Maggie Hamilton is an author and spiritual teacher who has only recently left the cut-throat world of modern publishing to concentrate full time on her creative pursuits.
Author Maggie Hamilton
She has been a mentor, guide and friend of mine for a long time, so I thought I'd ask her a few questions about productivity, the gifts of friendship and her wonderful new book Secret Girls' Business.
More about Maggie and her books at the end of this Q&A:
1. In your book Secret Girls’ Business you lay out a whole range of activities and projects for girls. When you were a girl, what were some of your favourite creative outlets?
|Contents page of Secret Girls' Business (scan from 366books.blogspot.com)|
I was lucky to grow up in a house brimming with creativity. On Saturday nights my little sister and I would put on 'shows' for my parents. We took great delight at leaping out from behind the sitting room curtains to sing and dance and twirl around. We were constantly off to somewhere interesting and unusual - to graveyards and junk shops, local museums and galleries, old ruins and walks in the woods.
We were fortunate to grow up at a time where kids had plenty of access to their elders, and the amazing yarns they'd share. Personally I loved to knit and spin, draw and paint, and collect lovely stones and shells, twigs and leaves, to lie on the grass and look up at the sky, to spend hours searching rock pools for signs of life during my early years.
|Beautiful envelopes inspire thoughtful letter writing - image from Maggie Hamilton|
2. What are some of the principles you live your life by now?
I've rediscovered the profound gifts of nature, and need regular time there for inspiration, solace and solitude. And I couldn't live without meditation. I guess we all need to find holy places and practices, to help us be more whole human beings. Beauty is so important to me also, because genuine beauty feeds the spirit.
I try to live sustainably - to walk lightly on this precious planet of ours, to be kind to other living things, to nourish those around me, as I always gain so much more than I give. And to find moments for joy and laughter - we've all got a bit too serious.
|Create your own jewellery - image from Maggie Hamilton|
3. Who do you think would most benefit from reading Secret Girls’ Business?
Girls in need of a little love, inspiration and encouragement, who'd like a creative injection, and new ways to be happy and feel good about themselves.
|Store precious things in vintage suitcases - image from Maggie Hamilton|
4. What was a great gift – a break or a piece of advice - someone gave you early on in your writing journey?
I had a wonderful drama teacher Berwyn who, along with my parents, taught me to live passionately, to do things for the sheer love of them and not to be caught up in whether or not you're going to be amazing. Passion is the juice of life. And, if we love something, truly love it, then chances are others will too.
5. Any tips for other creative people on how to think laterally when it comes to productivity and creative output?
Creative expression is a tender thing. Like a newborn child it needs love, patience, time and nurture. Many wonderful creative moments never see the light of day. They're crushed by expectations and self-criticism, by impatience and failing to give the time needed to make something truly sing.
And every creative journey is a spiritual journey too. There are the mountain top moments and the dark nights of the soul. Each journey, if we have the courage to see it through, teaches us more about ourselves and the world. It makes us wiser, more patient, more willing to be our own person, and to encourage others to do the same.
About Maggie Hamilton:
Maggie's many books include Secret Girls' Business,a one-stop fun guide to girls living more creative empowered lives. This sits alongside What Men Don't Talk About And Why, based on her research into the lives of real men and boys and how they see their world. What's Happening to Our Girls? based on two years' research into the twenty-first century lives of girls, presents an insider's view into the challenges girls are currently experiencing, and the solutions to these issues. In her book What’s Happening to Our Boys? Maggie puts the lives of our boys under the microscope, uncovering the issues they struggle with, and how best they can be supported.
In Love Your Work, Maggie presents a philosophy of work that meets the challenges of increasing workloads, shrinking resources, retrenchment and takeovers, inspiring us to reclaim our lives within and beyond work.
Maggie has also published a number of additional books including Coming Home: Rediscovering Our Sacred Selves and Magic of the Moment.
She is passionate about life, ideas, creativity and ancient wisdom and you can read a fascinating book review she wrote recently for our Universal Heart Book Club here.