Isabelle | From consultant to singer / songwriter
By Eleni Meraki
I chose to study law at university, mainly because I didn’t know what else to choose. My love for language and writing helped me stay interested enough to graduate but to say I was passionate about law...not really. As a student I worked as a singing waitress in a well-known Italian restaurant. Music and writing were always passions of mine. I never told anyone about the writing though, I thought I wasn’t talented enough.
5 THINGS ABOUT
HOUSE CONVERTED INTO MUSIC STUDIO | JUST TURNED 30 | LAW GRADUATE | SINGING WAITRESS | CAT CALLED FIEN
LEAP OF FAITH
I wanted to feel like I was somehow contributing to a better world, so I applied as a strategic consultant at a sustainable energy consulting firm.
Within my first year of working, at age 26, I had a stroke. After six months of tests I underwent surgery to the narrow arteries in my brain. Luckily it was curable. Then, almost a month after my surgery, my sister was diagnosed with an incurable brain tumor. While I was rehabilitating, I spent a lot of time with her during her final months. She passed away 11 months after her diagnosis.
Just after my sister had passed away was a a national holiday. I saw thousands of people partying in the streets and I had a sudden realisation of how small I was in this big world. And that I might as well do that what made me the happiest, life's too short.
WRITING AND SINGING
During this rollercoaster I had also broken up with my boyfriend and my best friend had walked out of my life. I needed to find and put back the pieces of myself after all that I had lost in the past two years. I wanted to get as far away as possible, so I flew to Hawaii for a month.
In Hawaii I wrote every day, writing was my therapy. Dialogues, conversations with the people I had lost and with myself.
At the time I didn't realise these were the start of my autobiographical book…
Back home I switched jobs and started working part-time for a small company as a marketing/copy writer. I sent the 15 pages I had written in Hawaii to a friend of mine, a writer and editor-in-chief at a publishing house. He was blown away and encouraged me to approach publishing houses with my work.
Unbelievable but true, several publishers wanted to publish my story and I had the luxury of choice. I went with the publisher that offered me the time I needed to process my emotions and get them on paper, and wasn’t primarily interested in numbers and time frames. After signing my book deal, I started writing like a maniac and a few months later sat staring at a blank page; writer's block. After all that had happened over the past two years, I wanted to live life, not just write about it. I paused my book for a year, with my publisher's full support.
I started writing lyrics and picked up singing again.
THE TOUGH TIMES
o find your own path and discover your own talents you need to detach from the opinions and voices around you. Start asking yourself why you do the things you do. This sounds easier than it actually is.
Life is a bumpy road and I believe that all the tough times are part of your journey too. So embrace them, because these things shape you.
Sometimes, when I am frustrated or things don’t go my way, I have to relax. You can control a lot, but not everything.
In order to be able to focus seriously on writing my book and recording music, I saved up for a year and a half while working as a marketeer. When I had enough to live off for a year, I quit my job and now live from my savings while I focus fully on writing and music.
A year is a lot but I would definitely advise a financial buffer for 3 to 6 months. Or find a part-time job for 3 days a week to finance whatever you are pursuing.
THE ALBUM RELEASE
Recording an album would cost me somewhere between €15.000 and €20.000. I don’t have those kind of resources, so I'm sharing the rights of my music in order to produce an album. This is a system my producer uses for more upcoming artists.
5 INSIDER TIPS
Be vulnerable and open. Realise that you don’t know anything and that's OK.
Fear and doubt are part of the journey, accepting that means you learn and connect much faster.
Don’t think too much about the future. Worry and fear stifle optimism and creativity.
Never give up. Focus on what is working.
Remember to unwind and relax, that’s how the best ideas pop up and the most amazing contacts originate.
Written by Eleni Meraki
Eleni is the founder of Guts & Tales. She is a hypnotherapist, mind-trainer, coach and creator of the women’s coaching program Be Your Own Muse. She helps women become clear, confident and courageous to be and live true to themselves.