Monday, 30 May 2016

Trust Your Journey

Does your heart ache with the need to do something? Maybe you want to write, paint, travel, care for the sick, or move house. You want to follow what your heart is telling you but maybe the daily grind gets in the way. Maybe you're scared or stuck in a rut or don't know where to start.

Take a deep breath and start from the beginning. Make a list of what you'd really love to do with your life. Want to live on an island? Put it on there. Want to buy your own house? Put it on there. Write down everything that you want to do, look it over and decide which ones you can feasibly achieve in the here and now.

Perhaps one of your dreams is to write a novel. Do you have an idea for a story? If so, make a little time in your life to start working on it, even if it's only five or ten minutes every other day. Go to bed a little earlier and lie in bed with a notebook. Set the TV to record that show you want to watch. Put the cleaning off for another off. Turn your phone off. Every little thing you do to free up time to do what you want to do is a step in the right direction. You may not see the results straight away but you're getting there, one step at a time.

Doing something new is about commitment and being true to yourself. For a long time, I wrote nothing but fiction and I loved every moment of it. Over the past year, that desire has waned and been replaced with the need to write non-fiction. I still dabble in working on my novels but the drive to finish anything has dwindled. The last thing I completed was the novel/screenplay combo “Dance in the Rain” back in 2014.

To prepare for a new phase in my life, I knew that I needed to change some of my skills. So I started brushing up on my research skills. I also started running interviews on this website. Whenever I was offered a guest blog or the chance to speak somewhere, I took it. I asked myself, “Can I sit and listen and give someone my entire focus for the length of an interview?”. For me, that can be extremely difficult so it's something I've been practising with family, friends, and work colleagues. Now I'm hopefully putting the final pieces of the puzzle together in order to start this brand new chapter.

Changing your life doesn't happen overnight but it can be done. You have to be true to yourself. If that yearning for something new is living in you, take time to think about what you want to do and how you can get there. It might not happen today. It might not happen next month. But you can do it. You can do whatever you put your mind to.

May your week be wonderful!

Rae :)

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Kickstarter - Going It Alone

What makes a person decide to try crowdfunding? And what makes them decide to do it by themselves? It's a huge task, especially to get it right. There's a lot to consider: How to tell your story, the wording you'll use, how to present your video, costings, rewards, promotions, and press releases to name just a few.

When it's just you, crowdfunding can take over your life and it becomes a second job. And it's not just all the physical work that you have to put in. With it comes the emotional toll and it can become crippling when there's no one else to talk to about it.

Building a crowdfunding page was, for me, much like writing a novel. You have an idea and then, over months or years, you flesh that idea out. The “where”, “why”, and “what”. Slowly you begin to build a big picture that includes many intertwining paths. You carefully link these paths until they become a motorway that (hopefully) races along to your final destination.

I found that putting it together was relatively easy. It was hitting that “Launch” button that proved difficult. Crippled by self doubt and riddled with a tendency to self sabotage, I spent many weeks debating whether to launch the Kickstarter or not. Could I do it? Was it the right thing to do? I have no team to defer to and no one in my close circle has ever tried crowdfunding before. There was no one for me to turn to in order to vent my stress and worries. I was on my own, a pioneer staking my claim on a brave new world.

What's baffling is that despite my limiting beliefs, I know that I can bring this project to life. It's just getting over the crippling self doubt that can be the problem. Fighting a battle with yourself while trying to get a project funded is one of the hardest things I've ever encountered and it's nearly driven me to give up.

But I can't because I've come this far and, deep in my heart, I know that is the right thing to be doing. Fighting through the fears and the stress is just part of the process.

Don't let your fears become you. Don't let them take over your life. No matter what you're doing, take a deep breath and continue to fight through them. Your fears don't make you. Don't let them overwhelm you. Because you are more than that little voice in the back of your head. You are more than the self doubt. Just keep fighting through it until you come out the other side. You'll want to give up and you'll want to cry. If that happens, give up for a while and let the tears fall. But, once that's done, pick yourself up and and keep on going. Because life is meant to be beautiful.

To those who have taken the leap of faith with me and backed “Living Las Vegas”, thank you. Your love and support means the world to me. If you'd like to get involved, please do. We'd all love to have you along for the journey. I promise you that it's going to be a great ride.

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Living Las Vegas

The idea for Living Las Vegas was one of those early morning ideas. The ideas that come to you long before dawn is breaking. It was 3am and I was in a taxi, on my way back to McCarran airport. Chatting to the driver, I discovered that she'd moved to Vegas several years beforehand. Not because she was trying to win big or to become famous but in order to provide a better life for her young family. Her story was like so many others I'd heard during the week, people who'd left their homes and moved across the country, or even around the world, to try and provide for those they loved. While I was waiting to board my plane back to the UK, I drafted the idea for Living Las Vegas, a book that would find these people an put their inspiring stories in to one place.

Friday, 13 May 2016

Empower Each Other

We live in a world where people are encouraged to tear one another down. They're told that, in order to get ahead in life, they have to tread on other peoples dreams and berate one another. If it's not a dream they're taking apart, it's another person's body. Or their personality. Or their style of dress. We live in a world that is polluted by hostility to those around us. We're conditioned to be constantly on guard and to have an explanation for every second of our lives. We're watched and judged, not by the government, but by one another.

What if we could flip that around and, instead of beating each other up, we could empower one another? Wouldn't it be nice to live in a world where, instead of climbing over each other to reach the top, we could climb it hand in hand?

It's time to empower one another. It's time to take back control of ourselves and who we are, to live our lives in a beautiful and productive way. It's time for us to look at one another as friends rather than enemies. It's time for us to love ourselves and those around us.

We can make a difference in one anothers lives. We can choose to step away from the crowds and be different. We can choose to be loving and compassionate. We can help one another along this journey called life.

But how?

  • Find something good to say about someone's work. They've probably had it picked apart by torn different people and your compliment could change how they feel about what they're doing. Encourage one another and lift people up. You could change a person's life.
  • Climb the ladders together and love those who've supported you along the way. Say thank you and give out hugs. The way you treat a person is your trademark.
  • Stay strong together. There's people out there whose life mission is to make everyone else feel bad. When they come along, rally together and encourage one another to keep going. The road may feel long but the people you're with can turn the journey in to a festival.
  • Get excited about each other's lives. Does someone have a big project going? Is there a new band that needs a little love? Share them on social media and celebrate both the big, and small, achievements together.
  • Make like-minded friends along the way. Your tribe always has room for one more. Welcome them with open arms.

Life is supposed to be fun and we're supposed to love one another. Make sure yours is a party that has an open invitation and is a party that none of you will ever forget.


Rae currently has four novels and several anthologies on the market. She also works with various organisations to help promote reading and creative writing. You can buy her books here.