The New Writer, The Real Writers’ Guide, and what happened

If you’ve been reading The New Writer or The Real Writers’ Guide over the past couple of years, you’ve probably been wondering what happened to them. Conveniently, I’m able to account for both.

First of all, allow me to introduce myself – something I’ve never actually done formally for either audience. My name is Tom Pakinkis and, since 2010, I have been and continue to be a journalist, of sorts.

I started my career as a video games critic for a now obliterated website called CVG before moving to the UK’s music industry trade mag, Music Week.

Somewhere along the way I started this little blog, The Real Writers’ Guide, in a bid to help budding career writers of every discipline learn from the success of their peers and earn money for their words.

While I was at Music Week I found out that popular UK writing mag The New Writer was to shut it doors. In an increasingly digital world, it was no surprise that another print publication was going down the pan, but I didn’t see any reason why its sizable Twitter following had to go with it. I thought there was scope for something small but worthwhile online and so, with permission from its previous owner, I took on The New Writer brand.

With it I started a weekly email newsletter that would round up some of the best articles for writers from around the web. Starting from scratch, it was hardly going to make me rich, but the few hundred people that I did manage to gather on the New Writer mailing list seemed engaged and interested, and the 7,000 followers retained on Twitter started to grow.

Meanwhile, I positioned The Real Writers’ Guide as a kind of sister blog to The New Writer, adding new articles when I could and promoting them through the TNW newsletter.

Then life got in the way, as it so often does.

During this time I was climbing the ladder at Music Week and, at the beginning of 2015, took on the mag’s Editor role. It’s not the kind of job that allows for much after work activity, mainly because there’s no such thing as ‘after work’ when you’re the Editor of a magazine.

So, in short, both The Real Writers’ Guide and The New Writer newsletter slowly stopped happening.

Realising there’s more to life than work, and having put in a decent shift, I resigned from Music Week at the end of last year and have now set up as a freelance journalist, PR consultant and copywriter – still working for music companies in the main.

I now have room to breathe again and, more importantly, time to nurture this little writers’ resource.

I’ve decided that The Real Writers’ Guide model is perhaps the more sensible to commit to. Work still won’t allow me to guarantee weekly web round-ups from The New Writer, but I’ll be damned if I can’t commit to an interesting interview with someone who’s made it on The Real Writers’ Guide once a month.

So, welcome to the 7,000+ Twitter followers from The New Writer – take a look at previous posts to get a feel for what this blog is all about. And, if you’re already a follower of The Real Writers’ Guide, let’s pick up from where we left off.



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