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A week ago I found out that I’m going to lose my job.

I’ve got four more months in my job and then I’m out on 20th June. I’ve never been so scared in my life. I’m single. Two teenage kids. Big, fat mortgage.

When I first found out I felt so much anxiety in the front of my neck I could barely speak. It’s a good job, after all. I work as a public servant, four days per week. The days I’m not at work I spend writing novels. It’s been a good arrangement for several years. It’s been stable and secure, varied, albeit fairly dull. It didn’t test me in a big way, there wasn’t a whole lot of growth over the years. I was fairly content to turn up, do the work, leave with a pay packet and go home and write my novels.

I dreamed of being able to live off my writing…but that’s the thing, they’re dreams.

Returning home that night after receiving the news, I immediately started thinking about what I was going to do. Finish the second book, yes…sure. Might be able to postpone starvation for a few weeks that way. But it’s not going to be enough. Not by a long shot. Two kids need me to sort my shit out, FAST!!

My head was spinning. I went through the ‘Why me??!!’ wailing at the wall. Why does this have to happen?

When I feel really alone, when I doubt myself, when I think my problems are insurmountable, I read. I read about other people who’ve faced pretty fucked up situations. I read about the problems people have faced. I read about how most people have hopes and dreams that have been cruelly thwarted by circumstances. It made me feel less alone. In fact, it became abundantly clear that my problem was in no way unique.

It was just a problem. Just a bit of struggle. And we’ve all got them. In spades.

It got me thinking that to want a pain-free, struggle-free life is just absurd. Life is only possible with struggle. You can never, ever fully comprehend all the consequences of the choices you make or the circumstances that come your way. And they’ll be a mixed bag of truly extraordinarily wonderful consequences, and downright ugly painful ones. So you’ve just got to roll with it.

When I came to understand this, the anxiety that was stuck in my throat left. I thought about what I truly value, what I wanted to be defined by, what I’m good at, what’s meaningful to me, and what’s going to drive me forward. I decided I would start my own copywriting business. It’s been there at the back of my mind for years as something I wanted to try, but never felt brave enough to give a go.

Even if there’s uncertainty, and quite possibly failure, I’m going to take that first step.

We are, and always will be, defined by what we’re willing to struggle for.

So now, I sit at my desk and I plan, I strategise, I develop templates, I develop my systems, I do online courses. My writing for the second book has also improved. It’s punchy, and smart, and emotive. And I’ve realised there’s a strange kind of joy in this struggle stuff. I’m more motivated and enthusiastic now than at any other point in my life.

It took a long time to get here. I’ve had to really be dragged out of my comfort zone and I left scratch marks leaving, that’s for sure. I was always waiting to be ready.

But we’re never ready. I’m still not ready. Life’s too short. And there’s too much shit to do.

I may not be PewDiePie, but thanks for staying on the page and giving me some of your time. If you’d like to find about more about me, please visit my website http://www.jmlawler.com

P.S. I bet you have a bloody interesting life with struggles of your own. I’d love to hear from you. Really, I would love that. We’re all in this together. Please drop me a line at hello@jmlawler.com or connect on the social media links below.

On the hunt for beta-readers

I’m two thirds of the way through my second book, The Tempest and the Turning. It’s going really well, I like the character development and the story arc that’s evolving. But I’m biast, of course.

What I really need is a beta-reader.

Not sure what a beta-reader does?

A beta-reader reads an unreleased work (completed or not) and gives feedback from the point of view of an average reader. This feedback is used by the writer to fix remaining issues with plot, pacing, and consistency. They may comment on parts of a story that are confusing or things that don’t make sense.

Does this sound like something you would like to do?

I will happily acknowledge your support in the credits of the book upon completion, in addition to sending you an eBook version once published.

Even if you haven’t read the first book in the series, The River and the Ravages, I would love to hear from you.

Please drop me an email at hello@jmlawler.com today.

Thanks for reading. Until next time,

Yours truly

~ Jann

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  • Just walk people. Just walk. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, just walk. When you’re feeling so busy your brain is literally melting, just walk. When you’ve eaten too many choccies at Easter, just walk. The ultimate remedy. #walkingaway #alonetime
  • Happy Easter everyone. Just completed a 3 day walk (first multi-day walk for the chics) Mambray creek to Alligator Gorge and back. Freaking amazing, hardest of yakkas, but rewards a plenty. Girls came back pretty inspired. Phew! If I can I instill a love of wilderness, I’ve done my job.
  • Every now and then you’ve got to share the big scary stuff you’re going through. Some of you already know, but for those that don’t I’ll be leaving the comfy cushiony public service world for the less cushiony world of small business in the very near future (June 20 to be precise).
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Excited? Yes. Nervous. Hell yeah! I’ve been  a public servant for most of my working life so the leap feels pretty big. I’m going to (reignite) my website design and development business and because my world is words, words, and more words, copywriting will also be thrown in for good measure. . 
It’s going to be a big brave year. Probably going to be some tears and hide-under-a-rock moments. But it’s going to be one helluva journey. .
As I’m a big fan of poetry, I’ll end this with the words of Robert Frost who nicely sums up the way I’m feeling: Start with a big fat lump in your throat. Start with a profound sense of wrong, a deep homesickness, a crazy lovesickness, and run with it. If you imagine less, less will be what you undoubtedly deserve. Do what you love. And don’t stop until you get what you love. #flyingsolo #amazinglife
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Goodnight folks. 
XO Jann
  • Every year my birthday comes around and it’s a strange sense of dread and elation. . And every year I’m amazed by the quirky gifts I receive from friends who know me best. Am I weird enough to wear squirrel socks...yes indeed. Thanks for all the lovely birthday wishes. X
  • Reliving the joy that is photo booths in Japan. I’d go back just for the silly fun of doing this again
  • Hanging out with these bruisers at the #aflw grand final @ Adelaide oval. Amazing to be here. It’s gonna be a big score for the crows #genw
  • There’s been some pretty miserable stuff in the media lately...this time women making inroads and shaking up the boys club that is sport. .
Realize we’ve still got so far to go. It boggles the mind...we’re in 2019! But the fight needs to go on. . 
As it’s Women’s History Month just want to keep this issue alive and reach out to everyone of you and say, YOU matter and the fight’s worth it. .
Let’s keep looking after one another. None of this is going away in a hurry and there’s too much at stake. .
#fuckthepatriarchy #strongwoman #proudfeminist
  • Beautiful Adelaide Fringe opening truly was like walking through a Dreamtime
  • Day at Port Noarlunga beach. God damn it was lovely. Great ending to school hols.

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