I’m So Fucking Beautiful I Can’t Stand It Myself

 

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The title of this post is a quote from the John Waters movie Female Troubles. The main character, Dawn Davenport says it, and Dawn was played by Divine, the first drag queen I became a fan of.

Before I really knew anything about drag queens, I already found myself drawn to them. I was in awe of their confidence, beauty and often wild behaviour. They carried themselves in a way that I never could, with their heads held high and their fake knockers pushed out as they sashayed along. I always thought, if a man can put that much effort, time and passion into this beautiful art form, than surely anyone can do anything. It’s weird how something as “simple” as that can inspire me to be a better person. (I realize drag is not simple in any way!)

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I discovered Divine when I was 14, but the first time I went to a drag show was completely by accident nearly 6 years later. A groups of friends and I were partying on Church St. in Toronto when we slipped into a dark club. I had no idea where we were going, as we made our way from one club to the next, but after we pushed our way through a crowd of men to get a drink at the bar we turned around, and there were drag queens performing on stage. Their performances were funny, erotic and rebellious. I had never seen anything like it but I knew that it was great.

Years later, and many drag shows in-between, I started watching RuPaul’s Drag Race on TV. Through the 8 different seasons I discovered new queens to join Divine on my list of drag queen superstars that I worshiped. Queens like Sharon Needles, Jinkx Monsoon, Adore Delano and Violet Chachki have all become my idols, so when my cousin Alissa told me that RuPaul’s Drag Race Battle of the Seasons was going to be in TO I knew we had to go! Better yet, three of my favourite ladies were going to be there!

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We went to the show along with a couple more friends just this past weekend and it was amazing! After dining on pizza with Alissa’s nudist cat (OMG watch this cute video of her sphynx cat taking a bath) back at her place, we cabbed downtown to a lineup of people. Jinkx Monsoon walked down the sidewalk and waved to all her fans. I was too excited to even wave back.

The show took place at the Danforth Music Hall on Sunday. Since I had to drive I couldn’t drink, but I really didn’t need alcohol to enjoy myself. The moment they all came out I couldn’t stop bouncing up and down with excitement!

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So, warning, if you have tickets to any of the upcoming Battle of the Seasons (two more months of shows!) then you might not want to know what some of the acts are and so this is your fair spoiler alert warning.

I really don’t want to go into details about every act that happened, but I will tell you about my few favourites.

OKAY! So Violet did two acts that were just mesmerizing! No one could take their eyes off of her. Her first performance was a sexy, burlesque strip tease, and her second one was a performance of her song Bettie. Both shows were amazing.

My other favourite performance was Sharon Needle’s tribute to David Bowie. My fave queen singing one of my fave songs by one of my fave singers. <3 perfection.

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And the funniest act was by BenDeLaCreme! She came out dressed as a fucking fish and starting wiggling around while she acted our her story of the evolution of drag queens, and it was hilarious!

Of course I enjoyed the other acts, too, including the live version of Snatch Game, their RHPS performance and more. AMAZING.

So, that’s what I did on Sunday, after hanging outdoors all weekend, swimming and drinking and being lazy right with my other cousin Katie.

Anyone else love drag shows? Or went/going to Battle of the Seasons

Peace,
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First and last photo by Sarah Vance.

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Get a Job but Keep the Side Hustle

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I’ve been freelance writing since the end of 2013, but it wasn’t until last year that I took it seriously. Since then I’ve written for quite a few different places about many different things.

The truth is I love writing, I love sharing my thoughts and experiences, I love posting pictures and I love creating weird art. I just love it. But at this point it’s not really making me enough money that I can afford the lifestyle I want (and there are several reasons for this, TBH!).

So I got a job.

I feel it’s really important to stay true to yourself, and to go after your dreams no matter what, but if the other areas of your life are lacking then it’s time to reevaluate what’s important. For myself, my finances were lacking and that has been really difficult on my little family and me. Whether we like it or not money is needed for so many things, and if you don’t have enough of it then it affects your overall health and happiness. Not good!

As I was trying to brainstorm all of the different projects I wanted to start, I realized I had a huge problem. Although we’ve been able to pay our bills and put food on the table, I was going without things like regular haircuts, decent clothes and even makeup, which are all things most people would consider a necessity. I would put off buying printer ink so my daughter could go to swimming lessons. Or I’d give up on the idea of taking an ecourse so I could buy cat food. It was simple choices over what was more of a priority that made me question whether or not working from home exclusively was worth it. Obviously I decided it wasn’t.

It’s hard to create freely when you don’t even want to use your watercolour paper to practice on because it’s so “expensive”. Or when you sit down to write, but all you can think about is if you have enough money in your account for the car insurance to go through (and then figure out how to scrounge up enough money in time). And when I finally did buy printer ink because I sold one of my zines and needed to make it, it sucked to realize that purchase had made me penniless for the rest of the week.

Going after your dreams is important and you shouldn’t let anything stop you, but I’ve come to accept that sometimes profiting from those dreams takes a bit longer than you hoped. It doesn’t make you a failure as an entrepreneur to accept you need to make more money, even if that means working for someone else.

You can always work somewhere full or part time while you continue to grow your creative business on the side. In fact, I think that’s the smarter choice. Until you’re ready both financially and emotionally to take on the task of running a business you really should keep or find employment elsewhere to help you along. Personally the only reason I wasn’t working for anyone else wasn’t by choice, but because I had just graduated college a year ago and was having trouble finding employment. The job market isn’t very big in my rather small city, and I was being picky because I knew I couldn’t commit to a job unless I felt passionate about it.

Truthfully, I’m really excited to start working. Not just because of the income it will provide, but because of all of the other little benefits and perks that come with a job like learning new skills, meeting new people and new opportunities. I also feel like I do a better job when I have more things on the go and I’m hoping to build a career for myself at my new job.

So, yeah, next week I start my new job and I’m friggin’ excited!

Are you currently working for someone else full or part-time? If you are working for yourself exclusively, when did you feel ready to ditch the 9-5?

Related: Unemployed Dream Chaser and How to Fund Your Dreams

Peace,
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Inspire Interview with Freelance Writer Lise Cartwright

Alright guys, today I have another amaaaazing Inspire Interview for you today with another freelance writer and coach, but no matter how many writers I interview there’s always something new to be learned. Lise Cartwright had a lot to say about her business and journey as an entrepreneur and it’s well worth the read! I hope you enjoy what she had to say as much as I did!


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What is it you do?

I’m a full time author, freelance writer and coach. I run two blogs, www.hustleandgroove.com and www.authorbasics.com and you can find my books here: http://www.amazon.com/Lise-Cartwright/e/B00NAIEW9O/

What inspired you to start your own blog/business?

In January of 2011, I remember coming into work after the Christmas/New Year break, I’d had two weeks off. It was a Monday and I had an extreme case of Mondayitis!

I remember sitting down at my desk and thinking, “What am I doing with my life? What’s the point?”

I know, pretty deep for a Monday morning, but I’d woken up feeling pretty yucky and I couldn’t explain why. Most people that know me know that I’m an optimistic, outgoing, happy person, so it’s pretty rare for me to feel this way.

So when I do, I sit up and take notice.

It was at this point that I decided that the job I’d been in for the past 2.5 years just wasn’t what I wanted to be doing. But, I had no idea what I wanted to do instead. I did know that I didn’t want to find a new job, only to be faced with the same feelings in another few years time. I’d been through this cycle a couple of times to recognise that getting a new job just wasn’t the right option for me.

For the next few months, I spent a lot of time researching ideas, looking for opportunities, trying to figure out what my next step was.

I knew that I needed to make some money in a side hustle before I could quit my job, because I didn’t have the luxury of a lot of savings behind me, so whatever I was going to do, needed to not take up a ton of time.

I’m not sure how I came across Location Rebel, but I know it was from some email newsletter I’d signed up for. I discovered Location Rebel in July 2011 and deliberated whether it was the right option for me.

I clicked “buy now” in early August following an enlightening conversation with my boss, that went something along these lines:

Me: “Denise, I’d like to chat with you about career progression. I’ve been with XYZ now for nearly 3 years, and I’d like to look at progressing further. I’m good at what I do, but it’s no longer challenging to me.”

Denise: “Lise, why would you want to change your job? You’re great at what you do, and you make my life easier. The next step for you would be to step into my shoes, but I’m not going anywhere anytime soon.”

Me: “So you’re telling me that there are no further options for me?”

Denise: “Only if you want to move into another department, and let’s face it, our department is the best!”

After that conversation went down, I got home from work and bought my first ever online purchase – Location Rebel. It was for $450 USD, which is a lot in Australian dollars. I was scared but excited.

Location Rebel is a course that provides you with access to multiple business blueprints that provide you with the skills to start a freelancing business in a specific area, such as freelancing writing, SEO consultant, copywriter, affiliate marketing, product creation etc.

For the next few months, I consumed as much information as possible and decided to start my freelance writing side hustle.

I landed my first gig on oDesk (now Upwork) within 30 days of starting Location Rebel and was rapt at how everything just seemed to slide into place.

I started my blog about 8 months after joining Location Rebel because I needed a place to connect with potential clients and I also wanted to share my own experiences in starting a side hustle.

I was able to quit my full time job in June 2012, all thanks to Location Rebel and learning the ropes as a freelance writer.

Phew, that was a long answer, but hey, I’m a writer, it’s what we do 😉

Best piece of advice you were ever given?

“Done is better than perfect”. As a writer, or entrepreneur, we can get caught up in trying to make everything perfect before we launch a product, hit publish on a blog post or start a podcast.

Nothing is ever perfect and rather than wait for it to be so, I focus on getting something done to 90-95% and then refine it over time. This has worked especially well when it comes to writing a publishing my books, because in the beginning, I was so focused on getting it perfect, that I ended up in this loop of getting ready to publish, only to pull back to edit the book because I’d noticed a single mistake or something I wanted to change.

By freeing myself from needing everything to be perfect, it allows me to ship everything with it almost perfect, secure in the knowledge that I can refine it as and when I need to.

What was the biggest challenge you faced when starting your blog/business?

For me, it was a time factor and also being scared that what I was doing was good enough.

I was working a full time job when I started freelance writing and had to really focus on time management and systems to ensure that I didn’t forget client deadlines nor miss my day job deadlines.

There were a couple of times where I failed miserably at doing that, but I learned quickly and adjusted my processes.

I had plenty of self doubt too, and to combat that, I plugged into the Location Rebel community and my mastermind group. By having that support system, I knew that I would be able to continue doing what I was doing.

What’s the most important lesson you have learned so far?

That for me, I still need to have a routine in place to be successful.

One of the driving reasons behind wanting to start my own business was so that I could have my time back to myself. I thought I’d be sleeping in till 10 am, swanning around doing lunches and shopping all the time, but the reality was, if I wanted to be successful in my business, I still needed some dedicated work hours and a routine to stick to.

Without that in place, I become demotivated and tend to flounder, because I lack focus and I’m not sure what I should be doing.

With a routine, I still have control over my time and can still pick and choose what I do, but I have dedicated work hours and time off, so that I know that I can achieve what I want to achieve based on those systems.

What has been your biggest success so far?

Writing and self publishing 20 books within 12 months. I started out as a freelance writer, working with clients and then transitioned into being a full time author in July 2014.

Writing is my passion, but now I get to do it for myself and make money from it, rather than having to do it for clients.

And your biggest failure?

Early on in my freelancing career, I made the mistake of not doing my due diligence on a client on oDesk… it resulted in me losing over $900 because the client wasn’t payment verified… what that meant was that there was no way for oDesk to take payment from the client, and as I’d taken on a fixed price contract rather than an hourly, oDesk’s payment protection policy didn’t cover me.

It was devastating and nearly stopped me from continuing as a freelancer. But I learned that lesson the hard way and never made that mistake again.

What does an average day look like for you?

It depends on the day, but let’s look at a Monday, because those were always my worst days in my day job, now they’re my fav behind Friday’s:

5:30am – 6:00am

Rise and shine! My alarm goes off, although I’m generally awake before it goes off. For the next 30 minutes, I’ll grab myself a coffee, open my Self Journal and outline my plan for the day, include my goals, targets and what I’m grateful for.

6:00am – 7:00am

I briefly check emails, jump on social media and respond to comments. I’ll have my breakfast in this hour as well.

7:00am – 8:00am

Get coffee for my hubby (who is not an early riser!) and begin the first task of the day, which is to outline and write blog posts for both blogs, Hustle & Groove and Author Basics.

8:00am – 9:30am

Exercise time! I’ll head outside and take my one of my HIIT workouts from my book, No Gym Needed. Sometimes I’ll go for a walk or run as well, depending on how I’m feeling. Once I’m done, I’ll head back and hit the shower.

9:30am – 11:30am

Continue with my main task of the day, blog posts! This includes outlining, writing and creating graphics for them.

11:30am – 12:30pm

Lunch time

12:30pm – 2:30pm

More blog post writing!

2:30pm onwards

Afternoon off. My hubby and I like to catch a movie on a Monday afternoon. We have a cinema that is in our complex, so we don’t have to drive anywhere. We just catch the lift downstairs and walk 200 metres to the cinema.

After we get back from the cinema, we just chill, eat dinner together, watch Netflix and chill.

Before heading to bed, I’ll review my day in my Self Journal and write down my wins for the day, what lessons I learned and what I’m grateful for.

I’ll also check Todoist on my iPhone to see what tasks I’ve got coming up tomorrow.

What do you hope to accomplish with your blog/business in the next year?

We are planning to fall pregnant in next 12 months, so I’m working on getting my business to be as passive as possible, so that when I do have a little one, I’m not having to write blog posts, manage book launches etc, etc!

Can you give 3 pieces of advice to anyone considering starting a similar business?

#1: Listen to your own advice. That advice that you’re dishing out to others, you should listen to it too!

#2: Just start. Don’t wait for everything to be perfect or right, because that will never happen. Start, adjust as you need and keep moving forward.

#3: If it’s not fun, what’s the point? If you find your side hustle starts to become as stressful as your day job, then you need to take a step back and figure out why. Maybe you could outsource some stuff or maybe, it’s just not the right fit for you. If that’s the case, then get out. There is nothing more draining than running a business you’re not enjoying and there’s no shame in throwing in the towel on something that’s not working and starting something else instead.

And finally, where can we find you online?

You can find me in all the usual places:


 

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If you have an inspiring story you would like to share feel free to send me an email here!

Peace,
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Creative Chaos May – Playlist Link-Up

Creative Chaos May

May Creative Challenge:

We’re almost halfway through 2016, if you can believe it, and I’m done my fifth Creative Chaos challenge! Who knew I’d be able to commit to this? Just kidding! It’s been fun!

So in May I challenged myself – and anyone else who was interested – to create a playlist! I even gave you guys some ideas on different playlists you can create.

This is our fifth challenge for Creative Chaos! For January we did Pinterest Vision Boards, in February we did Perzines, March was portraits and April’s challenge was to create a recipe!

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As a reminder:

How Creative Chaos Works:

Creative Chaos is a monthly creative challenge that anyone can join. (Click to Tweet.)

On the first of each month I share a post that describes the challenge and how to participate.

Then near the end of the month there will be a link-up that participants can use to share their creations.

If you don’t have a blog, no worries, participants are welcome to use the hashtag#PACCreativeChaos whenever posting any updates, stories or pictures throughout the challenge so we can all keep up with one another’s creative chaos and support each other!

My Playlist:

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I’ve started a few different playlists, but the only one I feel is worthy of sharing is my playlist that I called New Wave Like Whoa! Basically, it’s four hours of new wave music.

New Wave Like Whoa! was inspired by my love for new wave music. Bands like The Smiths, The Cure, New Order and The Cars are among my favourite bands ever, and I find new wave is just a really fun subgenre to listen to pretty much all the time. You can listen to my playlist through this link (where you will also be able to follow me on Spotify) or you can listen to it here:

The other playlists I started were one for cleaning, one for parties, one for when I’m working at home and then one for hanging out, but they only have a few songs each and aren’t finished yet but I’ll be sure to share some playlists with you guys every now and then with songs from basically every decade and every genre.

If you’re really into punk music, then you’ll probably enjoy my playlists.

Now it’s your turn to share your playlist(s)! You can either share in the comment section, or linkup below. I can’t wait to discover what kind of music you dig and add some new songs to my own playlists!



Peace,
signoff

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