By August 1, 2012 Read More →

Unusual home working jobs – the home workshop leader

Isabel LosadaIsabel Losada is a non-fiction writer whose books have been translated into 16 languages and sold over 100,000 copies. As well as other events she runs workshops in her home:

Hi Isabel, please fill us in with a little background about yourself and how you came to work from home.
I never wanted to work from home. I was an actress once and I much prefer working in a team in the wonderful way that actors are able. I’m naturally gregarious and the isolation of working from home didn’t come to me naturally when my first book was published. But when The Battersea Park Road to Enlightenment came out and was such a huge success I became an author and that was that.
My next book For Tibet, With Love actually involved travelling to Tibet and India, and The Battersea Park Road to Paradise took to me to Peru. So it’s not all sitting at home alone with a computer. But there is still a lot of isolation. They say it’s the fastest spiritual path as there is no-one you can possibly consider is responsible if you have a bad day except yourself. So there is a certain clarity in the teaching of isolation.

I’ve never come across an author who runs workshops from their home before – what’s it like to meet readers face-to-face in your personal space?
Wonderful. Obviously people wouldn’t come and do weekend workshops/houseparties with me if they were not admirers of my work and my writing. So it’s genuinely like greeting old friends that you haven’t met before. They all know me but I don’t know them. I’m always a little nervous before a weekend if the thought goes through my head ‘Aghhh – ten strangers coming to my house. I wish I had some friends coming.’
But then I quickly remind myself that they will be friends by the end of the weekend and of course, as you know, some people feel like friends in the first five minutes of meeting them. I’ve never been too fussed about personal space. I love people – with all their oddities. I’ve had open house all my life and there have only ever been 3 people that I’ve said I don’t want in my house because they had no sense whatever of boundaries. But 97% of people I’ve had here are lovely and always welcome.

Is it difficult to switch from writing mode to workshop leader?
The worst part of being a workshop leader is that you have to be very controlling. ‘Start now’, ‘do this’, ‘do that’ ‘be on time’ ‘please don’t leave the room if we are in the middle of something.’ I’m not all that keen on being that bossy even though I’m told I’m naturally very bossy. The similarity is that they are both me communicating what I’m most passionate about, which is happiness and living life to the full. So I don’t really see that there is a switch that I need to make. To me the workshops are like 10 friends to stay for the weekend. Only I know that everyone is going to have a good time because I’ve organised every last ten minutes. Like games at a party that you know will work. Huge fun. Of course you have to be someone who will not be thrown whatever may happen, so I’m not sure everybody could do this.

Find out more about Isabel, her books, events and home workshops at her website isabellosada.com. She will be back in the near future to talk about her writing, the things she likes and dislikes about it, and to offer some advice to aspiring writers.

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