Ep 325 We chat to Clare Bowditch about her memoir ‘Your Own Kind of Girl’.

In Episode 325 of So You Want To Be A Writer: We chat to Clare Bowditch about her memoir Your Own Kind of Girl. Discover how to write a page-turning story for kids and 9 manuscript awards you can enter now. Congratulations to Lesley Gibbes and Astrid Scholte being shortlisted for the CBCA Book of the Year Awards 2020. Plus, we have 3 copies of Ribbit Rabbit Robot by AWC alumna Victoria Mackinlay to give away.

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Show Notes

Lesley Gibbes and Astrid Scholte shortlisted for the CBCA Book of the Year Awards 2020

Writing For Kids: 5 top tips for creating a page-turning story

9 Manuscript Awards to enter in 2020

Your Kid’s Next Read giveaway

Writer in Residence

Clare Bowditch

Clare Bowditch is a storyteller who lives in Melbourne with her husband Marty, their three teenage children, a white groodle, and one lone surviving free-ranging guinea pig.

In terms of ‘the fancy stuff’, Bowditch is a bestselling ARIA Award-winning musician (Best Female Artist), Rolling Stone Woman of the Year (Contribution to Culture), Logie-nominated actor (for her role as ‘Rosanna’ on hit TV show Offspring), and a former ABC broadcaster who still misses her talk-back callers very much, and hopes they’re doing okay out there.

As a musician, Clare has performed and toured with the likes of Leonard Cohen, Paul Kelly, Cat Power, John Butler, Snow Patrol and Gotye. The person she enjoys touring with the most is her drummer and husband, Marty Brown.

Her memoir Your Own Kind of Girl was published by Allen and Unwin in 2020.

Follow Clare Bowditch on Twitter

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(If you click the link above and then purchase from Booktopia, we get a small commission. This amount is donated to Doggie Rescue to support their valuable work with unwanted and abandoned dogs.)

Competition

WIN: Ribbit Rabbit Robot by AWC alumna Victoria Mackinlay

This podcast is brought to you by the Australian Writers’ Centre

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Allison Tait

Valerie Khoo

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Interview Transcript

Allison Tait 

Claire Bowditch is an Aria award winning musician, Logie nominated actor and one of Australia’s favourite speakers. Her debut memoir Your Own Kind of Girl is out now through Allen and Unwin. Welcome to the program Clare.

 

Clare Bowditch

water trait to be with you I listened to your podcast as I was trying to become a writer. So this is a wonderful full circle moment. For me.

 

Allison Tait 

Well that’s very exciting to think of you listening to our podcast, now I’m going to have to go back over what I’ve said now and see if it’s all up to scratch. Let me look at you with your Aria award and your Logie nomination it all looks very impressive.

 

Clare Bowditch

It’s pretty fabulous isn’t it? Look, the Logie nomination has been, has been a running joke because it did actually happen. I’m not sure I was worthy of that Logie. Anyway, we didn’t win that one. Some other bastard won it, so we’ve just stuck with the Aria and it’s good fun. It’s pointy. It’s a good doorstop. And just reminds us on weeks like this when we’re not working that we will work again.

 

Allison Tait 

Fantastic. But you know, and now you’ve sort of stepped out into a whole different area and you know, you’re a debut author, which is a whole different world to being you know, like it’s out of your comfort zone a little bit. You open your memoir with a prologue. And in that you tell readers that this is the book you promised yourself at 21 that you would write one day. So tell us about the day you decided it was time to write it.

 

Clare Bowditch

Well, look, 21 the year I was 21. The year was about 1996/97. And I was a woman who had many dreams as many of you do, too. When I was 20, I was working in a call centre dropped out of uni I had a shit relationship going on that I was trying to escape from. Lovely guy we just you know, when you get into that co-dependent awfulness and we couldn’t, you know, things were things were a little dark and I decided that it would be a really great idea to do what was called a locational in the business, you know, we just get up and we’re going to go to a new place, we’re going to start again and everything’s going to be great. Which is one of the options that is currently not on offer at the moment in the middle of COVID-19 business but there it was.

 

I left I went to London but on the night before I went to London, I wrote a big long list of all the things that I want to do with my you know what, what, Mary Oliver, the great poet Mary Oliver would call your one wild and precious life. And on that list right at the top was that I one day wanted to write a book. And all of these things are utterly impossible at the time. Like I said, I was working in the call centre, I had never really played any my own songs in public. I had been a backup singer around Melbourne, in pubs but I had all these dreams and writing a book was really important to me. I wrote in my diary and in my journal every single day I had since I was 13. And I was running lyrics and stories and they’re all very, very secret because I thought they were just terrible. Anyway, and you know, nothing was good enough as but there I was giving it a crack.

 

So you jumped forward to a year later, I was in a very different space. I hadn’t had a good time in London. In fact, I’d had what’s commonly referred to as a nervous breakdown, a full physical collapse. So I’d lost half my body weight, I was no longer leaving the house, I was having recurring panic attacks. And I was in a terrible, terrible place. Very dark place. I had chronic insomnia. And I didn’t know why I was alive basically. But I was hanging on because I always come from a family where we know what grief is we know what loss is and I knew I was in it for the long haul I was sticking around, but I didn’t know why I was here. I had the very good fortune to go to understand what was going on. For me. I didn’t know what a panic attack was. I didn’t know what anxiety was.

 

I didn’t know any of those things. And I read a book by a woman called Dr. Claire Weekes, who she was this wonderful star of a woman and Judith Hoare’s` recently written a glorious biography of her and she was very much forgotten from history until right about now which is very exciting because we need a more than ever. She’s passed on, but her book effectively taught me a simple trick, a technique for managing and understanding and recognizing my anxiety and no longer being blocked by it. And I, in that experience, and this is a long answer, but it’s important that I sort of say this upfront. This is the reason I wrote my book, and felt inspired to write my book because I began to understand exactly how much a book can change your life, can offer comfort, can also support. And I thought to myself in that moment, right, if I do recover from this experience, I will one day tell the story.

 

Now it was the 90s, mental health was not something we had much language around, it was incredibly awkward and the thought of actually saying these things out loud, was, you know, sort of spiralled me back into panic, but I’d made a promise to myself, and to buy myself some time as I recovered, and so long before anyone knew me in public or any of those things, I made myself a promise. I said that one day when I was very, very old, aka 40, I would write this story. And 40 came and it was time to do it. I had tried many times before I’d failed. I tried to write as a book of poems, as a play, as a television script, you know, and it was just a bunch of bollocks I needed to tell a true story. And I finally did.

 

Allison Tait 

So you kind of had a midlife crisis at 40 and sat down and did it.

 

Clare Bowditch

No, I had the midlife crisis at 21. And at 40 I had the- Well, I just don’t have any shame around it anymore. And my children are old enough for me to not worry that the kids at school were gonna tease them because their mom had had an episode of mental health which, guess what, this generation are very au fait with the language of mental health,

 

Allison Tait 

Yes, it’s a different world now to what it was in the 90s when you were experiencing it like that.

 

Clare Bowditch

Absolutely. But yeah, the reality is, I tried to do it. When I was doing a million other things like being a radio broadcaster and all the rest of it, and the story was just too intense, I needed to put all those things aside. And it took me about 18 months from where to go to finally write it and get it published.

 

Allison Tait 

So what did you want the book to be? Because the thing that I find every author, you know, no, it doesn’t matter what you write, is you have this idea in your head of what this book is going to be. And then you spend months and months and months and months trying to make the book into the thing that you want it to be. And sometimes, you know, you are like, I don’t know that you ever get to the shining place where your inspiration first had you, but you get as close to it as you can. So tell us what you wanted the book to be, what did you want for it? And from it.

 

Clare Bowditch

It was very, very simple. I knew that this wasn’t a rock’n’roll memoir. This has nothing to do with my career. This has nothing to do with fame or any of the reasons people would know me. I wrote it for the very simple reason that I had that memory of having been helped by a book. I knew it was a useful story because I had worked out a few things that were useful, and that was the compulsion that was sort of the feeling of it. So my real intention was to try and find a way to tell an entertaining story that’s actually got a fair bit of trauma in it, without leaving people in the trauma of it, but by getting to the light of it, and so it was a really clear intention.

 

Most things in my life are not this clear, but this one was spot on, I could see that reader. And now I know that reader because of this thing called Instagram and these things called book launches. And I know that we’re in a moment in time where the idea of a physical book launch is impossible for some of the authors who are listening. And my heart does go out to you, but I want you to know that you will still meet your readers. Now if I had a very clear idea of who this might help. And I know that that’s not a terribly literary ambition. You know, thinking “this book will be useful to someone” but I really think it was that simple. It was like a baton. I was handed it at 21 I’ve tried in my work to pass down what I could have that and this was just a clear sort of here you go, go run with this, see if it’s useful.

 

Allison Tait 

So when I read it I feel as though I can hear you speaking like the voice is really clear, and now that I’m talking to you here I can even hear it even more strongly so therefore you are in my head forever more.

 

Clare Bowditch

I may as well have dictated it into Dragon Dictate and pressed go.

 

Allison Tait 

It kind of does feel that way. Like you just sat down one day and were like, well let me tell you a story. But did it actually, like I know that you wanted it to be useful, and I know you wanted readers, but did it actually feel strange. I mean it’s a very personal story and I know that you wanted it to be useful and I know you wanted to tell it. But did it feel strange when it hit the shelves knowing that people would actually be reading it? Because there is that moment of, wow.

 

Clare Bowditch

Oh my gosh, yeah. The week before I was sick to my stomach with the thought of what the hell have I done?

 

Fortunately, I mean, this story, a lot of this story talks about the development and the playing out of traumatic childhood brain and the long tail of that and how that can sort of be with us. And that necessitated talking about shared stories about family stories talking about my sister, Rowena, who passed away when I was five, and she was seven after a very long illness, and tried to tell that, truthfully, respectfully, and from a child’s perspective. But there was a lot that I needed my family’s help with and permission with and we had conversations that we never had, you know anyone who’s lost a sibling or lost someone in their family knows that there are things that you know, you just carry, you carry on and you do the best that you can. And if you don’t have to go back there, you don’t. Because, you know, my fear was always that I would cause additional trauma and I know many of you are running them,  and you’re thinking, how will this affect people otherwise, my approach was, I wrote what I wanted to write, I edited it heavily.

 

There were two chapters and involved my family and I asked for their opinions and effectively for their blessing. They understood the heart of the story, so they knew I had to include that stuff. But that was a bit the week beforehand where I felt ill and I thought, Dear God, you know, I hope I have done justice to my sister’s memory, I hope I’m not going to make things more difficult for the people who loved my sister. And what the hell am I doing? So, to me, now I look back and I can see, every time I’ve done anything that was useful or interesting, or you know, meant something to me, I effectively, I can shoot myself in the bid just before you make it public. And that, to me is a sign that, you know, if I’ve done the work, that’s a sign that I’m on the right track, and that this is going to connect with someone.

 

Allison Tait 

So over the years, you’ve written hundreds of songs, and some of them have won awards. And you also say, in your memoir that you’ve drawn on those songs and diaries in the process of writing the book. So just leaving the book aside for a moment, can you explain to us a little bit about how a song comes together for you?

 

Clare Bowditch

Yeah, yeah. Yeah, I thought about it. It’s both Impossible and possible. I’ll just tell you what I know because there’s always some unconscious element. A song is a little like an itch. It appears it’s usually embedded in the feeling that I don’t understand. It’s like a picture out of the corner of your eye. And I feel restless and unhappy until I sit down and invited in and ask what I say it’s like each one is its own little creature, and they let themselves be known and I know that sounds a little esoteric, but that’s really how it’s always worked for me. Songs show up, and I have to make space for them to come in and if I don’t, you know, they move on. They go to the next place.

 

Allison Tait 

Do they show up lyrically, or do they show up musically?

 

Clare Bowditch

It shows up first as a feeling and then usually I will sit at an instrument, and I will. So just practical stuff. I’ve always done this whether it was a mini disc play or a tape recorder or iPhone. I press record. I stopped Playing, I find that there are some words that I sing over the top, I start to get a sense coming together of what this thing is about or the theme of it. Or sometimes I don’t get that until I listen back afterwards, then I go, ah I’ve written another song about it x, y and Zed. You know, for example, the album What Was Left, I realized as I was writing those songs, that was my second album, first album, I wrote after becoming a mother, I realized that there was, you know, the theme of that was grief that in becoming a mother, I had to go back and revisit my own childhood.

 

Other things have been lost or addiction or other interesting, juicy topics, but so that’s how a song comes to me. And it’s, it’s, I write at a ratio of about eight songs that aren’t finished or discarded to every one song that I finish and I just excited the biggest bloody tip that I’ve got for any writer or songwriter is to just expect that you can write a whole lot of shit like that a lot of what you’re going to write is just garbage, you know, you just having to the trick is to not judge yourself in that moment and keep going. And then keep going. Again, keep going again, because you will hit a sense of having stumbled on something that matters or something that’s beautiful or something that’s useful, but most of its going to be absolute crap. And learning to you know, as the saying goes, kill your darlings or discard those. Those drafts along the way is the only way I’ve ever finished anything. If I stopped at the first notion of Oh my god, this is no good, then I would still be perhaps quite happily working as a team leader in the call centre.

 

Allison Tait 

So, coming back to writing your memoir. And you say that you drew on the songs for that was that the lyrics you drew on the feelings. So, how did how did you use what you’ve written all of those years of all of that writing that you’ve done because song writing is such a lot of intense internal, you know, summoning up. So, how did you use those songs in the writing of the book?

 

Clare Bowditch

I’m pulling out a copy of the book now and I’m just looking in the chapter headings because effectively what I did was I named almost every chapter after song. I’m one of those people who would overwrite not underwrite. So I wrote about four times what I needed for this book, most of it was just bullshit, and unnecessary. And just because, you know, that cathartic bit where you have to write it out, and then I went back and was able to use a friend of mine, Em Rusciano, who’s another writer, and she’s a comedian and she teaches she could say I was in quite a little state one day going go how do I order this and that, and she just went well, It seems obvious to me that you, you would use songs to bed down your chapter headings now and I went yeah, right, I’ll explore that. So it was a really handy tip.

 

Well, the whole book is named after a song that I wrote from [inaudible] called, Your Own Kind of Girl, which is one of the first times I spoke publicly about struggles I’ve had with my body with diets with thinking and with courage. And, you know, that’s another reason that’s another difference quite a difference between songs in the book, you know, songs, he really can’t hide a lot more than you can in a memoir.

 

So, anyway, the songs were useful because they helped me organize my thoughts in a way. So something like Empty Pockets, which is chapter nine. I wrote that before any of us knew each other, and it spoke into the time that I write it about, you know, so the lyrics Human Being that was the ending chapter. That’s one of the first songs I wrote. And it it’s just completely parallel, the writing that songs parallel with the time in that chapter. So, I guess that was that was a handy little organizing principle.

 

Allison Tait 

Okay, so when you actually sat down to write the memoir, did you start at the beginning? Did you progress the manuscript in a kind of logical way? Like, I’m gonna start here and I’m gonna write all the way to where I’m up to right now.

 

Clare Bowditch

Wouldn’t that have been wonderful? My process was incredibly messy, full of self doubt, ill-feeling, avoidance. My only saving grace is that I kept showing up. And I kept asking for support and help along the way. I really did. From people I trusted, not just sort of randomly from other friends who had survived this process. I was able to text them and say, is this normal? I feel like giving up. And they would say yes, that’s normal. Just keep going. And then, you know, that went on for 18 months. So it was, I don’t think the writing of a memoir is for the faint hearted.

 

I will write another book I’m sure of it. And I do suspect and this could be foolish but I do suspect the writing of a memoir is the hardest book that you write. And I look at the, you know, open the book, and I look at how much it benefited from editing in conversation. And my publisher, Kelly was an absolute champion, Kelly Fagan, from Allen and Unwin and she fought hard for the book, in the beginning, she worked hard on the book with me, she took on a big task because I was a first time writer. Between her and [inaudible] who helped do the editing, we have a finished product, but I gotta say if you left me in a room on my own with it, I would still be in in my habitual compulsive way writing and rewriting and rewriting the same chapter. So deadlines helped me responsibility helped me. And commitment to other people helped me.

 

Allison Tait 

Did you have a contract in place for the book before you began? Like, how did it come?

 

Clare Bowditch

No, I tried for many, many years to write, like I said, I really did write this book in a few different ways, and try to avoid the intensity of making it a memoir. And I found that the truth was, I couldn’t avoid that, you know, that this is what this book wanted to be. And I had to respect that or otherwise with the feeling that I had, you know, betrayed its intention. So again, I had a contract with myself to write it. I tried many times and I kept failing. So what I did do that was courageous because I think the, again the, the work of art and putting your thoughts and feelings into the world, when the world may or may not care about them is a big ask and commend anyone who’s wanting to do that. Because there’s probably a reason you want to do that.

 

What I did do was I let a couple of friends read my script, I’m very lucky to have a husband who has a good friend called Peggy Frew. And she’s a good friend, she has been in a band with my husband for 20 years. So Peggy was a first reader and Jamila was a first reader and they gave me some encouraging useful feedback. And my path to publishing and I like to give as much practical useful info as I possibly can, because this is the stuff that I was craving to just to know it was possible, is I have another friend who is an author, wonderful author. You know, she writes the most beautiful, playful, readable books called Zoe. She said, Well, why don’t I why And I introduce you to my agent. Again, that was a step in the way in the path, you know. So I’ve had the encouragement of a couple of friends who’ve read it and given me editing tips.

 

I got together maybe six chapters that made sense to me. Not of all. I didn’t use them on the final draft, but there were six chapters that were good and clear. And a synopsis of what the book would be. I had a meeting with a beautiful agent called Pippa Mason from Curtis Brown. And luckily, we hit it off. And she believed in the story, even though I was still very shy. And from there, we moved to a process of you know, she helped me find the right publisher for the book. So those things where you know, I’ve had lots of time in my life where I haven’t known who to ask.

 

I started from the bottom up in everything that I’ve done, but when it came to writing this book, I was very lucky because all the friendships and the way that they were able to support me but I think, you know, these friendships are, I don’t know how to do anything on my own. I don’t know if we get to write books on our own. I look at, for example, Holly Ringland and Trent Dalton, you know, and I see the way that at last year’s, there was an award ceremony, and they were talking to each other about the things that, you know, the workshops are done together on their way up. And so we all need each other when we’re going to write a book because it’s too big for just one person.

 

Allison Tait 

We do. And it is something that Valerie and I talk about often on this podcast is the importance of having those friends of making those friends of talking to the people in the workshops with you, or talking to the people at the festivals with you and developing that, that, that crew around you. And those people who are around the same kind of level as you wherever you’re at is always a useful thing to have. So as a debut author, was there anything that surprised you about the publishing process itself?

 

Clare Bowditch

Everything surprised me I had no idea how it worked. So I give you a draft and then you give me a draft back and then I and then I write it and oh my God takes that long really. So I write it and then you need this amount of time too. And, you know, there’s always there was a big and delightful surprise that people were reading it. That’s a good feeling. So that was a good surprise. But I had no idea. I was like a kid. Like, I had no idea about timeframes about logistics. I, you know, it turns out my mother, Maria, who asked for a bit of, you know, blessing along the way, she handed me back my manuscript. It had about 79,000 post at nights popping out of it, and I thought, dear God. Turns out she’s a very good line editor. You know, she was able to pick up some grammatical errors that I had had ever since I went to uni. At the age of 22. I studied a Bachelor of Creative Arts writing was one of my majors. And, you know, I just had come to writing quite honestly but without much structure really. So anyway, everything about it surprised me. It’s a miracle that we got here.

 

Allison Tait 

You also have a family you have three as we’ve as we’ve discussed, you have three teenage kids how do you manage creativity around the business of being Clare because you know, you are a business you’re, you know, you’re a speaker, a musician and actor and all of those things that you are and then the day to day management of family and life and stuff, like where do you fit this stuff in?

 

Clare Bowditch

It’s a really big question. And I’m going to do my best not to ramble. So I, I make my living by sharing my thoughts, feelings and feelings and encouraging other people do the same by trying to make things that I think are mean something in the world. I try to do that in the most entertaining way that I can. And I have always understood that my great advantage is that I am very, very much like all the people in my audience, you know, my audience is a gang of humans who I get along pretty well with. And that started as 20 people. There are now more people in that game, but the same principle applies.

 

So I’ve never been shy about talking about the mess the beautiful chaos of juggling, juggling, it’s not the right word of muddling through continuing to have a creative life when you have family, my advantages, my creative life in public only really started and got only really got the rocket up my bomb when I was pregnant with my first child because I suddenly thought, I do know this is what I want to do with my life. I do suspect that’s true. I want to make things that are connecting to other people. So I got brave, because I had to make a living. And I thought if I’m ever going to try and make a living doing what I love, which so almost impossible, I better do it now. My first tour, I was already mom, we had a one year old. I have my husband and I do it together. He was in my boyfriend Marty the drummer in my band.

 

So the way I do it is we have been fiercely co parenting which was a little bit radical 18 years ago when we became parents, fiercely co parenting since the beginning. We know how to live frugally when we need to which is a necessary skill in the kind of ever changing times and ever changing fortunes of being an artist in Australia, which is you know, we have a small population. So you’ve got to be pretty clever and quick on your feet tick to keep making a living doing it this way. And so that’s a practical skill that’s really useful. But the truth is my the friction and joy and disappointment and glory of attempting to be a mom to these beautiful kids is a fuel in my creative life because it keeps me curious and asking questions. And it keeps me wanting to do something useful in the world because I love them. And I want to make them proud.

 

So for me that that dichotomy has worked well, as long as I could accept that I was never going to get away with being anything other than I am you know, there was no point me trying to be the sort of celebrities who always look a certain way or they’re very well groomed you know they don’t swear or they somehow control their weight or they you know present the kids are always there has always done perfectly they cook you know, perfectly roast chicken meals. I just knew as long as I didn’t try and do that to myself I would still have room and heart and desire to have a creative life. I hope that makes sense.

 

Allison Tait 

It does, and it sums up that you are your own kind of girl. Now you mentioned that you’ve now sort of jumped into the Facebook with you know, quarantine with Jam and Clare. Do you enjoy being on that online like, you know, obviously, right now particularly, it’s probably never been more important for authors to have that Online visibility, but is that something that you enjoy? Is that something that comes easy to you like so social media online space?

 

Clare Bowditch

I enjoy Instagram enormously and I find that amazing medium. I can’t explain why. Just in my mind, it’s organized and ordered in a certain way the visuals worked for me. And it’s not too crowded. I get lost in Facebook. Our quarantine group was a really beautiful idea that Jamila had, and I’m in there learning as I go. I like Facebook, but I’ve never been very good at administrating groups because I don’t like saying I mean there has to be curated space, otherwise it’s just a clutter. And that means saying, thank you so much to people. It means not posting every single thing that gets offered and that’s against my nature. So like and open up.

 

Thankfully Jamila is a natural born boss. She’s very good at that she’s has a media background and she knows she has an eye for what’s going to. Yeah, she knows how to edit. And that’s a real gift to the people in that group. Like I said, we thought there’ll be 50 people, there are 5000 today, if you know it’s a little like the virus itself keeps sort of multiplying, which is, in our case, a positive thing because those women and a couple men are giving me a reason to get up in the morning and a thing to do and hopeful place to be because their courage and their honesty in there is exciting to me. It’s keeping me going in the last week.

 

You know, Jamila and I have just done silly things like we fold washing as we doing Facebook Lives. We have a chat, we’ve run sing-alongs we do pyjama parties. And also there’s other real things. So this week, I went to a funeral of a differently who had this beautiful organization still does still going could life’s little treasures to talk about being at a funeral in the age of COVID-19, where social distancing as necessary and how terribly impossible that conundrum in grief. That’s another thing.

 

You know, we get to talk about in there, but we’re generally I mean, again, is that easy for me? Once I realized that human beings and we’re talking to each other Yes, it’s easy. What’s not easy is at the moment, I can’t answer every dm I get and I want to. I don’t like that feeling. Yeah, and I that’s annoying to me. But that’s, you know, it’s arrogant to think you it’s going to be any other way.

 

Allison Tait 

So what’s next for Clare Bowditch? You gotta have a new album. Is this correct?

 

Clare Bowditch

Look, I’ve got a couple I’m like most other creatives. In the last two weeks, I actually was set with Marty and I our family was set to have a bloody good season. We had wonderful events lined up and unfortunately 14 of 15 events, including Sydney Writers Festival in Melbourne Writers Festival and Newcastle Writers Festival and Blue Mountains Writers Festival have either been postponed or cancelled or changed and most of the ways that I make money have been cancelled.

 

Here’s where fortunately, I do have two projects that are on the go. So yes, as an album on the go. And Island Records have been very bloody generous, and patient as I’ve sort of gone yes, this is the year. Oh, I think I’ll write a book. Oh, I think I’ll do a radio show. So I love them very, very much. But what I’m also doing is I’m doing an Audible original, I’ve been working on Audible original, something that’s sort of based on the theme of Your Own Kind of Girl, but quite practical. And I won’t give away any more because it’s going to be fun. But I’m also working on that at the moment. So I will continue doing that hanging out in my Facebook group.

 

Folding washing. But I just want to put a little shout out there. I know it is a really tough time for anyone who was going to write a book or more than that was going to release a book in this period of time. We due to do events with I’ve been invited to do an event with Trent Dalton, we were due to do an event with Julia Gillard, which we hope will so go ahead. Who knows.

 

But in this, you know, it’s not just first time debut authors who are needing to pivot and be clever or postpone or feel scared in this climate. It’s all sorts of writers. And I just want to on a practical note, say if you’ve written a good book and you’re able to find creative ways to back it and be useful and be able to talk about it in this environment, there is still there is some juicy freakin opportunities because book sales are up, actually, the independent bookstores who we’d love and support are going to need good books to sell when they open their doors again. And if you can offer them one and make yourself you know, beloved to them and do them a favour by writing a bloody good book, then good on you, you know, go for it. And if I can be helpful, honestly, if I can be helpful. Do DM me, even though I might take a while to get back to you, but I do. You know, I do want us

 

Allison Tait 

Clare, boundaries. Remember? We just talked about this.

 

Clare Bowditch

I know. I know. But I do. I know. I mean, I would. I nearly put my book off and to release it around about now because of chronic self doubt. I feel lucky that I didn’t because you have to put a lot of energy into pivoting but you can do it.

 

Allison Tait 

You can do it. All right. Well, let’s finish up. Thank you. Can I just say and I’m sure that our listeners will agree it has been an absolute pleasure.

 

Clare Bowditch

Oh, Allison with two L’s it’s been my pleasure. I love it.

 

Allison Tait 

But I just want to finish up for today, we always ask our authors for the top three tips for writers and I’m sure you’ll have some crack as far as Clare.

 

Clare Bowditch

Well, the first one is expect to feel like absolute shit. Expect to have a very, very, very loud voice of self doubt there. That’s completely normal. That is your survival brain saying just stick to the norm and don’t you know, just keep it simple. So number one is expect to have the voice of self doubt there and write anyway.

Number two for me what really did help was writing first thing in the morning and being routine with it. So I treated it like a job. And it was my priority for the day. So that’s number two and number three, really around what I’ve mentioned today you need a crew you know if that is your local library writing group, if that is your community group if that is an online course if that is your lecture at uni, if that is just, you know, a friend who, who said, well, I’ll read your book for you call on them in and you know at the moment like one of my mates, local, local Lady Catherine Deveny for example, you know, she does these classes called Gunnas. She has a book about writing if you don’t have a structure or a mentor, just get that book. It’s that’s one of the many useful books it’s available. That’ll give you a bit of a kickstart main thing is just sit down and write.

 

Allison Tait 

Excellent. All right. Well, thank you so much. Clare and good luck with all of your things, folding your washing and all everything else as well.

 

Clare Bowditch

Can I just ask is it me or is homeschooling really hard. I have failed as a homeschooling mom. My house is chaos. I just feel like I’m failing as a homeschooling mom. My house is chaos.

 

Allison Tait 

And I just think we all just need to lean into it. I just, I’m just like, I try to keep a routine going where I can and I’m also going, this is not a normal day, so let’s not have a normal time. It’s just not gonna happen. So I think if we can all do that and keep that washing folded, then we’re doing really, really well.

 

Clare Bowditch

Exactly. Well done.

 

Allison Tait

Thank you very much Clare.

 

Clare Bowditch

Thank you. It’s been great to chat. Lots of love to everyone.


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