James Prescott

exploring how words & stories shape lives

Discover The ‘Dance Of The Writer’ – New E-Book

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Out Now – A New FREE E-Book for Blog Subscribers, a quality book written & created in just 24 hours:

“Authenticity is fundamental to creating great work, as what we create reveals the truth of who we are”

‘The Dance Of The Writer: A Beginners Guide To Authentic Writing’, a book about maintaining authenticity in our work & balancing it with the world of business and marketing.

Get your FREE copy here:


Letter To Me: Vicki Nelson

As I mentioned earlier in the week, for the rest of the month I’m going to be running several guest posts, whilst I focus on some other important work (which I’ll let you know about in due course). And this includes a new blog series, beginning today – called ‘A Letter To Me’.

A while back I posted a blog which was a letter from my older self to my current self. I shared about this on Facebook, and it resonated with quite a few of you. In fact, some of you offered to share your own. So in the next month or two, I’m going to be sharing a few with you.

Today, I’m hosting the awesome Vicki Nelson – so without further ado, it’s over to Vicki!

Hey you,

Recognize me? I hope not, not completely anyway. I hope when you receive this letter, you will make some changes. And by the time you get here, meeting me in this spot, there will only be glimmers of you left, the bright spots, your wit, your courage, your ability to make others smile.

Life hasn’t slowed down for you. I have to tell you that, because I know you, and you will always want to stay busy. So I’m letting you in on this secret – stay well, take care of yourself. You will need it. Your knees are a little weaker now, a few more tweaks in that back, and those random pains that hit your body, well, they still do. But you will persevere, you always do.

Do you ever wished you hadn’t abused your body quite so much? That you hadn’t driven it, constantly working out? And for what?

Born To Live (Guest Post by Brooke Lynn)

For the rest of this month I’m going to be running a few guest posts, whilst I work some other projects (more on those soon). This will include a new blog series, which begins Wednesday.

Today however I’m honoured to host the awesome Brooke Lynn, with a powerful guest post I know you’re going to love. So, it’s over to Brooke…

Have you ever wondered who you really are, or what your purpose is in life?

I asked myself these questions for many years, comparing myself to people and measuring my worth against them. I chased after identity, success, love, value and good looks. I assumed beauty was in the outward appearance and I became obsessed with my body trying to achieve the air-brushed model look in magazines.

This only led me onto a road of self-destruction with eating disorders and disappointment while striving to meet unreachable expectations.

As a child, we have a tendency to believe what we are told. This is when I began to believe the words spoken deep into my soul; I was worthless, ugly, fat, unwanted, and never good enough.

Why Big Dreams Require Small Expectations

I began my writing journey with huge dreams. I dreamt of having a big publishing contract, selling millions of books, being an international speaker and thought-leader. It was all daydream stuff, and I never really believed it. But it was nice to dream it.

Then when I found Tribe Writers, I saw finally a practical, realistic way of getting there. And the course was phenomenal – I still to this day recommend it to people (in fact, there’s a new class beginning soon – you can find out more & sign up here or below the post).

But the problem was, it caused me to set impossible expectations of myself.

I set my expectations at the big level of my dreams, and when I didn’t reach those immediately, I felt like a failure. I wanted to give up.

And through the process I learned one crucial lesson:

Dreams are different from expectations. And we need both.

How To Stay Authentic In The World Of Cyber Monday

It’s Cyber-Monday today. The Black Friday of the internet. In the UK alone there is expected to be expenditure of over £650 million. It’s the worst of consumerism. The worst of capitalism. The worst of marketing and business.

But business and marketing aren’t bad. Like anything, in the right context, they can be good – it’s the abuse and excess which taints them.

Which brings me to art. There are many artists who have and do make their living from their art. The work they create pays the bills. And we all need to pay bills.

So, naturally, for anyone wanting to make a living from their work, there becomes a huge temptation to create work which we know will sell. To invest our talent into work we know people will buy, which there is a guaranteed market for. And to market this work intensively.

As any artist will tell you, there is a cost to the work we create. Both in time, energy and money. And in time I’ve discovered, if we want to create better quality work, help more people, and expand our reach, then business and marketing have to be part of what we do.

But there’s something missing here.

Authenticity.

We need to balance authenticity with the reality of business and marketing. So how and why do we do this?

The Book I Created In 24 hours (& How To Get It Today)

I was just having an innocent, fun Facebook conversation with some writers, making a joke. On a useful list of 31 things to do every day for a month to begin blogging, which someone had posted, ‘Write an E-Book’ and ‘Publish an ‘E-Book’ were listed on successive days.

All I said was

‘E-Book in day? Really?’

And that was it. A little light-hearted joke. But then, a good friend, Christine, challenged me. Why couldn’t I create a book in a day? And not just a hastily arranged amateur book, but a full on, professional, quality e-book.

Why not try it?

The Secrets You Find At The End Of Yourself

In recent weeks life has been difficult. This very weekend I had an experience which brought me to the end of myself. Issues with finances, work, health and relationships. I was sitting at home, but I wasn’t feeling depressed. It had gone beyond this.

I was just not bothered.

I mean this not in a lazy way at all. Nor in a negative, suicidal sense. But more like indifference. To life. Pressures with money, with bad habits, diet, work, career. Tough choices, pressurised situations. And I felt indifferent.

Maybe not too much of a surprise. Many struggle with this.

But what made me sit up and notice, was how little I cared about the things I am most passionate about. And it opened my eyes to a truths. Truths I already knew of in theory, but had never experienced in such a personal way.

It revealed the lies about where I – and many of us – put our security. And the amazing blessing of having it grounded where it should be.

What ‘Interstellar’ Taught Me About Writing

Last weekend I watched Christopher Nolan’s new film, ‘Interstellar’. It’s a film set in the near future about a group of people who have to travel into deep space, to save humanity. It has some of the best cinematography I’ve ever seen, and a powerful, emotive narrative. It’s epic in every sense of the word.

‘Interstellar’ is a demonstration of a master at work. It’s Christopher Nolan at the absolute peak of his powers as a filmmaker. Someone with total mastery of their craft, in every possible sense. The storytelling, cinematography, soundtrack, editing, and epic size of the movie are perfectly seamless.

‘Interstellar’ is a cinematic masterpiece.

And when I watched it, and reflected on it afterward, one of the things which stuck with me purely from an artistic perspective was simply this:

My main goal in writing is to leave a positive impact on the world. To serve others. But outside of this, my biggest hope is that I can master the art of writing and storytelling, in the way Chris Nolan has mastered the art filmmaking. To have the command over words and stories which Nolan currently holds over the art of filmmaking.

It may be my biggest test as a writer.

The film also convinced me of one other, crucial fact. That to become a master writer, I must become a master storyteller.

Why A Letter From Your Older Self Can Change Your Life (& My Letter)

I was invited recently to write a letter to myself. From a self much older (and hopefully wiser) self, who has lived out the story I want to live, who wants to invite the me of today to learn the lessons he learned, to be fully prepared for the life he has.

The challenge is to look forward. To think about our own stories. To think about what life itself means. To confront the truth of who we are, what story we are currently telling, and the urgency of our need to stop procrastinating & live the story we were born to.

Undergoing this process has brought lots of things in my life to focus. Who I am called to be. The story I want to tell.

It’s helped me gain a more realistic perspective on life, and inspired me to take action to get my story going. And later I’m going to invite you to take up this challenge too.

So, here’s my own ‘letter from an older self':

Dear 37 year old James,

I won’t ask how you are. I am you, remember. I know how you are. I remember reading this letter myself.

I remember the hopelessness you felt on the train that day.

Trust me James, you have a long journey ahead of you.

Yes. Really.