26 April 2013 - HANNAH HEMPENSTALL - Guest Blogger, Healer & Editor

HANNAH


HEMPENSTALL

- Guest Blogger, Healer & Editor -

G'day guys,

Today I introduce another Australian who is multi-skilled - Hannah Hempenstall. Hannah is an editor, blogger and healer. So, I've asked her to cover all three interests today. Thanks, Hannah ...

 HANNAH THE BLOGGER:

TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOUR BLOG’S JOURNEY.
I started writing my blog as a reaction to a book I am editing. An author called Jacqueline Harrison sent me a draft of a book called How To Create A Business From Nothing. It really resonated with me so I sent her a suggestion that I follow the advice in her book as I edit and write about it in a blog. The idea was that if I was successful, the blog would be testament to her book as well as a great for pre-launch marketing.

WHAT IS THE AIM OF YOUR BLOG?
The underlying theme is to see if I can go from being $12k in debt to becoming a millionaire by following the advice in Jacqueline’s book. However, the blog is really displaying the emotional processes I go through on a daily (or so) basis.

WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT BEING A WRITER?
Writing is something I have loved since I was a child. As a reader I adored losing myself in my imagination that was triggered by the books I read. Writing just seemed to follow. I find writing cathartic, expressive and therapeutic. Some people cook, I write.

WHAT IS THE HARDEST THING ABOUT BEING A WRITER?
Deadlines. I set my own deadlines for my blog but when I’m writing for a magazine or working on a book I sometimes struggle with the fact my body says do one thing (like go for a walk) and my deadline says sit down and write!


WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON AT THE MOMENT?
Cherryblossombutterflycakes.blogspot.com is my current baby. Anything you want to know about me you’ll find on there! And more!

WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
People. The way we operate and the hows and whys of our behaviour never fail to fascinate and inspire me.

ARE YOU A WRITER?
I’m not an author but I’ve worked on books that have involved writing some of the content. I’ve also been a magazine journo since 1993. I’ve written for titles such as OK!, Mindfood, Prevention, FHM, New Woman, Jetstar and Smash Hits.

DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS FOR NEW WRITERS?
My tip for new writers is to find a mentor who will guide you through the principles of writing. I was lucky enough to have a fantastic editor on the first magazine I worked for. Dominic Smith was a gifted man with a lot of patience. I used to sit next to him as he edited my articles. He’d explain why he was changing the structure or deleting or adding words and it taught me a lot about the craft of writing. If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be where I am now.

DO YOU SUFFER FROM WRITER’S BLOCK?
I’m lucky that I don’t really have this problem but I know it’s common among book authors. I know some people say to push through it, but my advice is to do something else. Go where the joy is and take the day off. Or, if you’re one of my clients, I tell them to call me! I have a knack of getting authors back in their joy zone and ready to write again!

DO YOU HAVE A PREFERRED WRITING SCHEDULE?
Personally I’m a morning person and I start work at 7am and go through till around 10am.  I usually take a short break and then come back to it at 11 or 12 till 3, take another break and then from 5 or 6 through to 8 or even 9pm. I like to break up my time at the desk with a walk, a swim or some yoga. I can’t bear to sit down all day, it dampens my creativity and my soul!

DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE WRITING PLACE?
I write my blog either sitting on the floor in my lounge room or on my balcony. Funny you should ask though, because I often plot my blog while I’m walking then when I get home I sit and write. If I’m thinking of feature ideas I can’t do it at home, I take my laptop and sit in a cafĂ© somewhere. I find moving location unlocks different things for me.

WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST JOY IN WRITING?
Spilling emotions onto a page is such a joy. When I get positive feedback from someone who has read my words, my heart smiles and sings!



WHAT’S THE GREATEST COMPLIMENT YOU EVER RECEIVED FROM A READER OF YOUR BLOG?
I’ve only received a few comments but they have all been from people saying how brave and touched they are by my honesty and insight.

WHAT WAS THE WORST COMMENT FROM A READER?
A friend of mine asked if I was OK with bearing my soul on my blog. I said I wouldn’t do it if I wasn’t! Thankfully, that’s the closest I’ve had to a negative comment.

WRITERS ARE SOMETIMES INFLUENCED BY THINGS THAT HAPPEN IN THEIR OWN LIVES. ARE YOU?
My life has been and continues to be an ongoing journey of endless amazement and fascination for me. I am a firm believer that the worst things that happen to us all hold a cloud of gold within them and I have plenty of clouds I can tell you! I’m lucky that my life is so colourful and I endeavour to continue writing about it.

OTHER THAN WRITING, WHAT ELSE DO YOU LOVE?
Yoga is my passion and my life.

IF YOU HAD AN OPPORTUNITY TO SPEAK TO THE ENTIRE WORLD, WHAT WOULD YOU SAY?
Go where the joy is.

IF YOU WERE STUCK ON A DESERT ISLAND WITH ONE PERSON, WHO WOULD YOU LIKE IT TO BE? WHY?
My mum. There’s so much I don’t know about her so it would be the perfect opportunity for me to let down my walls and talk to her. From a sneaky viewpoint it would also mean she’d have nowhere to hide so she’d have to answer my never ending stream of questions which drive her mad! 


WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THE FUTURE?
To become a millionaire, marry an inspirational speaker and live in Hawaii!

HANNAH THE EDITOR:

 TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF AND YOUR BOOK-EDITING JOURNEY.

My editing career began in magazines. I started out as an editorial assistant and worked my way up the ranks. After a break from magazines I decided I wanted to shift into books. Luckily for me it happened quite easily.

WERE YOU A GOOD READER AS A KID?
There were three things I loved most as a kid: reading, doing handstands and eating cherries. Today I still love to read and regularly do handstands as part of my daily yoga practice and if cherries are in season then you bet I’ll have red lips!

WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT BEING AN EDITOR?
Building a relationship with an author is my favourite part of editing. People are what fascinate me and I love being part of an author’s journey toward getting a book out into the world.

WHAT IS THE HARDEST THING ABOUT YOUR JOB?
The length of a manuscript compared with a magazine article is still a challenge for me. Also, the fact that I have three arms to my business: writing, editing and healing, can make life tricky

WHAT WERE YOU IN A PAST LIFE, BEFORE YOU BECAME AN EDITOR?
Before I got into publishing I worked as an office temp. I left school at 16 and wanted to work in as many places as possible. I loved the freedom of turning up a different place each week and having to learn new things. My publishing career began when I was 21 and I became an editor at 27.


WHAT ARE SOME OF THE BEST BOOKS YOU HAVE EDITED? WHY?
My favourite books have been Dying To Be Me by Anita Moorjani and The Top Five Regrets of the Dying by Bronnie Ware. I didn’t edit them as such. I proofread them for Hay House for Australian release so they had already been fully edited. I was filled with so much joy ad emotion as I read them, I cried, which is something not many people experience!

WHAT ARE YOU READING AT THE MOMENT?
I usually have a few books on the go at once. Currently I’m reading Why Men Are Easy by that’s mainly for research as I’m currently pitching articles to a variety of health mags. I’m also reading Fifty Shades of Grey, again for research as one of the authors I’m working with is writing an erotic fiction title and I don’t have much experience in that genre. I’m also currently reading The 8th Habit by Steven Covey. He’s amazing and I generally have at least one self-help book in the mix.

WHAT INSPIRES YOU AS AN EDITOR?
Helping an author overcome a creative or emotional block. That is my life’s work I think.

WHAT GENRE’ DO YOU PREFER TO EDIT? WHY?
I have been devouring the self-help genre for years as a reader so that’s where I specialise. I know the subject and genre really well so I tend to attract titles in that field.

 WHO ARE YOUR FAVOURITE AUTHORS?
I have so many favourite authors but Richard Bach and Neale Donald Walsch spring to mind. Bach because his books introduced me to the idea that the world is not as we know it and Walsch because his Conversations With God trilogy articulated what I had felt was the truth about God, for years.

WHAT’S THE GREATEST COMPLIMENT YOU EVER RECEIVED FROM A WRITER?
Hedley Galt is an author I’m currently working with and she often sends me messages saying she couldn’t do her job without me and that she appreciates me championing her book. That goes right to my heart.

WHAT WAS THE WORST COMMENT FROM A WRITER?
The worst comment was an email I got saying the manuscript still had loads of mistakes. I nearly died! I had only read the manuscript once and I hadn’t thought to articulate that each book ought to be read at least five times before going to print. This particular series of books had a really tight deadline so errors were missed. That was in my early career as a book editor and I’ve learned to now allow for multiple proofreads and also subcontract each book for an external proof in order to cover all bases. If a book has a super tight deadline that doesn’t allow for a complete edit then I probably won’t take it on.



HANNAH THE HEALER:
  

TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF AND YOUR PROFESSIONAL JOURNEY.

When I moved to Australia from London I was working in magazine publishing and had little knowledge of natural therapies. One day I passed a natural health college on my way to work. I felt called to investigate so I went in at lunchtime, and signed up to do a reflexology diploma on the spot. I had found my calling!





WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT YOUR WORK?

Seeing the change in someone from when they arrive to when they leave is incredibly rewarding. A relaxed and happy face (or even tears of release) bring a smile to my heart every time. During a session I will inevitably receive intuitive messages about the person which 9/10 times are validated when we debrief. That also never ceases to amaze and inspire me.



WHAT IS THE HARDEST THING ABOUT YOUR WORK?

People not turning up for their sessions! As a therapist you can only be with one client at a time and managing your diary is paramount. If someone doesn’t show up and worse, doesn’t even let you know, you are left with an hour gap with no client and no income for that time. It’s frustrating.




WHAT WERE YOU IN A PAST LIFE? BE SPECIFIC.

Are you’re literally talking about past lives? I often “see” people’s past lives when I do healings so I’m going to answer from the literal perspective (controversial!). I’ve been a young girl in Tibet, a roller skater in California and a host of other people. Not sure I want to expand on that out of context but believe me I have some interesting stories!



WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO CHANGE DIRECTION?

I guess I wanted to explore the ability to heal both myself and others that I intuitively knew I had. When I began to learn about reflexology, Reiki and other natural therapies it felt like something I was supposed to do. Same with writing.



WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT?

Waking up with joy almost every day. It’s been a long hard road and I am astounded at the inner strength I have.



WHAT BOOKS DO YOU READ?

I recently read Vagina by Naomi Wolf. I think every man and woman on this earth should read that book. Mostly I read self-help books. I find the never ending job of self-improvement challenging, thrilling and compelling.



DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS FOR US UNHEALTHY PEOPLE?

Get outside, walk on a daily basis and be kind to yourself. No need to sweat the small stuff, the rest of it will fall into place in good time.



WHO DO YOU ADMIRE MOST? WHY?

I admire anyone who has the courage to speak from their heart. It takes a lot to stand up for what you believe when the majority tells you it’s wrong. In my opinion, the truth is the truth whether we believe it, or not.










Clancy's comment: Mm ... told you Hannah was multi-skilled. Go, Hannah! Thanks for a great interview.
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