Our author for the month of May, 2020 is the amazing Sez Kristiansen!
I recently read Sez’s book ‘Inspired Mama’ and It was a blessing. Read my review of this book HERE!
The Author: Sez is an internationally acclaimed poetess and author, born in Southern Africa under two generations from six different cultures. She has travelled extensively throughout her life, and lived in some of the remotest parts of the world, including many years spent in Sri Lanka deepening her spiritual practice.
After two children, Sez settled into a more conventional life and became a designer for some of the biggest fashion brands in Europe. After years of struggling with anxiety and chronic depression due to the societal pressures of being a mother and a working full-time in the fashion industry, Sez redesigned and downsized her entire life to fit the freedom and wanderlust she once resonated so deeply with. Sez now lives in a hand-built cabin in the Nordics with her Viking husband and children and continues to travel adventurously throughout the world with her young family. Sez empowers people with transformational mind, body and soul guides that inspire her readers to live truly unique, unconventional and untethered lives, driven by their own blueprint of freedom. Sez will awaken you to your own free-spirited nature, which has the power to guide you to your own truly authentic, abundant and deeply nourishing life.
Sez has given us the opportunity to have a sneek peek into her world of writing by answering the 10 questions below.
WHAT WAS THE INSPIRATION FOR YOUR RECENTLY PUBLISHED BOOK – ‘INSPIRED MAMA’?
Sez: An interesting statistic appeared in my life this time last year. It said 80% women who were about to celebrate their second child’s second birthday, were either living with the symptoms of depression, taking medication for anxiety, or forced off work due to the symptoms of stress. It said that this was a period in a woman’s life that was the most difficult she would ever have to face. The balancing act between personal desires, economic responsibility and being a mother peaks at this time of our life.
However, by the time we have our second child, most of us have achieved our goals of creating a family, finding a suitable career and becoming more stable in ourselves, so I wondered why this exact time in our lives was really making us more prone to stress than any other.
The more I looked into this documented fact, the more I saw close friends and family submerging into the statistic, often giving up on their personal dreams, voiding their personal time of self-care, sacrificing their families for unfulfilling jobs, and most damaging of all, giving in to the social pressures of what others expect their lives to look like.
As I read this statistic, I realized the paradox between freedom and motherhood is practically unavoidable, and that if I did not address this enigma from a foundational level, it will chain me to a life I would risk my mental health for.
I first quit my job as a fashion designer and then asked the Universe for a sign of what I was supposed to do with my life (probably in the wrong order, but I prefer to do things illogically), and within a week I began to write this book and did not stop until it was completed, 6 months later.
I spent my entire life travelling with freedom and wanderlust as companions, so when I became a mother I also felt this paradox very deeply and I knew I had to write a book that would help women like me realize that freedom is always a choice. In writing this book, I changed my entire life to fit what I wanted to teach others and this meant moving into the wilderness, giving up my salary, living minimal and finding the slower pace of life that comes from valuing your freedom.
WHO IS YOUR IDEAL READER? WHO DO YOU WRITE FOR?
Sez: The reader of Inspired Mama are those women who already have young children or who are pregnant and share the common fear of losing their own dreams during motherhood.
Women who have travelled, who have had a lot of freedom pre-motherhood and women who have an interest in the spiritual path will be especially interested in owning this book (I refer to spirituality as the ability to be guided by something other than the mind). The book is written for soul searchers, spirit seekers and conscious creators… who also happen to be mothers, and for all those women whose identities were laced with freedom before children.
WHAT IS THE MOST SURPRISING THING YOU DISCOVERED WHILE WRITING?
Sez: I was most surprised that I needed a writing schedule. As a free-spirited woman, I thought I would be able to write only when I was inspired or felt the desire but I only ever wrote consistently good quality work when I woke at 5am and wrote everyday on a fixed routine. I needed a lot more discipline than I thought I would but it was the most valuable lesson learnt for me.
IN YOUR OPINION, WHAT ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT ELEMENTS OF GOOD WRITING?
Sez: Good writing, in my opinion, comes from a truly good story. You can read the work of someone who is passionate about guiding you through their own, unique story. Words come to those who are passionate about describing every emotion, every environment and every element in their book through palpable detail.
DO YOU VIEW WRITING AS A SPIRITUAL PRACTICE AND IF YES, HOW?
Sez: Writing is remedial in every way. Writing creates a space for the soul to manifest into something tangible and it gives permission to say the words you wish to say, do the things you wish to do on paper. Every dream begins on paper and as any writer knows that a blank page and a good pen can bring you closer to your greater Self. Spirituality to me is about cleansing yourself of what no longer serves you so that you can be guided by truth, in this way, writing offers me a way to rewrite who I want to be in the future. We are written and rewritten by the stories we tell ourselves, so being able to write yourself into a new one really is a spiritual practice.
WHAT WAS THE GREATEST CHALLENGE IN YOUR WRITING PROCESS AND HOW WERE YOU ABLE WRITE REGARDLESS?
Sez: Initially, I wanted to write 3 chapters and then send a proposal off to a publishing house for consideration but I soon realized no one wants to read a first draft from the first book from first-time writer. So, I had to write the entire book, 3 times over, before anyone would at least look at it. I kept going through sheer madness and the fact I had nothing to go back to. I quit my job to prove to myself (and my husband) that I could be successful at doing something I loved. Nothing drives a woman like the fear of having to return to a life that was unsupportive of her creative freedom.
WHAT WAS YOUR FAVOURITE PART AND LEAST FAVOURITE PART OF THE PUBLISHING PROCESS?
Sez: It has been an incredible process being published, mostly because of how difficult it was to achieve. The publisher I am with is very community-minded and we have weekly author support calls, which has been a lifesaver in dealing with uncertainties and being able to talk with others about your challenges. I am also a self-published author and I do enjoy the autonomy one has over the whole process of creating and selling a book, so that is something I have to learn to be comfortable with in being traditionally published.
HOW DO YOU THINK BEING A WRITER HAS HELPED YOU AS A PERSON?
Sez: Resilience. Endurance. Humility. These are the traits I would not have said I possessed before authorship. My expectations were probably my greatest enemy in my life and since becoming an author, I have had to shift everything into a space of surrender. I would say being an author has helped me the same as becoming a mother has helped me; they both require giving up some old beliefs that keep you small and comfortable.
WHAT BOOKS HAVE FORTIFIED YOU AS A WRITER?
Sez: The women who run with the wolves, Clarissa Pinkola Estes has given me permission to write poetically. I have longed to write in that old-soul style but never knew there would be an audience for those words. I read and listen to all of her work not only to enrich my vocabulary but to remember that there are many ways to tell a story.
I read a varied amount of work from all genres to all eras as a way of making sure my work is not too concentrated and comparable to others.
ARE YOU CURRENTLY WORKING ON ANYTHING YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE WITH YOUR READERS?
Sez: I have written a journal for 25 years now and am working on a prompt journal for self-healing. It is something I have truly loved doing because it gives me an entirely new type of project to work on. I need to think about branding more than I have before and have created all the illustrations myself, so I feel this is a great symbiosis of my work in marketing, writing poetry and emotional healing. It is called the daily heal journal; http://www.thedailyhealjournal.com and created for sensitive souls who carry the world in their hearts.
**Special thanks to Sez Kristiansen for granting this interview. Wishing you all the best in your career as a writer.
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