Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Inspiring People: Alexandria Blaelock, writer

A kidney transplant, redundancy, and trying something new for 30 days were some of the main catalysts that encouraged Alexandria Blaelock to become an author. Here's how she did it...

1. Tell us your story:
I was Alexandria Blaelock, Melbourne Project Manager up until my redundancy, but now I have a different story. My kidney transplant changed my perspective on everything, and now I write books that translate the lost knowledge of the early-twentieth century for modern life.

2. How did you identify the goal/s you wanted to achieve?
I had been unhappily unemployed for many years, and it felt like checking the job boards, and applying for jobs, and following up on applications every day was crushing my soul. I saw a TED talk where Matt Cutts challenged you to try something new for 30 days. I'd wanted to write a book for as long as I can remember, so I took a month off the job search and challenged myself to write one in that time.

3. How did you work towards achieving your goal – did you have a plan and a deadline to achieve your goals?
I had no idea how to write a book, so I bought one that told me how. I chose to write a book about how to host a dinner party because with event management as part of my career it was something I knew I wouldn't have to research much. Then I wrote an outline, set daily word targets, and wrote like there was no tomorrow to get it done in time.




4. What was the biggest challenge you encountered along the way?
Self-doubt for sure. I knew I could write, and I knew I could get things done, but I didn't know if the book would be right or if anyone would buy it. But I acknowledged my fear, and told myself that I had wasted too much of my life through fear already; it didn't matter whether anyone bought the book, the important thing was to finish it. To be able to say that I had written a book.

5. What inspires you and keeps you going when you encounter obstacles?
I once heard someone describing life as like going to a restaurant to eat, you just pick what you want from the menu. Next week, you might pick the same thing, or maybe something different. I'm just putting my work on the menu; you might not pick it this week or even this year, but when you need it, it's right there on the menu.

6. What advice do you have for anyone wanting to achieve a goal?
Life is not a reality TV show, so just keep going! Usually, when you hear about some sort of achievement, it's presented through the frame of "overnight success"; like the 45-minute home renovation that actually takes months. All goals take time, and you have to keep taking all the tiny steps that put you in the right place for the overnight bit to happen.

7. What are the next goals you hope to achieve?
I'm currently writing my third non-fiction book. That's not something I imagined, but now that I'm doing it I'm happy with the way that it's progressing, and I would like to see it published by the end of the year. And then maybe a novel.

Writer and philosopher Alexandria Blaelock advocates embracing precious things like beauty, friendship and wisdom. Discover more at www.alexandriablaelock.com.

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