Hi Amanda! Tell us a bit about yourself and how you became involved in writing:
Well, I am a novice mum of two years and ready to give birth to my second child any day now. A speaker, on radio and at events mostly for women and young adults. And love to crochet – it’s kind of like my meditation where I think about all the creative things I want to express; part way between my therapy and my muse. Writing though, is my passion.
At 15 years old I wrote a list of things I wanted to do before turning 25 – getting married, having a baby and writing a book was on there. I finished university with a degree in English literature and history, and honestly forgot the book dream when I was accepted into a specialist course for Musical Theatre. Along the way, I became lost between the costume department and the university tavern and found myself really muddled about what I wanted in life.
After coming across a group of people who were so passionate and purposed in the way they lived their lives, I gave up my dancing school (which I’d been running since I was 15), went to bible college (even though I had graduated with two degree’s) and my life was unravelled so it could be reformed again.
It was in the midst of this process I rediscovered my love of writing. I made myself forget all the rules and just started writing to express creativity and inspiration. That is where Capture 30 Days began. Kind of by accident, but I believe it’s a dream that was birthed many years prior.
You’ve been blogging at capture30days.com since 2006. Why did you begin, and I guess, why have you continued for so long?
Between 2006 and 2012, I was busy as a Creative Director and the posts in that period were very random and sparse. It was only when I had my first baby at the beginning of 2012 that I committed to blogging everyday, even the day I gave birth… that is one funny story – picture a car, a stressed husband, a coffee in hand and mobile in the other, trying desperately to write a post before my little man Maximus the Brave came to the earth officially.
I truly believe in journalling and writing as an amazing form of processing the crazy pace we all live at now, as well as finding inspiration in such a technically dominated world. When I write, the whole world stops and I refresh and regroup, ready for what is to come next.
When you’re in need of a little inspiration, what do you do?
This has been a major theme of my writing since the beginning. As a mother, I can’t spend hours reading like I used to, so I have to find different ways to refocus and gain perspective. They could be put into categories though:
I write / draw / paint / journal / visual journal
I read / Pinterest / blog / Instagram
I cook / bake / experiment / crochet / sew
I play beautiful music and turn the television off
I walk the beach (I live 20 metres from the beach in a tiny 1970’s beach flat we call the shack)
I sit in cafes reading magazines, with my earphones in listening to new favourite tunes.
I travel, even if it’s a new way to a place I go all the time. I am always looking for an adventure.
Inspiration is awaiting discovery, we just have to learn to look for it.
Describe a typical day in your life:
I wake up slowly – never been a big morning person. Add a two year old to that scenario and I often hear, “Wake upt mummy, wake upt.” Yes, ‘upt’. Cute and annoying all at the same time.
After scrambling to my coffee machine and gradually waking up, I always watch the news. I find it’s important to locate myself in what is happening globally, especially living in quite an isolated little shack at the beach.
My day goes a little cray cray from here – mentoring appointments, to cleaning, playing lego with my son, radio interviews, paying bills. Business stuff.
At lunch time when my little man is asleep, that’s when I write. I write everyday for Capture Life and lead a team of writers and a women’s network called Kinwomen. On Thursday’s and Saturday’s, I have two interns for each of the networks.
Then the afternoon gets even more crazy – dinner, chores, calls, coffee catch ups, play dates.
When my son is in bed, that’s when I normally read or crochet and try to calm down from the day.
I think collaboration and community is so important to the future of the human race. That is why we are all so addicted to social media. The problem is social media is a shadow of what real community is meant to be like. Communities like SPARC, Kinwomen, and my local church community are imperative in my development as a nice human.
There are many people who live independently, connected in places like Facebook. But if they were truly honest with themselves, they are lonely. We were not created to do life alone.
Just last week one of my friend’s wrote this status update on Facebook: “I have finally hit 1,000 friends on Facebook but in real life I am lucky if I have four.” His honesty is commendable, but how many people could be this honest with their analysis of community, camaraderie and collaboration in their lives?
Especially for creative types. Get off your computer and go have a cup of tea or coffee with someone and start a conversation that matters.
What’s been one of the proudest moments of your journey so far? One where you can’t help but light up whenever you think about it.
Gosh. Number one, would be the birth of my son. Until I got married, I believed I couldn’t have children after a serious operation when I was five years old. One month into marriage I found out I was pregnant and am not sure I’ve recovered from the shock yet. True miracle.
Second highlight, over a season of a few years I was leading a team of creatives into the slums in Thailand – you can read more about these trips here. Sitting in a slum, on a dirty floor, with young children who have nothing, creating something, was one of the most defining moments of my life.
If you could sit down with any feminine heart over a cup of coffee and conversation, who would it be and why?
Maya Angelou. She recently passed away, but I’m still sitting down with her as I make my way through all of her books.
I wrote about her impact on my life recently here. She is a woman of wisdom, a woman of faith, a profound activist and someone who was always brave in the face of adversity. I think we need more role models in our society like her, rather than putting quick, rise to fame, reality stars who struggle with their lives outside of the spotlight because they haven’t allowed their character to be shaped by years of toil and hardship.
Baby number two. Then an e-book about singleness and being over 25, and another on cultivating a creative culture in our everyday. After that, anyone’s guess.