Archives for posts with tag: writing

Writing makes me happy.  

For decades I have paid my bills by writing, in all formats.  Mostly, my prose is presented under a company’s logo or by someone else entirely.  But writing as work made me forget that it’s fun.

Personal blogging is new for me.  Putting my musing out there, in my own name, is leap of faith.  And when I published my first post in March, it was a tentative toe in the web’s water.

Thank you for reading.

I was blown away to see that 450+ people regularly read my ramblings.  Your responses, online and offline, have led to some really inspiring, encouraging, heart-warming discussions.  Thank you, from someplace deep within me.  

I began blogging for me.  But being heard, understood and appreciated has been an unexpectedly lovely side-effect.  

My blog is finding it’s place.

I began this blog without a clear purpose.  But putting myself out there is changing my life.

It’s helping me to clear my head and create, for your consumption.

I am enjoying the discipline of writing regularly.  It has helped me to find routine in my new freelance schedule.  And satisfaction too.

Blogging is helping me to overcome my perfectionism.  I have a million unfinished tasks weighing me down because I want to do them properly.  And this means I actually do nothing way too often. Perfect really is the enemy of good.   

My inner critic stops me all too often, by convincing me that everyone else is more creative, clever, talented, worthy… but bollocks!  I also know that it’s not about the best, it’s about who gets it done.  And so I am aspiring to be a completionist.  And I feel much more accountable knowing you’re on the receiving end each week.

This blog is also an exercise in consistency for me.  I am great at starting things, but not at sticking to them.  I bore easily.  There’s always something shinier that catches my eye and I’m off down that rabbit hole before I’ve wrapped what was underway.  So I am curious to see whether I can stick with this little blog.  Time will tell.

Blogging demands uncomfortable levels of self reflection for me.  Naval gazing has been something I have actively avoided in the past while I glorified busy.  But I am learning that reflection and gratitude are key to happiness.  And I want to recognise joy more often, and therefore chase it less.  

We must stop glorifying busy, for everyone’s sake.

Life’s frantic pace often sees us squishing our social interactions into sound bites.  I fear we’re losing the art of lolling, day-dreaming and in-depth conversation.  

I believe that the explosion of counselling/coaching services in recent years is a direct reflection of our inability to make time to really listen to each other day-to-day.  We are now paying people for their attention.  Bit sad really.

This blog is a way for me to share my learnings in more than Twitter’s 140 characters, a status update, or a coffee break worth of chatting.  A kind of free therapy I guess.

I hope it helps you to slow down too, even if only momentarily, and that it makes your heart smile.

Great breakthroughs, inspired art, real progress, and happiness all require us to be still, tune-in, reflect and be grateful.  And this is bloody hard when our task lists run to multiple pages and we’re spreading ourselves wafer thin.  

My new (financial) year’s resolution is one post per week, for a year.  

Let’s see where that takes us.

It’s noisy out there (WordPress alone has more than 63 million blogs!) and so I am very grateful that you’re reading my ramblings.  

Thank you.

 

Image

By the unflattering light of a neon snake, I had an epiphany today.  

I want to be a Catherine Deveny.

Recently I quit the best job I ever had to try a less conventional career path. I was burned out by two decades on the corporate treadmill, frustrated by the inflexibility of western working ways, and determined to find alternatives. 

I’m on a mission to create a big life, not just a big living. So I’ve been taking random creative adventures. And today I attended a writing masterclass by the delightfully feisty Catherine Deveny

As I parked my car, Catherine cycled past in her fur coat and raspberry beanie. It struck me just how fabulous she looked.  She exudes fearlessness, fulfillment and freedom. And I wanted what she’s got.

“You can’t order hummus until you know it exists” said Catherine at the Big Hearted Business conference.  I realised today that Catherine is my hummus. 

In my teens it was Marilyn Monroe for working her curves.  In my early career, it was my big boss lady who successfully juggled it all.  And now, it’s fearless, fulfilled and free Miss Deveny who’s my lighthouse.

Fearless

“Pull your finger out and sing from your heart” Catherine challenged us. 

She is unapologetic, opinionated, feisty and funny. And her super power is her ability to articulate so that others connect.

If you put good stuff out there it comes back in spades. All you need is intent, charisma and persistence. 

For the first time in my life, I do not have a plan. And that excites and terrifies me, in equal measures. But Catherine encouraged blind faith by saying “you only need to be able to see as far as the headlights”. The rest will come into light with time.

My perfectionism streak has caused paralysis too often. So I need to lower my expectations of myself in order to get stuff done. “Perfection is the enemy of good” she said. Don’t let it stop you. 

Showing up is the hard part.  But once you’re in the pool, you will swim. 

And it’s only crazy if it doesn’t work.

Fulfilled

The satisfaction is in doing the work, even more so than getting it published, praised or paid, explained Catherine.

She has clearly been rewarded, sought out and most of all satisfied for saying what she thinks.

Great people do great things.  And if not you, someone else will do it.  Why not you?  Crack your own whip.

Free

Catherine titled her creative, financial and emotional independence “fuck off status”. It’s the freedom to say no, as you please. And it’s a pretty neat picture of success for a yes-person like me. You see, I’m a pleaser. And my inability to say no frequently gets me overcommitted and overwhelmed.

I also envy her inhibition. “Loving your body, as it is, is an act of social disobedience” she proclaimed. And I love that kind of rebellion.

Apparently, for every positive thought, we have 17 negative ones.  That’s tough competition for our fragile egos. The trick is to know to expect the negative ninnies, and when they shout, promptly tell them to piss off because you’re busy. Then you’re free to do great work.

 

From the moment I entered the funky Collingwood warehouse today, I felt inspired. Modern artwork adored white walls and hipster coffee orders abounded (strong decaf late anyone?). 

Catherine cracked the whip and made us write. And I was inspired by what people produced with the combo of reckless abandon and a ticking clock.

I’ve reignited my new sense of urgency. Before my eyesight fails, I must shoot beautiful photos.  And before my hands seize up with arthritis, I must write words that matter. I do not want to be on my deathbed regretting the risks I was too scared/tired/busy/embarrassed to take.

Catherine pitched today’s workshop as “creative laxative” and it’s given me the writing runs. Despite having a family to feed and concert tickets, I was determined to squeeze out this post fresh tonight. 

Catherine reckons that the only difference between her and anyone else is that she did it.  And so I vow to too.

My tools of trade will be different to Catherine’s 700+ columns, 8 books and countless stand-up gigs. I marry people. I shoot people. I write. And as a celebrant, photographer and blogger I am excited about finding freedom, fulfillment and my very own brand of fabulous.

The neon snake artwork that hung over today’s workshop stated that “fear eats the soul” and so I am getting over myself and sinking my teeth in. You have been warned.  And you can follow along via this blog (sign up in the footer).

Thank you Catherine, for the kick up the arse.