Stacy Sinclair, Life Long Writer and more...
Welcome to our first Free to Be…You and Me: Life Stories that Inspire Girl Possible post. Our new blog series is a place we created for all of us to get to know some interesting, fun and quirky things about the people who inspire us.
We are excited to introduce you to Stacy Sinclair, a writer, a mom and more. I have personally know Stacy for just over a year. She is witty, curious and has an interesting perspective on things.
Her willingness to step out of her comfort zone, answer our Girl Possible questionnaire and let us publish it for all of you to read is only one of the many things about Stacy that inspires us.
Here are basics, Stacy grew up in Brampton, Ontario and has always been a writer. After spending time in the advertising world she moved full time to writing and has published several short stories and essays and is currently working on her first full length novel.
You can find her online here:
Keep reading because we know you'll find Stacy as inspirational as we do!
What was your favourite thing to do in the summertime as a child?
Going for walks in the forest by my house, reading, and playing softball. At night, I would lay in bed and listen to the Toronto Blue Jays games on a little radio. The broadcasters’ voices would help me get to sleep.
What was your favourite Halloween costume you wore growing up and why?
One year my mom lovingly sewed me a beautiful head-to-toe white bunny costume. I think I was eight. The next year, I wanted to be something scary. We didn’t have a lot of money, so my Dad, who was good at drawing and sketching, transformed my white fuzzy bunny costume into a full size, realistic human skeleton costume, with nothing but a black marker, and it was AMAZING.
What is your career now? Career is a term we use broadly! It can mean a traditional career such as an accountant or a lawyer or something completely different such as a stay at home parent or a small business run out of your home.
I’ve always made a career as a writer. I began as a copywriter, which means I wrote commercials and billboards and ads for the internet. I used to work in ad agencies, but started freelancing – which means working for myself, not a company – about twelve years ago. While I still do some freelance copywriting, I also write fiction – I’ve published short stories and have recently finished my first novel. All the writing I’ve done the past few years, I do from home. With lots of trial and error, I’ve slowly found a way to work and take care of my family at the same time. It’s a nice balance.
What is it like to be a woman in that industry?
I’m lucky to have had so many other female writers to look up to and learn from, both in the advertising industry and the publishing world, whether it’s by having conversations with them, or reading their amazing work. There are so many women in Canada authoring great fiction.
Families come in all shapes and sizes, tell us about your family today. Who is most important to you in your life today?
My family is an odd little bunch. I live with my husband and two children. My son is nine and my daughter is eight. I also have a very loud dog. We’re all very close, and spend way too much time together. It’s pretty great.
What did you the first five years out of high school and how did it prepare you for what you are doing now?
I went to community college to study creative advertising. I also worked many jobs. I was a house painter, umpire, veterinary assistant, sales associate and hamburger flipper, before I got my first fulltime writing gig, at an ad agency in Toronto. While writing sounds like a very creative thing to do, it also takes a lot of discipline – so it’s a career where success is equally influenced by hard work and interesting life experiences.
Who were some of your role models growing up? How did they influence you?
My Mom and Dad, definitely. I always felt a little different than other kids, a little weird, because I lived so much in my imagination, and struggled a little bit in school. My parents were patient with me, they accepted and celebrated me, and they taught me how to be curious and big-hearted by leading through example.
My mom passed away from cancer when I was a young woman, and while that was incredibly sad and difficult, seeing not only her strength, but her continued empathy for others in the face of a really tough illness, taught me so much about courage and compassion.
What was your favourite grade in school and why?
Grade four! I remember reading Bunnicula! And going to sleepovers! And studying medieval times!
What teacher made the most impact on you and why?
In grade twelve, I was quite sick for a couple of months and couldn’t attend my high school, so they sent a teacher, Miss. Nunes, to my house twice a week so I could finish my English course. She was the first person that really encouraged me with my writing, and told me I should keep going with it. She pointed me in the direction of my future career.
What do you think it means to be a good friend?
Being a good friend means being yourself, being honest, and being supportive. Friends lift each other up. You don’t have to be similar to someone to get along well with them. Some of my best friendships are with people who are quite different than me. What matters is that we have our own comfortable way to be around each other, and we see our differences as a way to balance each other out.
What was or is your most important group of friends and why?
My friends in high school were amazing. I was so lucky to have a good group of people around me and some of my best memories are of just hanging out with them, not doing much of anything.
Since becoming a parent, I’ve really enjoyed getting to know other moms. Parenting can be pretty isolating sometimes, and again, I consider myself lucky to be connected to so many other women and families in my community. We celebrate the good days, joke about the bad ones, and have one another’s backs. I’d be a frazzled mess without them.
Was there a time you had trouble making friends? How did you handle that? Who helped you work through it?
I had a tough time in middle school and was pretty lonely. I leaned on my older brother a lot, and he was waaaay nicer to me than an older brother has any duty to be ;)
At Girl Possible we talk a lot about how perfection is not the goal and the importance of learning to be comfortable being wrong and / or failing. Can you tell us about a time when you weren’t perfect or didn’t achieve something the first time? How did it make you feel? How did you handle it? Did you try again? If so, what did you do differently?
So, when you become a writer, you have to get used not only sharing your work, but having people be critical of it, and having publishers reject it. It’s not failure exactly, but it is being told ‘No’, over and over again. That’s just the nature of sharing your stories – some people will connect with them, and other people won’t. Sometimes, when I’ve worked really hard on a story and there are no publishers out there that really fall in love with it, it hurts. But I don’t let it get to me too much. Instead I write something new and send that out instead. Eventually, someone says ‘yes’, and it’s great, but I’ve learned – am still learning, actually - to measure success on my own terms. If I’m happy with what I’ve written, then I consider that success. Everything else is out of my control.
We also talk about how magic happens when you step out of your comfort zone. When was a time you stepped out of your comfort zone? What were you doing and how did it make you feel?
When my husband and I first met, he wanted to take me rock climbing. He was pretty experienced. I was terrified of trying it, not only because it seemed scary, but because I was afraid I would embarrass myself by not being able to get three-feet off the ground. He was a good teacher though, and even though my heart was beating in my throat, I really, really enjoyed it. We’ve climbed together many, many times since, and are now making sure our children are comfortable with it as well. I’m so glad I didn’t let my fears get the best of me!
What are you passionate about?
I have boundless curiosity about nature. And humans. Also, cheese.
What advice would you give your 8-year-old self?
Don’t worry about the glasses. You’ll grow into them. You’ll grow into everything, actually. Just be patient.
If you could travel anywhere, where would you go and why?
Japan! The culture and landscape fascinate me.
What book would you recommend others read and why?
Read the book that calls to you, even if no one else is interested. Doing this will make you want to read more books, and books are just about better than anything.
What do you feel most proud of?
I feel proud of my collected experiences. From things like working and traveling, to being a mom and a friend - I’ve learned so, so much, and I love that I can pass my curiosity on to my children, and share it through my writing.
Thank you Stacy!
Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts and your stories.
And most of all thank you for inspiring us!
To our readers...Who inspires you? We would love to hear their story! Click here to learn how to be apart of our Free to Be…You and Me: Life Stories that Inspire Girl Possible blog series.