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Mr Wrong in The Voice

I was lucky to have a stint in The Voice Paper. Here it is!

How To Find Mr Right And Say Goodbye To Mr Wrong

LOVE LESSONS: Daniella Blechner

THEY SAY a problem shared is a problem halved, and this old adage has proved particularly lucrative for self-published author, Daniella Blechner.

Using a collection of memoirs from a number of scorned women (and some men) from around the world, Blechner put together Mr Wrong: Learn From Mr Wrong and Claim Mr Right, a self-help book with a twist.

“I don’t believe in rules, or x plus x equals this or that every woman will have the same outcome if they follow the same steps because we’re all different,” she said. “I wanted to create book, first and foremost, as a platform for women to have their voices and stories heard.”

The author, from South East London, explained: “Mr Wrong is a collection of stories written by women from all across the world who seem to keep encountering the same sort of man – men who are unavailable. You know the ones, the guy with multiple names, multiple girlfriends, past baggage, the ones who will time and time again, avoid commitment! [The book] aims to dispel myths about relationships created by society and ones we place on ourselves.”

In fact, Blechner used her own “disastrous” experience in a previous relationship to inspire the book, her first foray into publishing.

“In the past, I wouldn’t speak about the things that went wrong in my relationships, I felt ashamed and worried what friends would think. I buried it all, but I found that once I started to share my story with people, it was actually quite healing.”

After getting her head around blogging and sharing some of her experiences on the popular online platform, the 35-year-old found there was a market for people who had experienced similar pain in their quest for Mr Right.

“A lot of Americans started gravitating towards the blog and started telling their stories, so I put an appeal out asking for women to contact me and share their Mr Wrong stories and I was inundated with stories from America, Canada, UK, Australia and it just kind of happened from there.”

She noticed that from many of the submissions that “most women were entering relationships to complete something within themselves rather than going in as a whole person and loving themselves.”

“Quite often, these women came into relationships expecting the other person to fix them,” she said.

“Another one was repeating past issues. There were quite a lot of women who had an absent father, which is a whole book in itself; those who have a fear of abandonment and look to men to fix their fear, but what they don’t realise that you’ll get men who will go off and abandon you until that situation has been completely healed.”

Though Blechner is quick to point out that she is not a qualified counsellor or relationship coach (in fact, she’s an English tutor by day), she is passionate about empowering and providing support for women.

“Like I said, I just wanted to give women a platform to speak about their stories. This book is not about me telling people what to do,” she clarified.

“The first thing I want to establish is that Mr Wrong is not a how-to book. I am not a dating expert and I am not interested in telling women how to date and how to have a relationship because I believe there are an abundance of books, of which I have read.”

In that sense, Blechner says she thinks fairytales have a lot to answer for.

“There are a lot of women growing up who are indoctrinated by that stuff,” she said. “There’s a sense of ‘you are a princess, but you’re nobody until Mr Right finds you to come and sweep you off your feet and make you a complete person’.”

She then draws reference to a story shared by a male contributor in Mr Wrong whose relationship ended because his partner was hoping he had the key to her completion.

“He says it’s attractive when a woman knows her worth and that really stuck with me. I don’t think I expected that. When you know your worth, you resonate with men who are attracted to that. When you don’t, I think you can let anything in.”

It was a two-year journey getting Mr Wrong to its final destination, which came with numerous rejection letters, self-publishing hurdles and navigating a competitive industry she had no prior experience in. But, she says, it added more character to the sojourn.

“Rejection letters came in and after three or four months it started to get to me, but someone close to me said, ‘Think about [Harry Potter] author JK Rowling and how many rejection letters she had. Don’t let anyone tell you, you can’t do it.’ That ultimately sent me on the path of discovering the world of self-publishing. It hasn’t been easy, but it has been worth it.”

She added: “From the age of four, I would say, ‘I’m going to be a writer, but I’ll do it later in life’. [I would say], ‘I want to save the world, save dogs, save everything and then I’ll write a book.’ But I left the animals and saving the world, it’s too hard. I found my calling in writing.

The Mr Wrong Book Tour kicks off on Feb 12 at Hounslow Library and continues at Brixton Library on Feb 13 and Croydon Waterstones on Feb 14. For more details, visit: http://tinyurl.com/qbgh7af

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