Can you remember the exact moment you fell in love? I do! In this blog, I will share how it all started... On February 16th, 2020, I bought an olive orchard in Puglia, southern Italy, on a whim. The 6,500m2 plot of land has 24 ancient olive trees, as well as several almond, fig, and other fruit trees. There is also a mini-house that is more than 200 years old, a traditional 'Trullo,' a type of dwelling unique to this region. This oasis of peace and nature is a special gift to myself after a long series of disappointments.
This summer – during a heatwave (!) – I recorded my Dutch online program ‘Zo schrijf je een boek!’. Around 60 videos with all my tips and examples of how to write, promote, and publish your book. I really enjoyed creating this e-course (except for the heatwave…) and I am happy and proud that it helps so many writers with their books. Would you like to learn with me?
I was looking for an inspiring place to spend the winter, without too much time difference, somewhere with good weather and where the restaurants are open. When I saw the view from this apartment in Cape Town, I was immediately sold. Table Mountain looks different every day. And yet it is at the same time exactly the same. And that is precisely the point. If you look with different eyes, everything can suddenly seem different.
When I bought the plot of the olive orchard I was told that the first week of November I would need to harvest my olives. I found out there were two choices: either harvesting by hand, using a kind of ‘shading rakes’ (which would take up to three days), or using the faster option (only three hours): a machine that shakes the trees. I really wanted to respect my centuries-old trees, and shaking did not sound attractive, but I did not have much time. Plus my neighbor, who advises me, recommended using the shaking machine, which he also uses for his own harvest “It won’t damage the trees too much, promised”. Still, with a heavy heart, I came to watch the men work, and the trees shake…
I was in two minds about sharing travel stories during times of Corona, but I have chosen to continue living my life - with the necessary restrictions and precautions, of course - and to look for opportunities, adventures, and experiences. I want to share these with you because it is up to you whether you want to enjoy yourself (from home, while traveling, perhaps even in lockdown or quarantine?) or whether you focus on the limitations, which naturally we all feel.
Millions of people want to write a book. Many started working on their book during Coronavirus lockdowns but unfortunately got stuck and stopped. What are the most common mistakes when writing a book? And with what tips do you make the process enjoyable and the result successful? Esther Jacobs, the author of 30 books, wrote a book about it: 'This is how you write a book!'
You maybe know me to be a loner, so this topic may surprise you. Collaborations and partnerships - if chosen properly - can offer enormous added value. Preferably to ALL parties involved. The best partnerships are win-win-win situations. How do you recognize such opportunities and how do you create such a collaboration?
In recent weeks I was on the road without a laptop for the first time in perhaps ten years. Kind of like a vacation, although I don't actually do that. The idea was to recharge in nature, the implementation was ultimately quite hard hiking in the French Alps :) And how good it did me to be busy with my body instead of my head! It did take me a lot of effort to let go, to switch. Do you recognize that? Because it actually didn't work out well at all; I am in the busiest time ever, with all new plans and projects. Below some inspiration, ideas, and tips.
I met Anne in 2015 when I hosted my writing retreat in Mallorca. Anne joined the retreat with the intention to write more blogs. At home - being an entrepreneur and mother of two kids, one of whom is epileptic - she found very little time to focus. She was looking to find some space to write. Her poignant blogs about her family had become quite popular and appealed to a wide audience, not just to mothers like her. Anne's positive outlook on life and honest stories about her son’s illness inspired many. My workshops on book writing during the retreat inspired Anne so much that instead of writing more blogs, she actually turned them into a book...
The cover of your book should look attractive... And attract attention... And be distinctive from other books in that genre... And appeal to your target group... And fit your story. How do you make sure that your cover does all that and also sells well?