Some goal-smashing advice!


We’ve got an interesting post on the blog this week, from Nicola Findlay, as part of her blog tour for Live Like You Give a F**k, her new book about how to identify and set goals, then go get them! I don’t know about you, but I know I’ve set myself plenty of goals over the years, and not always quite got around to reaching them, in writing and ‘normal’ life. So, we thought this might be a good read for TNP, and here’s Nicola, talking to us about what inspired her to write the book, and how she got it done. Having read the book myself, I think we could all learn a lot from her plans!

I grew up with mum juggling jobs to make ends meet.  Logically, my expectations for the future at this point were low.  I thought the best I could do would be to muddle and struggle through life like my mum. In my early twenties, I found myself in a boring job that I hated, too much month at the end of the money, credit cards maxed out on emergencies like a cute biker jacket from Zara and being in a dead end relationship where my partner felt more like a lodger than a lover!

I could have stayed this way but fate, destiny, the universe or whatever the hell you call it stepped in and and guided me in a different direction.!

An older, wiser colleague at work often asked me , “what the heck are you doing stuck in this stale office! Get the hell out of here and live a life of adventure and fun – you are too young to settle for a 9-5 boring office job’ As much as I new it to be true, the security of the job would always drag my sorry arse back.

The unexpected death of him was a lightening bolt to my system. Would I continue living a life that didn’t feel like mine or I could grab life by the balls and go live a better version?

In what seemed like a moment of madness, in a heartbeat, I took the first step that we all have to do to make change happen. I decided to take a leap of faith into the unknown!

From that point everything started to change pretty quickly.  I ditched the boyfriend and the job.  Moved down south and started an awesome career travelling the world as an air stewardess.

I loved my new life, work and new friends. Within a year I met a guy that blew my socks off.  I still can’t shake him off, I guess that’s because I married him.  One day I was introduced to my first self development book which was quite alien to me  as my usual reading materials consisted solely of OK and Hello magazine.  But I absolutely fucking loved it, and was so hooked and hungry for more.  That initial book started a trail into the ‘self help bubble’ which led to more life changing books, weekend seminars, an nlp practitioner course and running self development workshops in Brighton where I lived.  This journey of personal growth and development was pleasantly interrupted by the arrival of my baby daughter Melia and I stepped back to focus on my most prized possession.

Live Like You Give A F**K! is my debut title and it all started with a beermat type of idea I had almost two years ago to the day. I was sipping on a mimosa and writing my goals, on a cruise ship somewhere between Florida and the Bahamas. I usually make a list of the self development books that I want to read the following year when it struck me that the book I really wanted to read; one that had plenty of mojo in the motivation, was inspiring and practical as well as being funny as fuck hadn’t been written yet and I toyed for the very first time about writing a book. Of course I was immediately swamped with the usual fears and doubts; ‘You’re not a writer, no one is going to want to read what you’ve written, you haven’t got anything valuable to say’, so taking my own advice I slowly took another sip of my mimosa and told my fears and doubts to f**k off.

The only writing I’d previously done was for my courses and trainings so it was a huge leap for me to then commit myself to writing the 40,000 words for the book. I’m sure mine has been a typical journey that many writers face. The initial excitement that has you typing away for hours on end followed by lulls where you hit the brick wall and can’t string a sentence together for love nor money, which is frustrating as hell. The scariest part of all, is when you think you’re ready to submit your manuscript only to find that with the pressure of a deadline you now what to make a gazillion changes.

The hardest part for me was signing off the final proof. No more edits, no more changes and no more turning back.  As a writer you soon realise that you have to be fine with there being an end to the process, which is great,  because that’s when the book gets to deliver on it’s promise by getting into people’s hands and sprouting it’s message;  Empowerment, Motivation and Confidence!

And for all the ideas and thoughts that didn’t make it to print this time, well, I’ll just have to write another book.


It’s true, there is a lot to Nicola’s book which is common sense. But, sometimes, we ignore common sense, and need somebody to sit us down, and tell us exactly how it is. In this book, Nicola does this in spades. It’s a no-nonsense approach, going through the ins and outs of how to identify the life you want, then giving you the tools to get out there and get it. Throughout, Nicola’s voice is striking, and a bit like being given a pep talk by your best friend, which is basically what most of us need! So, grab yourself a notebook, get reading, and get planning your new life…

Live Like You Give A F**K!

NF V1.2

The No Nonsense Philosophy for Smart Girls who Want to Smash It!

Boss a bitch? Diet a hot mess? Broke after payday? Ghosted on tinder?

If life feels like a constant hangover why not take five f**king minutes for yourself to decide what you really want. Slam on the brakes, kick off your heels and unplug from the social media circus.

Stop Surviving – Start Thriving

Live Like You Give A F**K will show you how to create the future you want, not the one that’s been shoved down your throat. It will shake and wake you from the hypnosis of modern living. The triple shot of empowerment, confidence and motivation will unleash the badass in you.

Nicola Findlay is the straight-talking, bold, coaching diva who isn’t afraid to tell it like it is. If you ask her advice about your lame partner she’ll give you a bitch slap, tell you to raise your standards and get rid of that loser.

She’s your best friend, your enemy, your punchbag and your cheerleader. Some people call her a diva, some people call her a badass bitch but whichever you decide you will get results.

WARNING: If you’re afraid of a few swear words on a page put this book down and go cry to your Mama. I’m not here to offend anyone.  I’m here to tell you how to rock your world, and because I’m so passionate about it I’ll be shouting and swearing from the rooftops.

Purchase from Amazon UK

Purchase from Barnes & Noble

About Nicola

Nicola Photo 1

Nicola Findlay, a former British Airways air stewardess, is a qualified neurolinguistic practitioner and accredited international coach with over a decade of experience. She runs personal group workshops, 1-2-1 coaching and corporate training working with companies such as Specsavers and Stella & Dot. Previously she managed the Brighton branch of Life Clubs where she ran weekly personal development workshops with different themes each week before starting her own company The Coaching Diva in 2015. In 2018 she is planning a series of live events in London and New York including; Attracting Mr Right and Live Like You Give A F**K! Nicola lives with her 7 year old daughter and husband in Surrey, England

Website –

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Creative competition

Have you ever entered a creative writing competition? If so what happened next?

Competition is the theme of the next North Tyneside Writers’ Circle which takes place this coming Saturday 17th June in North Shields library.

NTWCClare Pepper from North Tyneside Libraries will be popping in to tell us about this year’s Story Tyne Competition and we’ll all share our experiences of this and other competitions.

Do you avoid competitions because you can’t bear the thought of not winning? Come and join us from 11am on Saturday and we’ll try to convince you that entering competitions is GOOD for you!

North Tyneside Writers’ Circle is free to attend and all are welcome. There’s no need to book.

North Tyneside Writers’ Circle – Our first quarter

Back in October 2016, as part of the Age Takes Centre Stage programme, The Next Page agreed to start running a group for writers, based in North Tyneside Libraries. One tea- and shortbread-fuelled planning session later, and the North Tyneside Writers Circle was born!

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Our first visit to North Shields, nervously waiting to see how many seats we’d fill


Having started in January 2017, we’ve made it through our first quarter, and we’ve been delighted with how it’s come together. We’ve had two great speakers in Sue Miller and Steve Urwin, we’ve had round-table discussions, meeting new people and, oh yes – we’ve even had some writing!

As somebody who loves attending events with other writers, whether readings, workshops or anything else, having our group has been a fabulous opportunity to meet new writers in the area. Hearing people share their freshly-written material is always inspiring too.


Seeing the tables fill up the last three months has spurred us on to keep looking at new things, like the guided discussion section, and although there’s no session in April, we’re already looking forward to May, and welcoming Mark Iveson along to talk about his writing.

I’d best go get those prompts sorted!

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The answer – plenty of people turned up!



Writers need people!

James Tucker is our guest blogger today….

I once remarked to my then-girlfriend about how artistic people could be hard work sometimes.  ‘Yes, you certainly are!’ was her response.  I hadn’t really thought of myself in those terms but then I felt good about it.  I could now strike official Artistic Poses, and my various gripes (block, comparisons, criticisms, doubt, obsession, etc) would be justified because I was a Tormented Genius.

Sometimes, though, the “artist” business strikes me as odd because writing is almost inherently introverted.  You can do it in company but it boils down to you spending a lot of time with a piece of paper or keyboard and your attention focused on the work.  It’s the kind of art that someone shy and possibly without any previously detected artistic talent or temperament can aspire to.

But I’m not sure there is any such thing as a pure introvert.  Sooner or later, you will need to get some motivation or perspective from another person to keep going.  Not to mention that writing is also a craft, and has to be learnt.  One of my lecturers defined a writer as someone who would write even if they knew for a fact nobody else would ever see it, but that would be unpleasant and inefficient at the least.James again

So here’s a rub: unless you are that rare person who writes entirely for your own enjoyment, then at some point, somebody else is going to have to read it.  Or, you will have to read it to them.  It may feel like you are exposing something deeply personal; if you have spent a long time with your work, you may even be a little jealous of sharing it.  You will discover whether being heard is a want or a need, or both.

After which, some of the people exposed to your work may say something back.  If you are lucky, it may be something you can use to improve, and you take it as such.  If you are very lucky, you may be that even rarer person whose first work is an instant success.  But that happens less often than you think; To Kill a Mockingbird is often called a brilliant first novel when in fact it was Harper Lee’s first published novel, there was at least one before that didn’t make it.

Of course taking a compliment can be pretty tough, sometimes even less comfortable than criticism.  Yet you probably aspire to more of it.

(Just to prove a point… this blog post is better for exposure to the Next Page group (Jennifer C Wilson, Elaine Cusack, Sandy Chadwin) and the Elementary Writers group run by Victoria Watson, not to mention John Evans at the Phil.)

If you successfully tread the path to major author, you will be expected to do readings and signings with talks.  Best get some practice in early.  You don’t have to be Jackanory but competence and comfort will be necessary.

So… don’t let the road be too lonely.  Sometimes you may walk together in companionable silence, sometimes pause to share provisions and compare blisters, perhaps even take time to plan your route with someone.  Or just nod to a fellow traveller as you pass.  It’ll be worth it.

Get inspired this weekend

How can you write without inspiration? You can’t! Why don’t you join us in Whitley Bay library this coming Saturday afternoon for Teenage Kicks, a creative writing workshop inspired by music?

Charming Salon PartyWe’ve all got our favourite songs, pieces of music which instantly transport us back to precious memories – first days of independence, first loves, first taste of the ‘real world’, or even the opposite, taking us back to more innocent times, when our biggest worry was whether our favourite group would have made it to Number One.  

Teenage Kicks: Creative Writing Workshop takes place this coming Saturday, 4th March, at Whitley Bay Library and is run by Jennifer C Wilson and Elaine Cusack. Attendees are  encouraged to  ‘bring along’  favourite songs (mentally only, no CDs needed!), and see where they go when combined with Jennifer’s prompts. 

Jennifer and Elaine  will be sharing songs and pieces of music to conjure up new inspiration, and show how songs can inspire some fascinating moods, characters and plots. 

Charming Salon PartyTeenage Kicks: Creative Writing Workshop Saturday 4th March, St Mary’s room, Whitley Bay library.  Tickets cost £15 . Advance booking recommended. Click here to book

Teenage Kicks!

Welcome to February 2017! And not just any day in February – it is exactly one month today until The Next Page’s next workshop: Teenage Kicks, on Saturday 4th March.

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We’re in our usual spot in Whitley Bay Library, and having found our previous inspiration in words and art, this time we’ll be using music. Come along and be inspired by your favourite pieces, discover some possible new ones, and enjoy plenty more idea to tease out poetry, prose and more.

There’ll be plenty of ideas to spur you on, both during the workshops, and to keep you going at home too.

Tickets are just £15 for the session, 1330-1600, and there may well be biscuits…

Visit the event’s Facebook page to keep up to date with details, or click here to book your place.

The Next Page’s next twelve months

Hello, and Happy New Year – welcome to 2017!

We hope you all had a great Christmas and New Year, and, more importantly, that all those lovely, ambitious Resolutions are still going strong. If they involved ‘start writing’ or ‘write more’ then we are here for you, with our diaries already filling up with plenty of great opportunities to get the ink and inspiration flowing, or, if necessary, get you back on track whether you’ve been away for the Christmas fortnight, or half a lifetime.

One thing we’re really excited to be bringing you, starting on Saturday 21st January, is the North Tyneside Writers’ Circle. Whether you’ve been writing for decades, or want to make your first tentative steps in any form or genre, come along to this FREE event at North Shields Library. We’re seeing this as a great chance for like-minded, ‘writerly’ folk to get together, chat about news, what they’re writing (or want to), and, hopefully, learn something in the process.


Each month (on the third Saturday, dates announced three months in advance), we’ll be having a good chat about the Tyneside / north-east writing scene, we’ll have prompts and, on a regular basis, we’ll have somebody to give you a brief introduction into an aspect of the writing life. We’re delighted to announce the Sue Miller will be our first speaker, talking about her experience of self-publishing and selling her books through Amazon. Sue’s book (20/20 Vision: They didn’t see it coming) has garnered excellent reviews on Amazon, and has recently been featured in Hello! magazine.


Hopefully we’ll see you there, 1100-1300 on the 21st!

Beyond NTWC, we also have our workshops and mentoring, with the next workshop being Teenage Kicks on Saturday 4th March, exploring musical inspiration, and mentoring places available to book for first Saturdays in February and March.

Tickets for all bookable events are, as always, available via our TicketSource page.

And don’t forget to keep following our blog for news items, and special guest bloggers from the writing world…


We’ll look forward to seeing or hearing from you soon!