Thursday, 12 July 2012

Question time - Who is Rose Wintergreen?

Today's guest is fellow Melbourne-based blogger Rose Wintergreen.  Rose and I met a few years ago at Summersong, a music camp for adults.  We discovered we shared a sense of the silly and enjoyed some serious sessions of laughing and music making together.

One of the things I admire about Rose is the way she thinks about what she's doing.  Her blog is thoughtful and purposeful and she's a whizz on the latest technology and web tools.  Top Tool Tuesday is on my must-read list each week.  I love Rose's innate curiosity about people and the world.  A fellow traveller!

I hope you enjoy meeting her and discovering her blog.

1. Who is Rose Wintergreen?

Singer-songwriter, writer, crafty type and social media and marketing coach.

2. Where do you get your inspiration for your blog?

My inspiration comes from all sorts of places. My blog is something I use as a reminder to prioritise spending some time in my life to feeding my creativity. 

My creativity is a funny little creature. I imagine it as a pet. It behaves a bit like a cat. It can be unpredictable. It's electric blue, with acrylic faux fur. She has lime green, all-knowing eyes. When I don't feed her or pat her in the way she likes (by reading something new, going somewhere different, or trying out new perspectives or activities) she slumps quietly in the corner, growing thin and wan, occasionally hissing angrily at me to make sure I don't forget she's still there, waiting. When I make room in my life to spend with her, all sorts of exciting things happen. Everything seems more colourful.

I try to write my blog posts about things that have excited my creativity, the ways I've made more room for creativity in my life, and what I've been creating. I really love the idea that I might excite and help other people to be creative. I try to focus on things that are relevant to people who are making art, music, craft or writing, or who are wanting to start doing those things soon but don't have the confidence or know where to start.

3. What's your writing routine?

If I didn't have a blog, my writing wouldn't be so routine. I know writing is important for me (when I don't, I feel more stressed) but setting deadlines for myself isn't enough sometimes. Writing my blog makes me more accountable. I have a responsibility to write - not just for myself, but also for my readers. 

I find it easier to write when I'm not at home, sitting alone in a corner of a cafe of up the back of a tram, scribbling away in my journals or some scrap paper. Coffee makes a huge difference. If I'm sipping on a real coffee or I've had one in the last couple of hours, I feel more confident, and get things done faster as a result. The most magical writing combination for me is heading out for a walk in the morning, going to a yoga class, then sitting at a cafe with a coffee. Within an hour or so I'll manage to draft a blog post or do some creative writing, do some fun brainstorming, and plan my priorities for the rest of the day.  

Ideas come at all times of day and in all sorts of inconvenient places, so I always carry my phone or a digital recording device with me, as well as several pens and a journal or scrap paper. I get a lot of my best ideas in the car when I'm driving alone, so I try to leave the radio and stereo off to let the ideas come at me. If I'm planning on having a proper writing session, I'll always take two notebooks - one for the creative, fun, journaling style of writing, and one for work-related, strategising and planning. I didn't used to do this, and discovered that if I didn't, I would spend all my writing time working on the worky stuff instead.
4. What's your favourite word?

I'm sorry, but I can't just pick one. I love the word "velvet" because it sounds lush, just like the texture. I love the word "salacious" because it sounds so naughty and seductive. I generally have a thing for words that sound interesting and like the thing they describe (especially food-related ones, textures, and colours). 

5. If you could script your dying words, what would they be?

"So long, and thanks for all the fish." Just kidding. I've ripped that off from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. I have no idea. It would depend on who was with me and whether they were listening! I guess it would be an expression of gratitude for all the opportunities and experiences I've had, and a plea to others saying something like: 

"You are enough. Don't wait for permission. You know the road you need to take. Surround yourself with the people who make you feel the most at peace with yourself and who encourage you. Be open, loving and trusting. Explore! Life is one big sampling platter! Taste what you want to. Do things for as long as they feel right to you."

Oh, and my favourite line from a recent movie The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel:
"Everything is alright in the end. If it's not alright, it's not the end."

6. What gets your hanky in a twist?

I'm doing my best to not let people get my hanky in a twist. Yoga helps a lot. Ultimately, people will do what they want. All I can control is how I react to what happens around me.

But there are a couple of specific things that push my buttons...

People who say they aren't creative. We all are. We're born creative. We're just creative in different ways, and some of us spend more time breathing life into our creativity than other people do.

People who do amazing things that have taken a lot of work (like recording an album, or writing a book), who hope that people will love it and it will get some sort of attention, but who don't do anything to make it easy for people to find out about it and share it with the world. I don't know if they realise it, but what it says to the world is "I spent a long time making this piece of work, but I'm not going to tell people about it because it's not good enough."      

7. What's your ambition for your blog, your business, you? 

These are all very closely intertwined for me. My goals are to keep being creative, to keep learning about what works for other creative people, and to share this with people. I want to show people that it's possible for them to do creative things too, and to promote themselves effectively with social media, if they want to. There's no secret club, no secret password. 

I really enjoy helping people with their social media and online marketing strategy, so I'll definitely keep doing that! 

I'm also working on songs for a new recording, and writing a book of conversations with professional singer-songwriters about how they stay creative and prevent burnout. I also have a couple of other top secret book ideas in the pipelines. 
8. What blogs do you read? 

I read a lot of blogs! I used to use Google Reader to keep track of them all, but it's more usual for me now to keep up-to-date by following people on Twitter and reading their posts as they tweet about them. 

Some of my favourites are divaculturaThe Rachel Papers (writing), Brain Pickings (creativity and lots of other things), The Lazy Civil Servant (personal), Anna Spargo-Ryan (personal), Puttylike ("lifestyle design" for people with lots of different interests), Everyday Adventure (writing and personal), Handmade Love (art), The Seamstress (art),  Timber and Steel (music), and Fearful Adventurer (travel). 

9. Finish this sentence, "If I wasn't blogging I'd be...."

If I wasn't blogging I'd be crazy. Crazier than I am now. And lonely. I'd probably still be creative, but I'd be feeling pretty constipated creatively, and very alone with it. I've made some great friends through blogging, and many sources of inspiration and encouragement. 


No comments:

Post a Comment