It was really fun to interview Ronda, aka The Girl with a Pen. We spoke about how she “accidentally” become a creative entrepreneur, why we need to stay open to possibilities and ways to let our creativity flow. We also talked about making apple cider at home, doing kitchen bench aerobics and driving with a voice recorder. Somehow they are all highly relevant to our discussion on curiosity, creativity and stay true to what matters.
- The Girl with a Pen – How she “accidentally” become a creative entrepreneur
- A little encouragement and acknowledgement can go a long way
- Creative writing helps us to express ourselves, our inner world and keeps us from being curious
- Give yourself the permission to consider the possibility – on whatever you feel curious about
- Stay open to possibilities in life, don’t shut down your thoughts. Allow yourself to dream and play with those ideas.
- Why a writer with a marketing background is such a powerful combo
- Martini Theory – know your market and target audience don’t just assume they do what you do. If you don’t know your market, you can learn about them, but just be very aware.
- You don’t need to be everywhere on social media; you need to be where your market audience is
- Learn how to say no. Don’t worry about missing out. An opportunity at a wrong time is not a good opportunity.
- Tips on how to stay focus and avoid distraction: Write ideas down when they come in so they don’t take up mental space, use a physical timer to allow time to stay focus on one task.
- Writing consciously or unconsciously with underlying messages
- Symbols and meanings – it is up to us to see – stay open
- We are all creative. Find your creative outlet and let it flow, feed your creative spirit by allowing it to have a voice.
- Tips and examples on how to take breaks on our mind and let the creative ideas to surface.
Sze Wing (00:01):
Hi, everyone. Welcome to my latest episode podcast today. My guest is Ronda Payne and she is a lovely person to talk to. And today, clearly she will stay entered, true creative, strong curious and happy as we can see from her cushion! For those who are listening, you may not, but Rhonda is a very fun person to talk to. She’s a creative writer. I call her a creative because she do a million of creative things. She’s actually AKA the girl with a pad. And that’s what really sparked at first, you know, as in oh, who is this person? Girl with a pen? I met her at a networking event and we just clicked straight away and she is also writer, creative, and I found our conversation really interesting, and I hope that will help other people who were thinking about writing a book or you have a business and you need copywriting. She’d definitely gives you tons of inspiration and help as well. So like, you know, I think the best way to introduce Rhonda is actually just let her tell her story. So, but first of all, welcome to my show, Rhonda.
Thank you. Sze, it’s nice to be here. Yeah.
Sze Wing (01:13):
So I have a bunch of questions to ask you today, but first of all, let’s get into how did you get to become who you are today? Because I know you’re a seasoned writer. You, I mean, essentially you are constantly writing, you’re definitely a copywriter and you help people with that, but also know that you had a career in marketing and different things. So tell us about you and your story.
Yeah, absolutely. So I am what I would call exactly what you said in the intro. I’m a creative, but I don’t always do what the world calls creative writing. I do that sometimes. So things like writing a book or short stories or, you know, a novel, I don’t get to do that as much as maybe I would like to because I’m spending a lot of my time being a freelance writer, which means I’m writing for other people primarily. So it began like a lot of writers began. I started writing as soon as I could hold a pen and put sentences together. I began telling stories and that was where it started for me was I enjoy telling stories and sharing those with my family and a teacher very early on when I was learning to read. And of course in school, you read aloud a lot.
And she gave me an award for being the most expressive reader. And this is a teacher who must’ve given little awards to all of the children, but of course I felt very special about being this expressive reader. And a couple of years later, I had a teacher that said I was very creative in my, and those two forms of recognition kept me interested in being a writer. And in high school I took a course, a correspondence back then when correspondence really wasn’t online at all, there was no online, there was no email, it was all by mail. And I took a creative writing course and it just was always something that inspired me that I loved to do. And I still love to do today when I was ready to start looking for a career and wondering what to do, I knew I could write, my family knew I could write, but there weren’t a lot of career opportunities in my family’s vernacular that went with being a writer.
So it wasn’t like I knew, oh, Hey, I’m going to go off and be a writer. No I didn’t know what that looked like. So I kind of went with the next best thing, which was marketing. You write a lot in marketing. So I went off to learn how to be a marketer. So when I went to university, that’s what I learned to do. That’s the kind of courses I took in the program I took was in being a marketer. And I worked in marketing for more than a decade. And I did use my writing a lot and I enjoyed it, but I got to the point where I just didn’t want to be a marketer anymore. And I don’t think at the time I knew that in my head that I’d lost interest in marketing, but it, something had shifted and a lot of things had shifted in my life.
At that point, I went through mental health challenges. And what I learned from those mental health challenges was the way that I was living wasn’t working. It was no longer effective. I was a perfectionist type, a person, and I was very driven. And I thought that my goal in life was to just continue to work up the marketing chain until I became, you know, the VP of marketing for a very large company. That’s, that’s what I thought I was going for. And then I changed jobs and I changed jobs again. And I changed jobs again. And on the last job I got laid off because of course marketers are the first people to be, let go, and I didn’t know what to do with myself. So I looked for a job because that’s all I knew how to do. And then a colleague sent me a note and said, I know you’re in between jobs right now.
Could you help us write some copy for our website? And at that point, the light bulb went off in my head and I went, huh, maybe I could do this. Maybe I could just be a writer and do marketing. And then it took me another couple of years of being on my own to learn that I could just be a writer and I didn’t have to be a marketer to make money. I could be a writer. So here I am, 15 years later and loving what I’m doing. And yeah, I write every single day, every day of my life
Sze Wing (06:10):
Sometimes I called, you know, people like you have these type of situation, the accidental entrepreneur, because you know, before you said you had never, ever think you would do this.
Honestly, I didn’t think I could do it. Like I didn’t think I could do it. And like you and I talked about that moment clear as a bell, I remember sitting at my desk and I was a VP of marketing. I worked for a financial institution. I had a team of people who were incredible. And I remember sitting at my desk because my boss had just left to go start his own company to be an entrepreneur. And I remember sitting at my desk thinking, well, I could never do that. I could never do that.
Sze Wing (07:03):
So you never say never. And you know what, I love the stories that, few things, like one is that, you know, people should never underestimate a little encouragement and a little acknowledgement to people is super important. I know a lot of friends and colleagues of mine who may run different types of businesses. And occasionally they will mention that “I’ll have this book thing or not necessarily memoir”, but maybe bringing what they know into a book,the expertise or the experience. But we also played down, somehow shifting to one of two ways, one is don’t have time or may not be anything important or no one will care. Yeah. That sort of thing. And then one thing led to another, often find that actually that’s exactly what they need to express themselves. And sometimes it’s not, they don’t even have the skill or,unecessarily the time because we can all make time depends on how important it is.
Sze Wing (08:04):
But to actually express themselves, how you said that when you have a bunch of challenging times sometimes because you’re not feeling you were living your own life, right. You need to stay, as you say, stay curious and stay on this. And that’s what it is. And, and so I found your story hit a few important note. And also like, let’s just say you were that kind of like playing safe personality, but the universe kind of hit you with, you know, first that you, you just suddenly on your own and second is that people would just offer you opportunity, which is fantastic. “Not For a million years”, again, you were saying how I’m going to do it because you know, you didn’t think you could, but things just happened. So that’s super important, just to hear in mind for those who are listening or thinking, you know, writing, if you’re passionate, no, let’s don’t even use the word passionate, let’s say, you’re curious about writing or are you just like you don’t know. So just don’t close that door for yourself. I think that’s important. Let’s say open.
Absolutely. I think being open-minded to the opportunity and my coach, she has a wonderful saying that when I’m feeling resistance or I think I can’t do something her saying is I give myself permission to consider the possibility that, and then you just add whatever it is at the end. So in this case, if someone out there is thinking, they like doodling and they like making logos and they like looking at logos and thinking about what makes them work. But, oh my gosh, I could never be a graphic artist. I give myself permission to consider the possibility that people might want to make use of the art that I create. Just say that to yourself, give yourself permission.
Sze Wing (10:05):
Yeah. Permission stay open. I like kitty animals appearance in my videos or children, but not my own because usually they’re quitenosiy. I find it interesting is that people tend to think about those things, really big, like a big title, like writer, or I’m not a necessarily engineer. I come to like those types of titles, but you know, sometimes it can be very small. As in, you mentioned that interested in logo, which is great example because I know there was a business owner who never for a million years that she could do it. She was making little like crochet kind of ornaments for Christmas. She never thought that could become a thing. And that became a thing. She ran a successful business. Or you may love to, I don’t know, make homemade chocolate for your kids. And you don’t think you be like a chocolatier or have your own food and confession company, but you don’t know, maybe just even a tiny niche if you enjoyed, first of all, you feel great about it, but you don’t know it doesn’t have to be a big thing.
Sze Wing (11:10):
If you want to do something small, you start small and start niche. And that’s actually probably better, you know, she stick with her. Oh, and I have another friend who makes doll clothes, not for adults for dolls only. And she’s super busy, and it’s so niche. She did it because she was interested and she made a couple for friends and her friends saw it and then she put it on Instagram and other people comment on it and it would go, boom. She eventually has a business of making clothes only for a particular type of dolls. One particular type of doll. Yeah. You know, if you want to write, start writing.
You don’t know what that’s going to come from. And so, okay. I’m going to lean my head over and behind me, if you look behind the flowers, you can see that empty bottles. You see?
Sze Wing (12:08):
So downstairs in my house, I make cider, I make hard apple cider. I will ever have come to this. If it weren’t for the fact that I write a lot about agriculture, I’m around people who grow apples. I’m around other people who make hard apple cider. And I just got really interested and got the bug. And I took a course. I learned how to make it. I would never have thought that would be a thing for me ever.
Sze Wing (12:41):
You never know, next thing you know, you’re so good at marketing and copywriting
You just don’t know. And that, I think that’s part of the being open to the possibility that something could come of this and you know, don’t shut it down. Don’t shut down your thoughts, allow yourself to dream and play with those ideas and just consider that that could, maybe that’s a thing. Maybe it isn’t, but maybe it is.
Sze Wing (13:12):
But I think you don’t want to not know. I mean, you’ve got to express that creative energy. When we first crafted this interview, we thought we’re going to focus on writing, which we will get into it more. But you know, it’s sometimes it’s also about running a business. You’ve got to open a different possibility. You don’t know, is it going to be a thing or not, but regardless you got to express it and you’ve got to let it out to let it live and see, you know, like if you see at this corner, this is my goddess planner. I never, I will make a planner but then I wanted to find a planner for myself because I’m type A and I like really organized and stay ahead of the game. It gives me a mental space and peace, but then I also loved that sort of the reflective piece.
Sze Wing (14:03):
I love to chart with the moon cycle. I like to plan my work related to the moon cycles. So full moon and new ones, the specifics, but there’s nothing in the market that hit that too. There’s no sweet spot that I could find like where you got this habit tracking, weekly planning really, you know, task orientated to do list and everything. And then have a piece where you also got some space to write your thoughts, your dreams, and chart it with this moon. So it may be weird for some people, I don’t know, but I want to do something for myself. So I went through a hundred of different planners. I bought quite a few of them accustomed a ton of it. None of them worked out. So I was like one night lying in bed, just annoyed. I just wanted to make that happen.
Sze Wing (14:48):
And I don’t know why. And then boom, then later I thought, why don’t I just make my own? And then one thing lead to another. Now I have three versions of plan or 2021 and dated and daily because it’s a kind of different ball game with the daily thing. I kind of use it in my morning routine or meditation. And so anyway, that was sort of my creative outlet. And I was actually working on my next book, but that just didn’t let me go. It was in my head. I can’t, you know, so, but going back to what was I supposed to talk about? I think about it. We actually hit on the idea of entrepreneurship. Sometimes you don’t wear lens. And another thing I find it really important to touch on is that the universe kinda line things up, because you know, your skills in marketing and your interest in writing become a very powerful combination because a lot of writers that I know don’t like marketing, they can write, but they cannot wear that hat.
Sze Wing (15:54):
Or they even say, I hate that hat. So it’s actually very unique combination of skillss. So universe kind of see it that Ronda can do this as a good combo and that becomes your background. And so everything would join up if we just allow the possibility and led us there to see how the dots may align. So that leads to my question, because I want to say many of us found it challenging when it comes to copywriting, because we have to be passionate about my planner, but to promote it to market, it’s suddenly you have to shift gear, right? Sometimes we find it hard. And so since you’ve got a strong background in marketing, which comes in very handy to help your clients with it, can you tell us a bit maybe if some of the common mistakes, how we can overcome it or any tips that because you wear two hats and you understand
You’re right. It is, it is definitely helpful beyond helpful. It’s to me, it’s essential to have that marketing skill because if a client comes to me and says, I need you to create me a sell sheet, a writer without a marketing background is probably just going to say, okay, what kind of sell sheet do you want? And tell me your points and I’ll write it. Whereas I’m going to look at it and I’m going to say, okay, what do you want this sell sheet to do? What is the objective that you are trying to achieve with this? And then let’s talk about, is it a sales sheet that you need, or maybe it’s a case study or is it a white paper or is it simply a number of posts on your website? So the marketing background allows me to look at objectives and better work with my clients to get them towards what they really want.
So they aren’t trained to figure it out. I’m helping them figure out what they need. Some of the biggest mistakes I see people make is exactly that, assuming that what they came up with in their head is what they need. This comes sometimes from something, a teacher at university brought up, he called it the martini theory. I love the martini theory. And I talk about it a lot. The martini theory is that if I go home from work and drink three martinis every night, then everybody does that. I assume that because that’s what I do. Everybody does that. But the truth of the matter is, is that not everybody does. So you have to be very careful as someone working in a business or an entrepreneur that you know who your target audience is. For example, I met a fellow who he has a product and this is a man. He has a product called the Daisy cup. It’s a menstrual cup. Well, what does a man know about a 20 something woman, which is who he targets with the Daisy cup? What does he know about that? So it’s because he’s a good marketer and he can learn about these people who are his target audience that allows him to talk to them. And that is the key.
Sze Wing (19:17):
What made him want to get into that?
I don’t know what got him into it.
Sze Wing (19:22):
He sees a gap in the market? Is he a very business driven type of person? He sees a gap in the market. Or he bumpped into innovation. I mean, it’s not really organic?
Not at all. And I think part of it, but he expressed to me part of it was because she’s passionate about eliminating waste. And so feminine product was what led him to this. But that, that was one of the reasons. And so, yeah, I mean, that’s one of the big mistakes I see. Another big mistake that I see is the philosophy that you have to be everywhere online.
Sze Wing (20:04):
Wow. We got to hit this hard. Tell me
I got to be on Twitter. I gotta be on LinkedIn. I gotta be on Facebook. I gotta be on Snapchat. I gotta be on Pinterest. I gotta be on this new platform called clubhouse because everybody’s on there. It, it really gets into business people’s heads that they need to be everywhere. And again, it comes down to, you have to know who that target audience is and be where they are. You don’t have to be everywhere. And to be honest, you don’t have to be everywhere. Your target audience is either like for me, I’ve got one networking group is just hammering this clubhouse thing. And I’m like, you know what? I don’t need another social media platform right now. Never say never. We agreed to that before. Never say never, but right now I’m like, I don’t need to add that into my mix, which then is kind of the third mistake I see people make, which is the fact that they can’t say no, just because something feels like a decent opportunity, a good opportunity. It doesn’t mean that you have to do it right now. And there’s a lot of fear. Well, if I don’t say yes, that this opportunity will go away. You need to know where you’re at, where you want to go, what you want your business to do what you want for yourself. You know, not everybody wants to be a multimillion dollar business owner. So consider that, consider the opportunities that come your way and just be willing to say no to a few things. Oh, I only have so much time. Right.
Sze Wing (21:51):
Love it. So the Martini theory is that, you know, don’t assume everybody isyour target audience. Don’t try to be everyone, everything everywhere focus what you’re really doing and why you’re doing it. And then try and learn to how to say no, I think that’s really important. It’s not like something we never heard of, but so often we forget and we need to be reminded. And actually they all come together really nicely as a top three because you know, they actually one thing lead into another,
They all work together, right? This isn’t rocket science. I’m not saying anything that anyone hasn’t heard before, but hopefully I’m helping you understand why those things are important and why they should be part of the decision-making process when you were doing things.
Sze Wing (22:56):
They gel together because we often do too much. Because we can’t say no and we try to be everywhere. And we are not clear about what are we assuming and who are we talking to? So they actually really gel together. I think that’s really, really important for people to really think about it. I kind of lost my train of thought. And one other thing that you were mentioning that happened in multi dimensional conversation, sometimes we may have, especially creative people or business people or entrepreneur, we have ideas and I felt it. Sometimes we, they come in waves and it’s hard to join the dots. And then, you know, what you saying about, you know, we’re trying to be everywhere kind of scatter our thoughts as well, because we are like running after and chasing chase thing.
Sze Wing (23:53):
So sometimes it’s hard to, like your cushion says, “stay focused”, say it’s “entering”. So do you have any tips for people who may have that issue? Because I think, you know, that may be something that you come across as well, that we have lots of ideas out there in the ether, but how do we pull it on down? Organize them, make them succinct as a marketer, as a writer, you know, how important is it to boil it down, confused by? So you may have five or 500 ideas, but maybe only one is actually the focus and everything else is supporting or irrelevant event that we have to say no to. So how do you do it?
Focus is, well, I mean, you know, this focus is hard when you’re an entrepreneur. Focus is hard. There are, I don’t have children myself, but children are distracting. I have dogs and a cat. They’re distracting. I have a husband who is distracting for goodness sakes. My laundry can be distracting, so it can be very hard to focus. And then of course we get all the email with links. And again, this is that the learn to say no thing, the links in an email, oh, this might look like something really important. And I should read this because this could be really good for me. And look, this person told me about this book that I should read and we can be pulled in so many different directions. And we each only have 24 hours in a day and it can be so truly overwhelming. So first off, one thing I would say is when things come in, write them down, it creates like a parking lot.
So that think of it like you’re on a road trip. So if your job today is to write a blog post and dots, you, you want to focus. You want to write a blog post and you’ve got 16 different ideas. I got a book, the dentist appointment, and I need to go buy dog food. And the kid has to go to soccer practice at three o’clock and oh, look, this person sent me this email, write those things down in a parking lot. So that they’re written down. You won’t forget them. They’re written down and then you can go back to the blog post. Okay? So you’ve emptied out your head and now you’re on your blog post, but you get to your blog post and you think, oh, but the laundry needs to be done. And this and that and the other thing, and it’s very tempting to get up from your chair.
So this is my other technique for focusing. So for those of you who are listening, I’m holding up a very old fashioned egg timer type timer. So it’s like a physical timer, not on your phone. Phones are loaded. We do too many things on our phone. So a physical timer, this is for 30 minutes. And so I use something called the Pomodoro technique, but really it doesn’t matter what you call it. You turn your timer for 30 minutes and you focus on your task for those 30 minutes that the timer is running. Once the timer runs out, you can go off and fold the laundry. But in those 30 minutes, you don’t do anything but work on that blog post, you don’t check your email. You don’t go look at Facebook. You don’t unload the dishwasher. You just work on that blog post. When this runs out, go spend 10 minutes and do those other things.
When you’re working on that blog post, and like you said, all the ideas are coming about all these good things. And I need to tell them this and I need to tell them this. And I need to tell them when you sit down to write the blog post, just ask yourself. What’s the point when I’m interviewing somebody, when I’m writing an article for a newspaper or a magazine, I quite often will ask the people I’m interviewing. Why should I care? Why should I care about this? And that one question will tell me, what is the point? What’s the point of this? So ask yourself that, what is the point of this blog post? And so each time you get pulled off track and you’re going down another rabbit hole, what’s the point?
Sze Wing (28:23):
What is in it for them? What is it for my audience? Why should they care? Yeah. How, how does it help? How does it benefit? How is it useful? Yeah, that’s super important. And sometimes we lose track on writing. Right. But you know, this is actually a spit off track, but I’m actually curious. So for example, one of my very first book I wrote about, which is a little bit of, you know, I don’t know how to put it. I just kind of have it, put it out there. It wasn’t something that I have so much about thinking about what is it in for people? What does it do? Like no clear objective was there. So it’s all the no-no. But there was an inspirational piece where I have 21 inspirational messages for 21 days. So each day you get one page about ideas that help us to improve our life or help us more stay centered, true, honest, strong, and all that stuff. So inspirational piece. It’s not information, but it’s inspirational, but I did not have a clear objective, but maybe it has, without me trying how to iron it out. I don’t know. I would say you, did you think like
Subconscious? I think so.
Sze Wing (29:41):
Because that was super popular. Like without any effort, I have a lots of like four or five star review without asking. Sometimes I thought like, what happened? Was it like, has I done the training? So I kind of had the billion to my head. What is, how does it help people? Is it helping people? So maybe the thing came out is actually having to deal with certain issues that, you know, I found it common or it was bubbling in my head. I don’t know. It was like, I find it surprising. Cause I did not think, but I know that that’s the right thing to do what you said.
Sometimes it does happen organically. Sometimes it just happens. So, you know, if you think about writing, there are times that I have written looking at creative writing. So if I’ve written a short story or maybe in one of the books that I’m working on, there will be things in there that are subjective are subliminal that I did not consciously put in there that other people, like I say, subjective, other people might look at it and go, why did you put that in there? But there’s things that some subliminal part of me was coming across with something. And I’ve seen this with other writers as well. So I can’t remember the author’s name, a very famous Canadian author. And she had written a short story and someone interviewed her and said, do you realize that there are all sorts of representations of shapes within your story, triangle circle and square, and each one had a different message or, or a different train of thought to it.
And she said in the interview, she’s like, oh yes, of course, that was perfectly intentional. Afterwards she said, I had no clue that was there. He found that, I have no clue it wasn’t until she did that interview that he pointed that out. So sometimes these things just happen. Sometimes we have to be more conscious about how we work and especially when we’re struggling, right. We’re when we’re struggling, we’re pushing up against something. That’s trying to talk to us. What is that thing? Is it a distraction that we just need to write down and put in the parking lot for now? Is it something that we need to include or is it something that is bigger than all that? Is it an under lining message that we need to pay attention to? So it’s just a matter of knowing where you’re at and what you’re trying to accomplish and then being able to filter through that. But it takes time to learn how to do that. I still struggle with that.
Sze Wing (32:36):
That really hits some really interesting point here because, you know, Carl Jung often talked about how our subconscious is constantly finding way to speak to our conscious and actually bring it out. So hidden messages is not exactly the right word, but you know, the symbols or the underlining meaning or, or things that, you know, have to carry the certain energy or mythological expression, let’s say even a name of a character, or as you say the shape of the color or something like that, it may not be obvious to a writer. The first sight, maybe even there’s
Always symbolism, right? Like there’s always symbolism in what we write. So for me by memoir that I’m like, I’ve finished it. I need to continue for revising, but I knew early on in that, that the underwriting symbolism was water, water runs throughout it, because it was a literal element in that point in time of that experience. But then it’s also this figurative, it’s a symbol. I will give you another example. So my dad passed away four years ago and the day after my dad died, my mom and I were working on some stuff for his obituary and just different things that we needed to do. And he had been in hospice and this hospice, their logo was a butterfly. And the next day, mom and I are working on these things. And I was writing on a notepad and I flipped the page to the next page.
And there was a butterfly and I very quickly learned that every time I see a butterfly on paper or, you know, flying in my yard, it’s my dad, it’s my dad letting me know he’s out there. And I mean, you can say that isn’t really a thing it’s just coincidental. And it makes me think of my dad and you know, what, whatever does it matter that matter if it, if it is truly symbolic and it is a message, or if it’s coincidental reminder, and to me, it doesn’t matter. So I have, this is a little butterfly. Somebody gave me, I was at a session with someone and at the end of the session, she said, oh, I have something for you. And she went and she grabbed this little charm and I looked at it and I went, oh, that’s my dad saying hi. Like, and to me, those things exist in everyday life. They exist in our writing. They exist in our business. Hm.
Sze Wing (35:21):
I love it because, you know, I think the key point, what does it matter? It only matters if it brings you comfort. It matters if it brings you joy and love and help you to stay on your path. That always matters.
Yeah. Like does it have meaning to you.
Sze Wing (35:40):
It’s the same with type of writing. Like obviously I did it because I want to share some of my thoughts that I’ve been collecting. But maybe that it’s helpful for people to get as a part of inspiration. So it matters to me and then it became, it matters to others. So again, I think go back to what we talk about at the very beginning, it’s that you don’t where it lands. You just got to follow the path one step at a time and stay the course. And if you feel like you are you open to the possibility, be open. So like we almost run out of time and I really found our conversation juicy and that I’ve been very inspired by it already.
We didn’t talk a lot about how to write better.
Sze Wing (36:28):
No, we talk about common mistakes that I think the say open stay true one step at a time. And the fact that, you know, all these things gel together and I should, so, you know, would you consider the possibility? I mean, that is big and you know, we don’t have to keep hammering with putting more ingredients.
It’s all part of that whole that we talked about. Like you say, the common mistakes, I mean, being focused in your writing, that’s writing anything, being focused, know who you’re writing to know that target audience and staying true to that message that you want to share with them. That’s probably the biggest tip in writing. There could be. And it’s true in just about any aspect of business, right? While you are staying open to the things that you can do and being aware,
Sze Wing (37:26):
So rounding up, like I know we’re running out of time and I really want to ask you this again is a really good way of wrapping that up is that so, you know, sometime we got so busy into figuring all this out, doing the right thing and saying open, and you know, that can be a lot, you know, you like you, you write a lot. And some from sometimes I work on my business, you can, you stay focused, but completely the head is in that for way too long hours the time. So I suppose that we all get some sort of creative fatigue or business septic. So for you, what do you do when that happened?
It took me a very long time to figure this out and I still haven’t fully figured it out, but I will tell you, what’s currently working again. The coach, I mentioned, she’s given me a ton of pointers. And the biggest thing for me is to allow my creative spirit to play randomly. So different things I have at my desk, let me reach for something. So this is a block, a magnetic shapes block. I will play with this and make different shapes with it. While I sit at my desk also on my desk right now, like right this second, this is on my desk and it’s always here. I have a pack of crayons so that I can pull those crayons out and just make the weirdest colorful picture you’ve ever seen. And I’ll do it with my left hand. I’m right-handed, I’ll do it with my left hand in the evenings, cooking for me is a creative thing.
Like I like cooking. I love it. It brings me great joy. So you, especially if you’re a creative, but I would say for anyone, because we are all creative beings, every single one of us is a creative being. And I don’t, I don’t want a single person who is listening to this or watching this to sit there and think, oh, but I’m not creative. No, you are. We are all creative. We all have it in you. And if I can say anything, please stop telling yourself. You’re not because you are, we all are. And you need to allow that part of you to have a voice. For me, it’s especially hard because I sit down at my desk and I demand it to come out when I need it. So it’s like, I turn the tap on and I expect it to work. And then I turn the tap off and that’s not fair. So that’s why I have to allow that creative spirit and outlet. Sometimes it’s doing a paint night with my best friend, not right now during COVID because of course that’s not happening. But painting, cooking, playing with toys, playing with crayons, it is doing other creative things that don’t involve writing. Although sometimes it’s also allowing myself to sit down and write a short story that doesn’t have any intent of going anywhere. So you feed your creative spirit by allowing it to have a voice.
Sze Wing (40:51):
Yeah. Love it. Like, you know, that’s nice to have toys on a desk. I think that could be really fun. All of these meditation is one big piece for me and I do, so I have a little mats down there, stand next to the kitchen table. Sometimes I work downstairslike a standing desk and I do leg races. I do kick blocked flow, but I just like, you know, sitting there for a long time. So I like move my body and do my leg kicking and just kick a bunch. I do yoga like, but you know why I say it’s maternity because I thought I forgot it must be so boring to share this because everybody’s been meditating and doing yoga. And generally I know the leg kicking is not common.
See, I run up and down the stairs. I’m in a two story house with stairs. So there are certain points in the day that I’ll just go run up and down the stairs four or five times until I’m out of breath. And my thighs hurt. You know, it’s just the things you do to change where your brain is going. Yeah.
Sze Wing (42:16):
And especially like, you know what at workor whether you’re doing business or writing, when you hit a block, when you write like not block block, but you just don’t know how to phrase it or the paragraph or at work, maybe you’ve got an angry email. You don’t want that. That’s the thing you don’t want to necessarily tackle the straightaway hats on. And I find it, the best is stopping in that emotional place. And for me is leg kicking do a couple of Sun salutation. You don’t get your mind switched to something else. Physical thing often helped me because it helped me with the blood flow. But you hit the thing is that when you’re doing a balancing, let’s say that you can’t think about angry email because you’re going to flip. You got to hold onto your pose. So it falls as
You we’ll be inappropriate. Like it would be disproportionate to the situation because you’ll be all reactive. Right. I find for me, like I have two dogs, I would show you one, but she’s passed out on the floor asleep. So you can’t even see her taking them for a walk can be one of the best things I can do. I get outside air, I’m getting blood flow. I’m getting oxygen in my brain. I’m moving my body. And then I’ll come back and I’ll feel so much more normal, whatever normal is, but also so much more normal. And then I can do those things.
Sze Wing (43:37):
Yeah. My best writing and business ideas come from a good yoga class. Always. I mean to a point. I think maybe I should bring a note book in (to the class) , but like I was like, you’re forcing it. So, but I tell you, like, I kid you not my best ideas always come out either after a shower, a walk or a good yoga class. And it’s this uncanny, that’s what productivity, lift, feminine wisdom coming and productivity. To me, it’s not how much your have on the desk is how much result you’re going to bring. Sometimes with the least amount of time, the maximum amount of joy by doing things like what we said that actually when the energy flow, it comes, you stuck there, you push it with the masculine energy, like gosh, just make it happen. It doesn’t happen like that from me,
You know? And I will say quickly that I have the ideal example of that in my household. My husband works in construction. He knows what happens when he goes to work and he hits a nail with a hammer. He knows what happens. He knows how long that will take. And he knows how to do it. I sit down at my desk and it’s not like that. It may come in, it may not come. Right. And that’s why I bill my clients per project and not per hour, because I don’t know if the idea going to come when I’m in the shower? Is it going to come when I’m walking the dogs or is it going to come when I’m at my desk? How do I bill for that? So that’s why I bill per project. We also have a waterproof notepad in our shower for just that reason, because it comes that and driving, oh my gosh, I almost always have the recorder on my phone because the stuff comes when I’m driving.
Sze Wing (45:20):
It’s the same as Sarah Blankly. I have seen her master class and she talks about Spanx. You know the name of it. She was pondering and pondering, pondering just couldn’t get the business name right. She said, one day she was driving. Spanx just happened in her eyes. Like, she just knew exactly how it’s just spell and look and everything. And her best idea apparently come from driving. She literally, like, I think she said like, she live around the corner from the office. So she would drive around for that.
Yeah, my memoir was born while I was driving. The cider thing was born while I was driving. Like all of these driving for me too. It’s it’s because you’re yeah.
Sze Wing (46:05):
And your brain to work on this thing that,
You know, and you’re focusing on something else because you’re focusing on something else, the subconscious bubbles up and all this good stuff, just oozes out. And you’re like, Ooh. So it’s the same. I would think as meditation, you’re focused on something else and you allow your subconscious to have the opportunity to bubble up and deliver you all that good juicy stuff because you’re not forcing it. You’re not hitting it.
Sze Wing (46:36):
Yes. So on that note, I will close the interview and saying, stop hammering it like a nail.
Sze Wing (46:45):
Created this, this or whatever. You’d call it. It’s not a hammer, a nail thing. So that’s good to keep in mind. So I would like to thank you for this opportunity with super fun, to chat with you. If people want to learn more about your work, your book and your services your creative writing skills and all the juicy stuff. And even chatting with you. I felt like an uplift. So how can people find you?
They can find me on Twitter. I’m a girl with a pen on Twitter. I am on Facebook. I’m on LinkedIn. So Rhonda Payne and that’s Rhonda with no, H I have no H in my name and my website is girl with a pen.ca because I am in Canada, a “Ca”. Yeah. So people can connect with me any of those ways and I’m always happy to chat. Great.
Sze Wing (47:46):
And I will put your links down below on the details for the podcast and also on the blog post page. So people can easily see it for reference. So thank you so much for your time and as in lovely to chat with you as always. Thank you.
It’s been my pleasure.