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An Interview with Author Silja Paulus

Paulus 1

Silja comes from a magical and mysterious land called Estonia. She has always been fascinated by stories and writing. As a child, she wrote ghost stories, poems, and Christmas plays to be performed with her sister. Later, she became an essay-writing machine, participated in all contests she could find, and eventually fulfilled her dream of studying abroad by doing an MA in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University, UK. In her working life, she stepped away from fiction but still practiced some writing: blog posts, copywriting, technical writing in IT, translations, and many more. Yet, her heart belongs to creative writing. After some soul-searching, she finally realised that her true passion is non-fiction, especially self-help books and books that teach people how to write. She now puts her talents into structuring ideas and sharing her knowledge with the world.

Who/what made you want to write? Was there a particular person, or particular writers/works/art forms that influenced you?

It may sound odd, but my biggest impact is ME. I have always had this strong desire to create worlds, structure ideas, and put words onto paper. Sometimes, ideas simply come to me out of the blue and I cannot rest before I have written. I’m very often bombarded by ideas and it has always been like this. I think spiritual people would say that something greater is channeling its wisdom through me. It’s my task to listen and make it heard by the rest of the world too.

What inspired you to start writing this book?

I am very fascinated by the writer’s identity, habits, and everything that goes beyond the actual fiction writing process. I have a talent for structuring ideas in a beautiful way and making sense of the world. This book is a practical guide for anyone who would like to try on the identity of a writer for 30 days, just to figure out if it is a match. I love creating useful things that can actually bring some transformation into people’s lives.

What other professions have you worked in? What’s something about you that your readers wouldn’t know?

Oh, I have tried on many other identities! By now, I know that creativity makes me the happiest and that’s why I quit my corporate job four months ago and switched fully into my creative self as well as coaching. I have always been in contact with words: 10+ years as a translator, proofreader, copywriter, content writer, and eventually a technical writer in IT. Besides that, I have a passion for sports (I was a marathon runner and now compete in bikini fitness), so I also worked as a massage therapist. A year ago, I turned my life upside down after becoming a certified health and fitness coach. Now, I live the life of a digital nomad and freelancer: I help people switch to a healthy lifestyle, create my own online courses on Udemy, film loads of content for YouTube and Instagram, and ghostwrite a book for my clients.

What books did you read (for research or comfort) throughout your writing process?

As this is a guidebook for aspiring writers, I read a lot about creative writing. My bookshelf at home has a lot of creative writing books and I read a lot of them for inspiration. I’m super fascinated by the behind-the-scenes of a book. Once I had studied all that material, ideas started forming inside my head. I took bits and pieces from here and there and combined them into something completely new. That’s my superpower—synthesising new ideas and making sense of the world.

What is one thing you hope readers take away from reading your book? How do you envision your perfect reader?

I hope that my readers use this book in a practical way and find true value. It’s not a long book. It reads quickly. My main goal with this book is to get people ready for action and then really do something about their creative dreams. My perfect reader is curious, open-minded, and takes action. I don’t want this handbook to collect dust. I want it to inspire! I recently realised that I’m also very good at being a catalyst for other people. I’m the person who takes them by hand, walks them to the edge of the cliff, talks them into jumping, and then watches them fly once they have jumped. I want to continue living that purpose!

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