Welcome to a new interview in the Creative Business Diaries series! This week I interviewed Angela a writer and teacher from London who loves reading and literature. She writes at her blog readinginspiration.com to share tips on reading and on finding the best books for both children and adults. If you are feeling overwhelmed or worried about how your children are doing with their reading, or even just looking for your next great read, check out her advice and tips!

1. What do you create?

I write about supporting children’s reading. I provide tips for parents who are concerned that their children are not reading well or enough. I also review and recommend books that I hope children will love and that will get them enthused and excited about books! And I review books for grown-ups because we need to enjoy our reading time too!

2. Why do you create?

I was inspired to start writing on this subject after my own son went through a difficult time and was struggling with reading. My tips are all about encouraging parents to relax about their children’s reading, because when we start to get stressed and worried about whether our children are reading at the right “levels” – or if they are passing tests or not – it can create more difficulty for the child. I feel strongly that we have to put all pressures aside and concentrate on building confidence in reading through creating a love of
stories and characters. Let children (and parents!) get swept up into a world of
imagination.

3. When did you start creating?

I’ve always tried to keep creativity in my life. This started with writing stories as a child and as I grew older I became more interested in visual creativity. I spent a lot of time working with photography. Now I have felt drawn to go back to writing. I started writing about reading and books in 2017 and I’ve also gotten back to working on creative writing projects including short stories and a novel too!

4. What advice would you give to someone who wants to share their creations/start a business but doesn’t know where to start/is afraid of reactions?

What works for one creative person might not work for another so I would be wary of any one size fits all approach which claims to provide success for all. But I would say start with the subject or creative project you really care about and are enthused to work on. It can take a lot of patience and perseverance to succeed creatively, so if it is not something you are really passionate about you could run out of steam very quickly! Also connect with other people who share your interests, and who work in ways you can relate to – working in isolation can be exhausting. But my most important tip is to avoid overwhelm, don’t try to do everything that everyone else is doing, trying to do too much at once will only leave you burnt out.

5. Favorite social media to promote/to find inspiration and what tips do you have to succeed on that network (if any)?

Instagram for community, fun and making connections. Facebook has also become useful for joining specific groups to connect with collaborators and fellow creatives.

6. Who inspires you and why?

My son. Seeing how he has grown to love books, stories, and characters and relate to books in a creative way has been my number one motivation for writing. Also our optician, who diagnosed both my son and I with a specific visual disorder, which once treated changed our lives dramatically.

7. What are some of the disadvantages of the business you are in and how do you beat them?

It can take too long to get results which often results in losing motivation and losing sight of goals. I would recommend seeing creative business endeavors as a marathon, not a sprint to avoid that.

8. Was there a moment when you wanted to quit? Why?

Many times, due to problems with finances, becoming overwhelmed and the time it takes to succeed. Patience is essential.

9. How has your business evolved since you started it? Did it go in the direction you were expecting?

It evolved as I found out more about what my readers wanted to hear about. This made me think about ways to keep sight of my own values and goals, while also making sure my work was relevant to others. My business changed direction as a process of finding out more about what my audience was interested in. I think that process of learning from others really helped to improve my work in a positive way.

10. What makes you mad about the creators’ community and how would you change that?

I think sometimes we put too much pressure on ourselves and we feel like we have to do everything that everyone else is doing! We can get distracted from our own projects by looking at other people’s success and comparing ourselves negatively to their progress instead of just being happy for them. Sometimes we just need to chill out!

Random 5:

1. Chocolate or Pancakes?
Chocolate – unless a chocolate pancake is an option!
2. Sweet or Salty?
Sweet.
3. Wine or Beer?
Wine.
4. Swimming or Skiing?
Swimming.
5. Harry Potter or The Lord of the Rings?
Lord of the Rings (showing my age!)

Check out Angela’s reading tips and recommendations at readinginspiration.com and Find her on Twitter @AngelaSReads on Pinterest at readinginspiration on Instagram at spangles_readinginspiration and on Facebook at readinginspiration.

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