18 September 2013

Problogger Event part one - daring to dream with Clare Bowditch #pbevent (and I was published on The Guardian!)

Last week I went to the Problogger Training Event on The Gold Coast in Queensland.

It was a fantastic working holiday. I'm not rested but I am inspired, motivated and assured that dreams are allowed and very possible. My blogging colleagues and friends just got it. Blogging is a thing, its valid and it can lead to a career. I had so many lightbulb moments - I want to soar.

Thanks to everyone who put the ProBlogger Event together, all the friends I have made through blogging, all of the encouragement I received, to Queensland for its nice weather and friendly people, and for tomorrow and beyond - where I will implement this inspiration that I immersed myself in throughout the event.

I live tweeted the shit out the the event - 282 tweets with a reach of over one million people - and I want to share my favourite parts with you all in series of posts.

There was a lot of permission given to dream at the Problogger Training Event. Darren Rowse, Problogger himself (or The Master as I called him) spoke about it. Trey Ratcliff did too. And so did Clare Bowditch. This post is about her session.

Clare Bowditch ran a session called "How to do what you want in life". She is a singer, actor, mum, wife and founder of Big Hearted Business - a business school for creative types. "There's no better time in the history of humanity for people to be doing what they want and to talk about meaningful things", she said.

Clare talked about how she really just wanted a creative career but was stuck in a job that didn't match her goals. She wanted to make a difference to people. She wanted to sing. And then she jumped. She's so warm, friendly and funny, and the audience was captivated.

She asked us to write down what we wanted to be when we were children. I wrote down that wanted to be a writer. And I am.

Clare said "When you are doing what you want to do in the world, you'll forget it's your job" - something I've been been thinking a lot about lately.

She also said "Sometimes it's our suffering that leads us to do what we're meant to do in the world". It resonated with me so much. I'm not suffering by any means but I'm making the best out of my situation by telling my story.

"How do we do what we were born to do?", asked Clare Bowditch. "We Begin."

Over the weekend, lots of people asked me how did I go from being a blogger to writing for mainstream media. I told them that I began. I just wrote, wrote for practice, studied journalism, practiced some more, and then got up the confidence to pitch to publications once I'd built up a portfolio of writing on my blog. I participated in writing festivals, I noted down publications that aligned with my values. I introduced myself to the people I needed to know. And I promoted my work. And I'd encourage everyone else who has a dream to write to do the same.

Clare Bowditch encouraged us to listen to our dreams, to follow them. Everyone at Problogger Event did.

A couple of months ago I wrote one of my dreams down for a journalist. To be published on The Guardian, I said. The article she wrote about me was published here.

And so it happened. I was published on The Guardian. (!!!!!!)


I blogged, I tweeted to the twittersphere, an editor from The Guardian saw the tweet and read my blog and asked me if she could run it in The Guardian. I squealed! And said yes! It was run last Thursday!

Just don't read the comments. Except for these, which are pretty tame and supportive.

And this comment thread if you want a laugh.

FYI DavidNcidl - I work full time and freelance on the side. I don't receive any benefits from Centrelink. And The Guardian Australia commissioned this article (it's syndicated to the UK and US editions). There's always one commenter pushing the welfare angle, isn't there?

I dreamed, I wrote that dream down, and my dream came to life.

"You want this amazing life, but you can't decide. You don't have to be just one thing, but you have to start something", Clare sang. Just begin. Just start.

(If you would like to buy a virtual pass so you can catch up on the audio and video of the Problogger Event sessions, you can. Click here for my affiliate link. No pressure though.)



  1. I agree up to a point, but you need to have a realistic dream...

    I mean, I dreamed of playing cricket for Australia as a kid, but my ambitions couldn't match the reality that I'm not a naturally gifted sports-person.

    I do worry sometimes about successful people giving the "follow your dream" speech, because I worry that it may give unrealistic expectations to some people that they can just drop everything and the dream will happen.

    But it sounds like Clare's talk was more than that, because from what I've heard, she emphasised the planning and hard-work that goes into following your dream. That's always important to remember (and I think you are an example of that too, Carly.)

    As the golfer Lee Travino once said when asked why he was such a lucky golfer - "because I practice a lot." :)

    As for me, well my dream is to be a published author, and I'm working hard towards achieving that goal. I'm writing every weekend. I'm learning the craft of writing as I go, plus I'm attending a creative writing class. I'm putting a lot of hard work into my dream. And one day I know I'll get there! :)

    1. Clare's talk was amazing!

      There was also discussion of luck at PBEVENT - luck doesn't mean we don't work hard.

  2. Looks like it was a great event Carly! Also a massive congrats on being published in the Guardian! Fist pumps!

  3. Hi Carly,
    I stumbled upon your blog from your comment on Courtney's See Squared blog. I have just spent some time going through some of your older blog posts and following the links. Congratulations on getting published on The Guardian!! Amazing work, I'm very impressed. I feel that deserves its own blog post. As a journalism student, this is one of my dreams also. However, I have recently turned my focus more to creative and personal writing rather than news and reporting, so maybe my goals will change in the near future.

    I love Clare Bowditch's music, but wasn't aware of Big Hearted Business initiative. I've signed up there too, so looking forward to learning more about that.

    In a short time, you have changed my perspective on... well, a lot of things. Disease, disability, dreams and goals, prayer, religion and good intentions. I was raised Catholic but have somewhat rejected the religion during my high school years and instead focus on charity - I feel that's a much more valuable way to spend my time. You have confirmed this feeling. I've also thought a lot more about "good intentions" and will from now on make a conscious effort to try and ensure nobody ever has to say about me "Well, her intentions were good." I want to make sure my actions are worthwhile, assistive and supportive. Nobody wants my prayers or positive thoughts - that doesn't change anything.

    Anyway, enough of my long winded spiel, I feel I better wrap this comment up. Looking forward to reading more on your blog.


  4. Hey Miranda what a lovely message - thank you for stopping by and taking the time to comment :)


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