Failure. It can give you sweaty nightmares, awful sinking feelings, clammy hands and a feeling of doom. This year I have learnt that failure also gives you a golden chance to try again and do things differently.
Take it from me – the buzz you get from seeing success out of something you previously thought had failed is a game changer!
Returning to a failed creative project has been one of the best things I have ever done.
I am currently searching for a new story to work on. Story hunting is not easy. Just because you are a writer doesn’t mean you have a queue of ideas, all waiting patiently for you to do something with them. No, you have to spend ages feeling glum about not having anything to write about and then force yourself to go out and find new story ideas.
Things don’t run smoothly either when you do stumble upon a new story and get excited about it. You can quickly lose that ‘loving feeling’ for a story and it doesn’t take much for this to happen.
After a few creative dalliances with a couple of new story ideas, I can see some interesting similarities with dating.
I have been wanting to connect with my inner biker chick for sometime. If I am honest I don’t have the time to connect with my inner biker chick what with being a mother, a wife, a pet owner, working full-time, being a writer, a blogger and now a podcaster. There are not enough hours in the day. Anyway you will all be glad to know that I have now resolved this situation.
Your inner biker chick is your wild, leather clad, rebellious side which sometimes needs to come out to shake things up a bit.
We all have an inner bike chick inside of us and sometimes we get a powerful urge to connect with her, even though there might not be a motorbike in sight.
Through my writing I have connected with my inner biker chick. My fictional character Roxy Collins, in the latest episode of the ‘Diary of Roxy Collins Podcast’ on iTunes and here on SoundCloud has a date with Gordon; a biker and the lead singer of a rock band. Her best mate Shaz advises that she should use this dating opportunity to connect with her inner biker chick. I would like to point out that I had a lot of fun with this episode. Useful Kim has to be one of my favourite new characters for 2016. I can’t wait for listener feedback on Useful Kim!
After writing it I felt like my inner bike chick and I were much closer. Within an hour of finishing the podcast I was hot footing it down my local department store’s makeup counter asking to be taught how to do smokey eyeshadow, I browsed leather jackets in the Women’s Clothing department and I declared to my family that I wasn’t planning to do any ironing or sock matching for the rest of the weekend as I was a free spirit. (Rebellious huh!).
So, I thought I would do a blog post on how you can connect with your inner biker chick:
Biker Chick Mindset:
Take action! Biker chicks don’t sit around waiting for something to happen – they do it themselves. So start writing that book, launch that blog or record that podcast TODAY!
Shun the expectations! Strong badass biker chicks don’t worry about what others think of them. So lose the concern over what people expect you to do or be in life. Focus that concern on being you and defining who you are!
Think confidently and act confidently. Imagine you are leather clad and sat on a monstrous bike – you can’t look uncertain and troubled in this scenario. Get that badass biker chick look in your eye, take some deep breaths, wear a stern smile and look like you ready for anything!
Exercise your free spirit. Practice freeing yourself from daily drudgery – in my book this means housework!
Biker Chick Wardrobe:
You want to be rocking the classy / edgy biker style.
Aim for the iconic black leather biker jacket, white t-shirt and skin-tight leather trousers. Roxy struggled with this look but fair play she gave it a go!
Finish off with some black shades and killer heels (in my head killer heels sound fab but in reality I will be crippled within half an hour).
Here are some celebs channelling their inner biker chick:
In the next few weeks I will be leaping out of my comfort zone with the launch of my comedy fictional podcast.
I have never done anything like this before. It took me a long time to share my writing on my blog and when I did it felt like a leap out of my comfort zone. Then I took another jump outside my warm and coxy comfort zone by sticking my stuff on Wattpad. Now it feels like I am going to be flinging myself into the air yet again by taking my work onto iTunes and putting my own voice to it, as opposed to hiding behind a blog post.
So I thought it would be a good idea to do a preparation style blog post, which will run through all the things you need to do before leaping outside of your comfort zone.
Things to do before leaping out of your comfort zone:
Focus on the why. Think about why you are leaping out of your comfort zone and the benefits that it will bring. These benefits will help you fight your way through fear. Ok so I am just running through my reasons for this…I am nuts, deluded and have a screw loose. There is one reason and that it is – I want to perform a bit of magic. I want to see whether I can lift my Roxy Collins comedy off the page and bring my character and her world to life via a weekly podcast. This for me is what being a writer is really about; making people, worlds and stories come alive.
Enjoy the build up experience. Have some fun along the way and the enjoy the build up to leaping out of your comfort zone. I can’t say that listening to my own voice again and again has been fun but teaching myself how to use GarageBand has been really enjoyable. Celebrating my success on joining up the podcast intro music, the voice intro, the narration and end music in GarageBand resulted in me doing an energetic celebratory dance around the kitchen. I know some of you out there will be now eye rolling your laptop / tablet screen whilst muttering “that is soooo easy!” I struggle with simple things. Rewriting parts of Roxy and adapting it for a podcast has brought me closer to my characters. I feel like I am starting to get under the skin of Roxy and hearing her talk, in the voice that I am using, is quite surreal.
Start a diary. Use a diary to record your feelings as you prepare to journey into the unknown. A diary is useful for working through the huge bouts of self-doubt which go hand in hand with taking a leap out of your comfort zone. A diary takes away some of the pressure from friends and family as you can turn to it day or night.
Listen to upbeat and motivational music. Do everything you can to remain positive. I have created a new playlist full of pop classics and 80’s movie soundtracks.
Embrace the idea of making a fool of yourself. Ditch the perfect image of yourself! In order to bring my character Roxy to life I am going to have to make a fool of myself. But the urge to do something magical is stronger than the fear of people laughing at me.
Create a list of powerful quotes for the final days before you jump out of your comfort zone. Steven Pressfield in his book ‘The War of Art’ talks about how the fight against resistance is worse at the end of a project when your energy levels are low and you are vulnerable. So here are the quotes that are keeping me going:
More often than not, being brave means doing it scared – Michael Hyatt.
The more important an activity is to your soul’s evolution, the more resistance you will feel to it – the more fear you will feel – Steven Pressfield
Until you are ready to look foolish, you’ll never have the possibility of being great – Cher
Wish me luck readers!
Stay tuned for news of my gigantic leap into the unknown; the world of podcasting!
Have a fabulous day and virtual hugs to all those currently thinking about taking a leap out of their comfort zone!
Roxy Collins is the main character of my Wattpad novel and fictional podcast – The Diary of Roxy Collins.
She’s a thirty something, single mother of three unruly children, who is in a dead-end job, gets no help from her ex-partners and is living in a run down rented house.
Here are the reasons why I created the character of Roxy Collins:
After years of reading Chicklit and romantic fiction I wanted to read about a realistic heroine. I was tired of reading about skinny, rich and glamorous ChickLit heroines. I wanted someone who I could relate to. Someone who had kids, struggled in a dead-end job and had useful ex partners.
Roxy is one of life’s survivors. She has not had much luck with relationships; pregnant as a teenager, her first partner Jon confessed he was gay soon after she fell pregnant. Her second partner and father of the boys, Rob, left her for the blonde barmaid. Despite all this she still has her humour.
She’s a character who I warm to; she’s crazy, loves singing Cher songs, when she’s drunk and struggles to control her three spirited children.
She makes me laugh whenever I write her.
I wanted a character who never gave up on looking for love.
She reminds me of an older version of Bridget Jones.
I wanted a character who could explore the comedy of family life.
She’s my best fictional friend ever and she’s done me proud on Wattpad and iTunes.