I found Kelly Williams Brown's book 'Adulting' a few weeks ago in a happy accident of fortune, and I decided to give it a read. The book lists 468 easy (ish) ways to become an adult, offering tips and advice to 20 somethings who are facing that all-too-scary prospect - moving out of home for the first time.
The book is full of the type of simple wisdom I wish someone had shared with me when I was a rudderless man-child living in a two room flat in a dodgy corner of town.
Besides being practical, the book was hilarious and creative, and so I decided to get in touch with Kelly and find out how both her book and career came about.
First I wanted to know who or what inspired her to start her writing career.
Both my mom and grandmother were journalists before me, and it always appealed to me as a career. But beyond that decision — which was more a rational, OK, I want to write, how can I get paid for that?-type of choice — I am someone who has always made things. When I was a kid, I was CONSTANTLY writing plays or doing paintings or working with clay. But since writing is my job now, I tend to spend my down time pursuing other creative things — right now, I'm doing a lot of crafting and trying to master Copperplate calligraphy.
Deciding on your passion and going for it doesn't seem rational to a lot of people, but it totally is! What can be more rational than making a goal and the trying to achieve it? It's easy once you've decided what you want to do.
Kelly also touched upon an important point - when your passion becomes your job, you run the risk of losing your enthusiasm for it. Finding other creative outlets in which to indulge your creativity is important.
Aside from her inspirations, I also wanted to know how she keeps herself motivated.
For me, I always need outside deadlines and expectations. I wish I was the kind of person who was self-motivated enough to write an entire book by herself without an editor breathing down her neck, but I'm not.
For people like me, it can be really helpful to feel accountable to something outside yourself — even if it's just paying your friend $5 a week to text you every day and ask what you've made.
There are tons of things you can do to make you feel accountable for your work, whether that be paying a friend like Kelly did, or even websites like stickk.com that offer to keep you in check for a small fee.
Finally, I asked Kelly what she does to jump-start her creative brain. To anyone who's struggled to get fired up at work in the morning, her response was pretty familiar.
Deadlines. I'm serious. If you (not you personally, but one) always waits until you're in this perfect beautiful creative mood to make things, you will make almost nothing. Far better is to force yourself, to develop that discipline, to realize that maybe you will make four truly mediocre things before that one great thing. No one in the world who wanted to be great at, say, basketball, would only practice when he or she was 100% feeling it. Make it non-optional.
There's nothing more motivating than the pressure of having a time limit in which to get your work done. As much as we like to romanticize the creative work process, at the end of the day it comes down to you in front of your blank canvas, working your butt off.
Just keep working at it.
I suggest you check out this talented writer at the following outlets:
Or you can purchase the awesome 'Adulting' HERE
Here's Kelly promoting the book