NaNoWriMo 2013

I never planned it this way, but I am currently doing what I maybe wanted all along: structuring my days around writing stories.

Creative Women’s Circle event: Clare Bowditch

A couple of years ago, I was involved in a mentorship program run by Vic ICT for Women, and it was run by (seemingly) older corporate women, and I was really disappointed in how old-fashioned it was – no social media, no Facebook group, no online community for the mentors/mentees – nothing powered by modern technology in the program. I’m not a huge fan of social media for business, but for something like a mentor program, it’s ideal! You can build a sense of community, have conversations and enable phatic communication (which can lead to deeper relationships), help people in real-time, promote and list events, share wisdom, get people networking, and help with job leads!

So. When I first read about Creative Women’s Circle (CWC), I thought it sounded old-fashioned and I (unfairly) expected that the organisation might be similar. But when I arrived on Saturday at Frankie and Swiss, who were hosting the event, it was SO COOL being in a space with 100+ women who were all creatives (everyone was dressed so interestingly!). It wasn’t a corporate/older/fuddy-duddy event at all. The place was a-buzz with rows & rows of dapper women introducing themselves to each other!

Tess McCabe (the CWC lead) made an introduction to the concept of CWC, their events, membership, and so on, and  then she introduced Clare Bowditch. Clare talked (very smoothly; an accomplished public speaker, and of course, an accomplished performer!) about where she started out, how she stuck to her creative vision and personal values, and about her consulting, events and conference company, Big Hearted Business (BHB).

Clare also had some questions for us. Early on, she asked us to get a pen and paper, and to answer this question: Why are you here? (My answer was: “Looking for anything interesting. Would love to work doing something creative, meaningful, something I love. Admire Clare.”)

She then said that any successful, profitable business solves a problem. Her business, BHB, helps creative people to be successful in their (creative) business endeavours. So, next, she asked us: What problem are we solving?

Clare went through some examples, asking people in the audience about their craft (e.g. one woman runs the Australian Burlesque Festival) and then talked about the problem that they solve (Clare loves burlesque and wants to know where it’s on.)

Her next questions were:

Who is the target audience?
Where are they?
How can we let them know?
What price can they afford? 

She then asked us to do a quick exercise, answering all of these questions for our creative-business idea, and recommended this as a great way to start or grow our business.

At the end, Clare said that BHB will be launching its first product soon – a virtual conference – and recommended that we sign up to the mailing list, to get an early bird offer. Also, she recommended their Inspiration Bombs, which are inspirational videos from “creative-business heroes.”

To conclude: I enjoyed the talk, but it did seem so short! Skimmed the surface of a lot of information in Clare’s brain.

P.s. Other recommendations noted during the talk:

photo credit: @frankieandswiss

On writing.

I’ve been trying to write daily (with pen & paper) for about 6 months. It has the benefits of acting as meditation, therapy and inspiration, but it also has been training me to share my thoughts. Instead of thinking, “No one else would be interested in that,” or “I will seem dumb if I write about that,” or “I wouldn’t know how to explain that, and it will take too long, so I won’t try,” I have instead started-writing about thoughts, and kept-writing about thoughts, until they’re done. It’s become so easy. It isn’t polished or sophisticated writing, but it’s 100 times better than not sharing anything.

I am continuing with the handwritten daily exercise in the mornings, and adding 750 Words in the evenings. Write, write, write.

Little Salon #3 – Rock

Last weekend, I had the third Little Salon event: a night of dinner & conversation.

4 people were invited, and they were all asked to bring a friend. Everyone was asked to share something that they found interesting about “rock”.

@peeela flew all the way from Sydney for this one – he is a wonderful conversationalist! – and his guest was the delightful @KatLoughrey, the Melbourne editor of The Fetch. Their topics were, respectively, the history of the expression, “between a rock and a hard place,” and the history of cocaine.

Nicole, James, Jude and Ben (who have private Twitter accounts!) spoke about near-death rock-climbing experiences; collecting rocks as a child and never knowing the beautiful sparkly rocks were merely chunks of asphalt; the experience of being taught about different types of rock in school, and a beautiful moment in history that was savoured by taking a piece of rock to remember it. My contribution was about the awful diamond industry.

We had a lovely time at Optic kitchen & bar, and I am looking forward to the next Little Salon, which is coming up soon!

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I’m really enjoying running events (well, micro-events) and I want to do more. Little Salon is the conversation one, but I am thinking about others… and working on a podcast too. I would really love to bring more interestingness into peoples’ lives. Interesting conversation is a great start.

photo credit: qthomasbower via photopin cc

I quit today.

I feel so good.

I forgot what it was like to feel really free. To feel like I can do anything. To feel skilled, smart, happy, fun and creative. To feel un-owned. I feel really good about myself.

Somewhat ecstatic. Quietly.

I don’t have anything else lined up. I might be eating plain bread everyday for a long time. But I am very happy.