Winfried’s top tip: If you want to do it commit to it, don’t go in halfhearted or you’ll be setting yourself up for failure and disappointment. If we are committed we do whatever it takes to succeed; we learn, adapt, do as many rewrites as we need to until we get the result we want. We learn how publishing works, and how to build a following. If we don’t commit then when the going gets tough we are far more likely to bail.
Dr Winfried Sedhoff is a physician with a special interest in mental health. Born in Germany he grew up in Albury, NSW and graduated medicine from the University of New South Wales in 1987. In his early twenties and barely two years after graduating, having endured many years of intermittent depression – especially at high school and university – Winfried suffered a life-threatening personal crisis. Forsaking all he believed, including a promising specialised medical career, he spent twelve months in self-imposed isolation in a small rental unit in Sydney and began an internal quest to find himself, and a sense of unquestionable truth. His success has allowed him to create a life that has been both personally satisfying and feels his own.
He no longer suffers depression. More than twenty years later his personal realisations form the foundation of models and ideas that are successfully helping patients overcome depression and anxiety, and develop a true and honest sense of authentic self.
Why do you write? There are two main reasons I write:
- to better understand and improve myself
- to share
Writing gives me time to reflect on how people and events of my past helped to shape the person I am today – it helps me resolve long-held fears, and grow from disappointments and heartaches. When I write I reflect. Writing also gives me the wonderful opportunity to share with people, other than just patients I meet as a GP (General Practitioner). Like many others I’d like to think I can help make the world a better place, even if it is in just a small way.
What would you be doing if weren’t a writer? Probably more work as a counselling GP. Maybe run more seminars to help people overcome mental illness, teaching them skills to live more fulfilling, meaningful, lives. It’s hard not to see myself writing though.
What was your toughest obstacle to becoming published? Getting published wasn’t that hard. I decided early I’d self-publish my first book so I could set the tone, content and agenda. This was in the non-fiction, self-help genre. There are many self-publishing options these days making getting published pretty easy. Getting a publishing contract with a publishing house – where they foot the bill – is much harder. For instance, in the self-help genre I learnt that unless you are already well-known, or have a large media profile such as a large regular social media following, the main houses aren’t that interested, and neither are the agents that submit to them.
What are the best and worst aspects of your writing life? The best part is hearing how my words have helped improve someone else’s life, and being able to listen to other people’s stories. Writing stimulates conversation, and a willingness in others to want to share their tale. I have had the privilege of being able to meet many amazing and resilient people with wonderful inspirational tales to tell.
The worst part, since I write part-time, is not catching up with friends as much as I know I should. Thankfully, they are very understanding.
What would you do differently if you were starting out now as a writer? Seek the help of a professional editor really early. As I was struggling to find my voice I found it hard to know if I was on the right track, and where I needed to improve. Family and friends, I discovered, aren’t much help; they aren’t in the industry, and don’t know the standard we need to achieve. I have found contact with editors invaluable.
What do you wish you’d been told before you set out to become an author? Be patient, and never give up. Writing takes time and perseverance. It’s very rare we achieve our objectives as early as we’d like. It’s important to remember there will be times where we will probably cry in frustration and with a deep sense of hopelessness – I’m not good enough, it’ll never come together! This isn’t the time to throw in the towel. The lesson I learnt about what distinguishes a writer from a failed wannabe writer is the writer struggles on, no matter what.
It’s 2016, so why are women still treated as second class citizens? That’s the question asked by Dr Winfried Sedhoff in his new book, The Fall and Rise of Women.
Dr Sedhoff says that unrealistic expectations thrust upon women to be everything to everyone all at once – mothers, workers, parents, and carers – has created a plethora of issues and leaves many unable to reach their true selves. In the book Dr Sedhoff looks at how different cultures treat women and the sociological effects, and shows readers:
- why women are often treated poorly simply for being a woman, and what you can do to change that
- how to build meaningful friendships with other women and be supported
- simple things you can do to make your relationships closer, satisfying and stable, by better meeting the friendship needs of your partner, and vice versa
- how to create a balanced life, calm your mind, improve your mental health, and increase your wisdom, tolerance, & compassion
- ways to enhance your spirituality, connect with nature, uncover sources of peace, strength and focus
- how to connect with your authentic self, and be a better parent and carer
Thought provoking and empowering, The Fall and Rise of Women shows how to regain your transformational power, improve your life, and help change the world.
The book is available here