BLOG: Inspiration, motivation & doing what you love
One of the funniest things about being a freelance writer is how changeable your life is, how your busyness ebbs and flows. Last week I was temping at a non-profit from 9 to 5 and writing a freelance travel story plus cafe and shop profiles, morning and night. This week I have slowed down a bit to tie up some loose ends and set up some new exciting things for the future. Less writing, more thinking and strategising about writing (that ol’ chestnut).
One of these activities has been reading. Signing up at the Melbourne City Library has not only helped me feel more at home in this fabulous city, but has prompted me to pick up some good old-fashioned books again. My daily reading typically consists of news and entertainment websites, which leaves me with little inclination to switch to paper at the end of a day spent staring at a screen. But one recent loan proved hard to put down – Kelly Cutrone’s If You Have To Cry, Go Outside (And Other Things Your Mother Never Told You).
Part autobiography, part self-help book for the ambitious, Kelly Cutrone’s writing didn’t just speak to me because she is on the same plane of obsession with New York as I am (oh, but she is. See the first few chapters). She told her life’s story – featuring plenty of fashion, celebrities and other juicy attractions – in a way that imparted her wisdom. You learn from her mistakes just as much as her successes.
While she is a fashion publicist, not a writer, her ideas relate to anyone chasing their dream (job). Her writing was so inspiring that it got me thinking about my own, and I couldn’t help but take notes. Here are my favourite bits:
If you’re not what you do, then what you do has no business keeping you entertained at night.
On tough times:
Things will change: you won’t feel this way forever. And anyway, sometimes the hardest lessons to learn are the ones your soul needs most.
On being yourself:
Consider your whole self, and don’t be afraid to embrace everything that makes you unique.
Your point of differentiation does not need to be edgy or groundbreaking; it just needs to be different, and it just needs to be you.
As a brand, adequate and normal will get you nowhere.
Selling the world – or your industry, or even just your boss – on your brand takes time… The roads of your dreams are not paved with yellow brick; in fact, they may be paved with rejection letters.
Oh, ho, ho. THIS.
The people who succeed are often not just the people with the best-articulated brands; they’re the people who respond to rejection by brushing themselves off and moving on, again and again.
On the big picture:
I believe I’m not just receiving teachings and progressing as a human being in my chosen field; in the end, I’m giving the best I have to offer to the world.
She also said the characteristics that drive success in this industry (fashion, but this can apply to most creative industries) are creativity, truth and commitment.
These are such wise words. If you want an empowering read to get you excited about the future, I’d highly recommend this book.
Or, you could always try a fortune cookie: