Speak Easy With Haroon S1:E1

Overcoming decades of fear and procrastination: Sophia Bennett’s journey to answering her call as an award-winning writer

“My mother let me read whatever I wanted … that’s when I got the first inclination that I wanted to be a writer.” – Sophia Bennett

Did you have the same inclination?

A crystal clear calling into your creative identity, followed by years of procrastination and unrelated fulfillment.

Do you feel like unresolved trauma is holding you back from artistic expression?

Sophia felt the same. Then she made a choice – to start.

That choice led to getting her hands on the manuscript for Harry Potter before the world knew about “The Boy Who Lived.”

Then that pushed her to write her own words instead of studying someone else’s. It led her to finish, write, and write again. Up until today as a professional crime-based novelist.

As the first guest on our podcast, she certainly left a lasting impression, along with truthful doses about the creative journey you shouldn’t miss.

Let’s dive into the highlights …

Who is Sophia Bennett? A little more …

Sophia Bennett is a British, award-winning young adult, and now-turned-crime-based novelist. 

She was previously a librarian, management consultant, and YA author for ten years. Her first book, Threads won the Times/Chicken House children’s fiction competition. It was followed by two further books in the series which were published around the world. 

Sophia’s goal was always to get and keep young people reading. Now embracing artistic re-invention, Sophia is using the foundation of her success to dive into the genre that she’s always loved as a child: crime.

Show Notes

  • Sophia’s formative years as an army child. (1:05)
  • Sophia’s observations on trauma and artistry. (5:02)
  • What stopped Sophia from following through on the inclination she always had as a child to be a writer? (13:20)
  • Sophia on a writer’s necessity. (16:20)
  • How Sophia’s time as a management consultant and traveler enhanced her journey
  • Sophia on reading the manuscript for Harry Potter before the world knew about “The Boy Who Lived.” (17:20)
  • Making different things. Failing. And making things again. (19:00)
  • The unsexy creator journey. (20:55)
  • Grabbing the good moments and being grateful. (33:43)
  • A habit of all the greats and the best advice Sophia received as a writer. (35:30)
  • Sophia’s take on the question ALL writers have to face: “Have you been published yet?” (40:53)
  • The true definition of a writer. (44:34)
  • About Sophia’s podcast. (46:50)
  • Sophia’s early work as a Young Adult writer. (50:00)
  • The shift into crime-based novels. (53:05)
  • On embracing reinvention. (56:50)
  • Sophia’s advice to her 18-year-old self. (1:04:30)
  • The three movies that Sophia absolutely couldn’t do without. (1:09:25)

Final advice to writers, artists, and creatives (1:06:04)

  • “You’re already doing the right thing because you’re listening to this podcast.”
  • “Writing is a discipline. There will be creative joy, but don’t expect that to happen every day. Bum on seat. Every day.”
  • “Every now and again, try to finish something.”
  • “Keep going.”
  • “Find communities of fellow writers and learn from them. Find people you trust to share your work and keep going from there.”

What was your favourite lesson from the podcast? Let us know!

People mentioned 

Tom Jones

Marty McFly 

Paul McCartney 

David Beckham 

Katharine Hepburn

David Bowie 

Steven Pressfield 

Stephen King 

Neil Gaiman

Bernadine Evaristo 

Helpful links

The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield 

Clueless (film)

Crazy Rich Asians (film)

The Martian (film)

The Windsor Knot by SJ Bennett 

Where can I find Sophia?

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Podcast 

About the host 

Haroon Khan is a tech copywriter by day and poet by night. Among his artistic pursuits is this podcast where he interviews creatives who’ve already done it. Whether that’s writing a book, making a movie, or an album. He’s documenting their challenges, how they overcame them, and helping you discover how you can too.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *