My name is Belinda Nicoll, and I work as a freelance writer and creativity coach. I’m an active blogger and author of a memoir titled Out of Sync—a story about my expatriation from South Africa to the U.S. in 2001, arriving at JFK International Airport on the morning of 9/11, and how all that change impacted my life, career, and relationships.
My social media network consists of:
- freelance (commercial) writers
- authors of fiction and nonfiction
- personal coaches
- expatriates from all over the world
My favorite topics are PERSONAL TRANSFORMATION and GLOBAL CHANGE, and my blog showcases regular posts on:
- creative writing
- the changing world of books and publishing
- a series of rite-of-passage stories by guest writers
Keeping in mind the increasing complexity of life in today’s global world, the classic maxim that “the only constant is change” is truer than it’s ever been. As a writer and personal coach, I believe the dynamics of change affect characters in storytelling as much as they do individuals in real life. Inspired by a life coaching model, I am currently working on a creative writing guide that explores change as it relates to character transformation vs. plot development—as the craft thesis of my Master of Fine Arts program, it was praised as an innovative concept. I’ll be blogging on that topic extensively this year, as well as exploring the following themes that constitute the backbone of my novel in progress: war, rape, intergenerational shame, post-partum depression, and shamanic traditions.
If you’re an expert on (or have opinions about) any of the above-mentioned topics, contact me to arrange a guest appearance on my blog (see guidelines below). If you’d like to share a real story about change, or if you’d like to explore the potential for change in the life of a story character, please scroll through my blog posts to check out the series of my-rite-of-passage stories that started with CHANGE means…making a difference— also a great introduction to my creative writing guide.
To blog or not to blog continues to be an interesting debate, and I’ve recently seen it veer toward the sentiment of ‘too many blogs = information overload.’ There is no doubt that the success of a blog depends on subscribers who participate regularly via informative comments because they find the content valuable. Hosting other writers helps to infuse your blog with diverse points of view on matters of mutual interest.
If you don’t have your own blog, participating on other blogs is a great way of gaining and sustaining a social media presence to create, convey, and promote your profile / business / books. Choose a number of blogs that offer valuable information or content you relate to, subscribe to keep track of the blogger’s activities, become a loyal participant by regularly leaving comments and following the thread; then, when the right opportunity presents itself (all in good taste), you can share information about yourself, or you can invite the blogger and his/her followers to connect with you on other social media platforms and that way build your own network.
Guidelines for guest blogging
- Please start by subscribing to My Rite of Passage and responding to posts.
- Submit articles that are well thought through and edited – word count: 500-1000 max.
- Attach jpg.file of author photo and brief bio with links to ways readers can follow you: Website/blog, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Google+, etc.
- For the series of rite-of-passage stories the headline should be: CHANGE means…(fill in the blank).
- Attach any (legal) photos that are relevant to your story (max. 2). If you do not have any, I will try to find one (probably at Flickr Creative Commons).
- Be available to respond to comments in the week following your posting (I usually post on Friday mornings; this gives people a chance to respond at their leisure over weekends).
- Post deadline: at least a week before it goes live.
- I will announce your post on Facebook and tag you, as well as on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google+ and I usually share the link with various groups on these platforms. Feel free to do the same and more if you want.
- Let me know if you want to do a book giveaway to a random commenter. I will do the drawing a week after the posting and notify the winner and you via email with instructions to email you with their preference of digital version and their home address if they choose the paperback version.
- Please do not approach me for a book review – author interviews are by invitation only.
- You can contact me at, or send your material to, firstname.lastname@example.org
On my professional Facebook page - My Rite of Passage - I post updates about my book, blog, and business that deal with issues concerning personal transformation and global change. You might want to check it out; you might even “Like” it—my offering to authors, bloggers, and coaches who ‘like’ the page is to plug their websites / blogs or ‘share’ a specific status update on their request. Please nudge me whenever you’d like me to share something.