About Beth Burgess:
Beth Burgess was once a total mess and is now a respected therapist, coach, and writer. Following her own quest to become wiser, she founded Wiseism.com, to share what she has learned. "Instant Wisdom: 10 Easy ways to Get Smart Fast" is the first in the Wiseism series.
Beth's previous books include: "What Is Self-Esteem?", "The Recovery Formula", and "The Happy Addict". She also contributed two papers to "Addiction and Choice: Rethinking the Relationship", which was highly commended by the British Medical Association and shortlisted for its Book of the Year Award.
Beth has written articles for New Statesman, The Big Issue, The Huffington Post and various other publications. She has appeared on BBC Radio, been featured on international media channels, and is often sought out for expert commentary on topics such as mental health and effective ways of achieving happiness and well-being.
What inspires you to write?
I have been through so many experiences in my life. I know I can use my trials, tests, and tribulations to help others. I have learnt so much from the bad times, but that doesn't mean other people need to go through tough stuff as well. They can learn from my lessons without having to endure as much suffering as I did.
Plus, I am one of those people who doesn't just want to write – I need to. Writing gives me pleasure and fulfillment, especially when I can touch, inspire and help other people.
Tell us about your writing process.
I start with a main idea of what I want to cover. I actually don't outline at all. I just let the book flow out of me. Then, I go back and edit later.
In order to write, I need to be totally distraction-free, so I write most of my books in bed, in my PJs, with the curtains closed. I'm not sure you'll hear another author admit to that!
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
The books I've published are non-fiction, but I also write short stories under the pen name B.B.Fitton (and have got one published) and I hope to one day finish a novel.
I don't actually talk or listen to my characters – I "feel" them instead. I'm a therapist by trade, so I'm pretty empathetic. Just as I do with my therapy clients, I get a sense of my characters from all sorts of cues. I usually know much more about themselves than they do.
What advice would you give other writers?
Doing is learning, so don't tell yourself you have to be perfect before you begin writing anything.
But definitely read up on editing and craft in order to polish your work.
Oh, and please don't write like anyone else. When people read my books, they say they feel like I'm actually talking to them, holding them by the hand. That's because I write in my real voice. Write in your own voice, too. That's one of the things that will set your writing apart.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I want to get my short stories published by magazines, and I'd prefer to get at least my first novel published by an official publishing house.
But, for my self-help books, I decided early on that I wanted to self-publish. It's quicker and gives you ultimate control over your book.
I actually "became" my own small Indie Publisher, as I set up my own publishing imprint and bought my own ISBNs to use on my paperbacks. That's enabled me to supply local bookstores and distribute through large book distributors too. I'm not just limited to Amazon or anywhere else. And it means my books are also on the shelves of The British Library, which makes me super-happy!
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
People are getting smarter about publishing and self-publishing.
It's extremely hard to get traditionally published, but it's still my aim with my first novel, because I really want that experience and publicity.
However, I have seen many tradtionally-published authors move into self-publishing later on in their career, because they already have an established name. I think that's what I'd do if I ever managed to get a novel published.
What genres do you write?: self-help, non-fiction, addiction recovery, wellbeing, lifehacking, personal development
What formats are your books in?: eBook, Print, Both eBook and Print, Audiobook
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit to allow you the reader to hear the author in their own voice.