The Bit Where This Writer Hyperventilates

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Morning all! I congratulated myself on actually getting to my desk by 9:30am this morning and then realised that I have let a whole 35 minutes lapse while I did nothing. Yes, a 9:30 start time might not be an achievement for most people, but it is for me. Because 1) I work from home and that is terrible for discipline and 2) because I’m on the upward curve from long term adrenal fatigue. So excuse me while I high-five myself!

As my followers know, I am currently writing two books: One for me and one for someone else. We are a big 30 days out from when I hoped to have the first drafts of both finished. Right now, I’m on track for the functional neurology book, but nowhere near done on the other. I guess that’s okay because I only have hundreds, not thousands waiting on my second novel. But I’ll admit its a bit annoying for me. I want to get it done! I need to know what happens with my characters.

The thing is, I have discovered its a bit difficult to eat, sleep and breathe two completely different books. I have to get totally obsessed with them both and I can’t shift my concentration that easily. So I decided to bench my novel for the next month. By the end of the month, I’ll have finished the neurology manuscript and gotten it off to the test readers so we can get their feedback and commence massive rewrites in December. That gives me a month to get down into the nitty gritty of the novel.

Oh did I mention I took a job with a Member of Parliament two days per week until the November 29 election. Sucker for punishment, much?

So the next couple of months sees me finishing the second year of my Masters degree which I will then defer for a year, starting and then finishing the MP job, going overseas for a conference, finishing a neurology manuscript, commencing publicist and marketing roles including the collateral acquisition, possible product lines and practitioner certification programs. I won’t be doing it myself thank God, but there’s a lot floating around in this ol’ brain of mine.

Can anyone tell me where I can purchase extra IQ points and brain processing speed? That’d be great.

I’ll try to blog! Mostly for my own sanity. And also because the wordpress community rocks.

Cheers
C

The Difference Between Fame and Greatness

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Question: If everyone is great, doesn’t that mean that none of us are? and that we are in fact just lifting the bar on mediocrity?

Someone asked me that the other day and I thought it was a darn good question. When I scroll through my Facebook feed, I see vines, net-celebrities, famous cats, youtube sensations, false advertising and quotes like these. “Destined for greatness”, “So famous” and quotes tantamount to “there is greatness in everyone.” Everyone seems to be reaching for fame and fame for fames sake at that.

Maybe its true or maybe I’ve just had a long day and not enough coffee (possible). But I wanted to point out that if we aspire to ‘greatness’ we need to have a reason that is far beyond ourselves. If we aspire to riches, it should not be riches themselves that drive us. If we aspire to fame, it should not be fame itself that drives us. If it is, that reward will be bittersweet. Ever listened to “Rise and Fall” by Craig David? It paints a vivid picture of someone who reached the heights and found nothing there. It moves me when I hear it. Perhaps the public meltdowns of the Britneys and Lindsays of the world show us that fame doesn’t heal hurt and insecurity. It compounds it.

Then there is”Billionaire” by Travie McCoy. He sang about being a billionaire so he could buy stuff and be on the cover of Forbes Magazine. But why? What would he have done with that power? What wrong would he have righted? Money for money’s sake just makes one greedy. Is greed ever satisfied by another dollar, or another property, or another car, or more power? I doubt it. I haven’t seen it when I look at the world. But imagine someone who wanted to get rich so they could make a difference in the world – find a cure for something, provide a home for the homeless, end hunger, etc. etc. If we aspire to riches, surely there are better motivations than riches for riches sake.

Imagine that! People who were motivated so they could make a difference! I’m not criticizing rich people. Good on them! I hope that one day I am well-off, but I already know the causes I would finance and champion when/if that day comes. I fear for people who work so hard to get rich just for riches sake, though. Money itself doesn’t fill any void, other than the one in your bank account. Motivation matters. Even the desire to provide for your children a better childhood than the one you had is noble. Just make sure that your values are what drive you, not simple greed.

It seems we live in a generation where fame is something we seek for some form of validation. “You are worth something to the world because you are famous.” Look inside yourself friend. There needs to be a better way of finding that validation. If it is fame alone that drives you, then that emptiness will chase you to top. The world is in great need of people who make a difference where they are, who are not driven by any sense of insecurity or greed.

I’m going to give you an example of someone who isn’t famous by any stretch of the imagination, but who has made an incredible difference in people’s lives: my Mum. Did she go to college? Yes, but only for one semester. Did she have an executive job? No. She stayed home to raise five kids, to unofficially adopt a sixth, and to be a pseudo-mum to countless others. She is a pastors wife who won’t net a huge superannuation payout when she retires, because she spent her best years homeschooling five kids. She never dreamt of fame or success through any other lens than this: Raising kids, giving them a secure and loving home environment, and being the best mum possible was greatness to her. Now that 60% of her kiddos have grown up and left home, she is still giving. She is caring for her father, rounding up a whole lot of elderly citizens and taking them out for coffee, she is ‘Nanny’ to two beautiful grandsons. She lends a helping hand and sound advice to many many people. She is still giving. And she is one of the happiest people I know.

Guess what: loving and giving is great. If we think of the heights of fame and recognition whenever we read the phrase “destined for greatness” we have missed the point completely. We won’t all be famous. We won’t all be rich. But we can all make differences in the lives of many other people.

I’m sick of hearing “I want to be famous when I grow up.” I want to know what you’d do with wealth and fame. It is this – what you’d do with it – that decides whether you’d be great, or just famous.

Ten Fans

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Hey all,

Hows thing? It’s been a bit crazy over here at Casa Clare but we keep on trucking. I love my job! I mean, who gets to say that, at age 30 (yes, I confess it), I get to live my dream and write for a living. It’s truly fabulous.

But some days its hard. Yesterday was one of those days. I sat at my desk for hours pouring over a whole lot of stuff and just didn’t get  much done. At the end of it all, I gave up. I threw in the towel and not feeling great about my efforts at all, trudged to the supermarket. It was there that the first of two wonderful, serendipitous things happened.

I ran into a friend. No big deal right? Wrong. He is a health practitioner and is currently doing advanced study in a similar area to that which I am writing on. He told me that even the course is a big deal – that people have to take regular breaks to make sure they can actually absorb new information. It made me realise that its okay to take a break! Sometimes you just can’t push your brain past the point of ‘enough.’ So I decided to go for a walk instead…and watch an episode of my current favourite TV show, secure in the knowledge that I am allowed to take a break.

I dont’ have a boss standing over my shoulder to tell me that. So sometimes I just push myself too far. I know that this book I am writing will change a lot of lives. In fact, it’s already changing lives pre-release. To be able to be part of a movement that changes the way people look at health is amazing. But its also daunting some days as I obsess over writing it perfectly.

The second thing that happened yesterday was an after dark knock at the door. Hubby answered as he always does at night, and then told me it was for me. I got to the back door and there were shouts of “Surprise! From your biggest fans.” I looked out into my yard and saw my sister and one of my best friends – and about ten fans. I have no idea where they got them and they had to go return them after the surprise (and the photo), but gosh it made my day. There were standing fans, floor fans, large ones, small ones. You name it.

It was hilarious. But also motivating. As a writer, I have always striven to write things that matter – books that matter, stories that change peoples perspectives, that challenge or validate. But as a creative person, sometimes you question yourself.

The girls didn’t know that when they went and dumped then fans on my back doorstep. They just decided to do something to let me know that its important I keep going.

So yeah – a couple of little stories that just might mean something to other writers out there. They sure picked me up 🙂

Cheers
C

P.S. How do you take a pic that relates to this story? You don’t! But I thought I’d put one up anyway. This is me and some of my besties – who always seem to remind me of what is important.