in Foyles bookstore, in Royal Festival Hall on the South Bank, and it was so exciting to see it featured so prominently on the shelf – it really makes it all worthwhile.

The hardest thing about this job is knowing that nothing is guaranteed and you can’t take anything for granted. For instance, I know that my new book proposal may or may not get accepted, so it’s all about being creative, adapting to the publishing landscape and to keep getting those ideas out there. It brings enormous satisfaction when you eventually do get a book project off the ground.

Being a self-starter in this industry is crucial, and I’ve found that all of my opportunities have been a result of being proactive and making approaches. Nothing has come without the work behind it. For example, I started contributing to an online magazine, coming up with ideas and working as hard as I could to make that a success and that lead to me gaining more confidence in my work. It was around that time that I had the idea for a book which eventually resulted in my first book deal.

The day I received the phone call from my Literary Agent letting me know that I had secured my first book deal was a highlight. It was a really proud moment.

For anyone looking to follow a similar career path I would say that a positive outlook and a strong sense of where you want to be will help keep you motivated. A creative career is going to have its challenges but don’t be put off – if you have the ideas, creativity and the passion, you can absolutely make it.

You can see some of Stephanie’s work on her website or follow her on Twitter at @stephbrookes

Beth Gladstone

Beth is a Writer and Digital Marketer who founded The Full Agenda as a place to talk about the things that kept her and her friends up at night. Currently working as a Marketing consultant to various SMEs she is a big fan of the startup market and loves technology, apps and anything social media related. When not obsessively checking Google Analytics, she can be found reading, writing or relaxing with a glass of Prosecco.

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