• Satya Robyn
  • January at the Writing Smithy by Jenn Ashworth
January at the Writing Smithy by Jenn Ashworth
Written by
Satya Robyn
January 2012
Written by
Satya Robyn
January 2012

January is always special  - a season of reflections, fresh starts, new beginnings and time to evaluate the previous year. For Sarah Hymas and I it is particularly special because it marks exactly one year since we launched our literature consultancy together – the Writing Smithy.

The year has involved a lot of firsts for us in our work as readers, editors and mentors to the ambitious and creative poets and prose writers we work with. Our first clients; our first set of invoices; navigating our way through commissioning our website and writing our first blog post. Reaching out into twitter and making new friends, learning from the competition and, most of all, learning what it feels like to work closely with another writer when both of us are used to and comfortable working alone.

At the end of our first year we did what we advise our clients to do: took a rest and looked back at our work and how far we’d come. It’s been a busy year. From deciding what we were going to call ourselves to sharing inspiration we’ve found in the writing of others, we’ve immersed ourselves in words this year. We’ve worked with poets, short story writers and novelists. We’ve made contacts at regional writing conferences and with publishers, agents and literary festivals. We’ve been able to shape the business to, we think, occupy a unique place in a very crowded market.

What we’ve found is most important about the work we do is being true to ourselves, our own ethics and values, our own priorities and our vision of what we wanted to achieve in the first place. And again, that’s something we’ve learned from mentoring the writers we work with – because we’ve discovered that the most confident and intuitive writers have this in common: they know who they are, what they want to say, and where they want to go next. And if they don’t know yet – if these ideas are fuzzy, and only just beginning to form – they are committed to doing the work it takes to find out.

And because January isn’t just about looking backwards, but about planning the year ahead – we’ll also be developing some resolutions for where we’d like the Writing Smithy to go next. Sarah, in her work as an accredited coach, is an expert on the different methods people use to set goals and measure their progress. I know we’ll want to focus our attention on developing our new blog to make sure we’re offering useful information to our readers and clients. Sarah’s looking forward to dipping a toe into twitter. Personally, I’m hoping to do a little less, but do it better.

Here’s to a creative 2012! 


Find the Writing Smithy at their site and their blog. Find Jenn Ashworth here and Sarah Hymas here. Follow on Twitter: 



This blog is part of the 'Looking Back Looking Forwards' series edited by Fiona Robyn between the 1st and 7th of January. What did we learn about writing and about ourselves in 2011? How will we use this knowledge in 2012? What do we hope for? Do join us and write your own post, tagged with "Looking Back Looking Forwards" (don't forget the quotation marks & capitals). Read other's posts here (or by clicking on the tag). I'll be featuring a small selection of your blogs during the week. Enjoy. 

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