Katharine “Katie” Sise is a New York City based author, jewelry designer and television host. Years ago, at age twenty-four— after dropping a rare and very expensive bottle of champagne on her way to deliver it to Robert De Niro’s table—she realized she needed a way to fund her acting and writing career that didn’t involve balancing a tray full of cocktails. That fall, she taught herself to make jewelry and launched Katharine Sise Jewelry. Within a few months, Lucky Magazine called her a “Designer to Watch” and her company appeared in every major fashion magazine—including Vogue, W, Elle, Self, Lucky, InStyle, Bazaar, Allure, Us Weekly, People, In Touch, Page Six Magazine, Real Simple, FN, Life and Style, Teen Vogue, Seventeen, Women’s Wear Daily, Marie Claire and Glamour. Before she knew it, her celebrity clientele included Kate Winslet, Cameron Diaz, Kelly Ripa, Ellen Pompeo, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Beyonce Knowles, Anne Hathaway and Drew Barrymore.
Katharine’s first novel, The Boyfriend App, will be published by HarperCollins Balzer + Bray on April 30, 2013. The Boyfriend App tells the story of a girl who, in order to win a scholarship offered by a secretly-evil global computing corporation, invents an app that makes any boy fall madly in love with her, with chaotic results.
Hi Luna! Thanks for having me on your blog and for giving me free reign on a guest post. When you told me I could talk about anything, I gave some thought to what I really wanted to say. I think I have it, and I hope it’s helpful!
I know a lot of blog readers are writers, too, or do other kinds of creative work. So I thought I could talk about the biggest lesson I’ve learned while navigating a creative career path over the past decade. (And I’m still learning! But at least here’s what I have so far 🙂 )
What I’ve learned is to be both present and grateful for every little step along the way. It took me so long to learn how to do this, so if writing about it turns you onto the concept faster, then this guest post will be worth it!
(And you might think: “Easy for her to say. Her book is published!” But I promise I’ve been there: I’ve had jobs from bartending to stocking potato chips on Wal-Mart shelves for my Uncle Doug’s potato chip company. There’s a common saying that published writers are unpublished writers who never stopped trying. I believe that.)
For me, being present is about realizing I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be in each moment. For so many years, I wasn’t able to do that. I kept saying things to myself like: “If I could just do this one more thing, then I’ll really be happy with my career.” When I got my first book deal for a nonfiction career guide called CREATIVE GIRL, I thought to myself, “This is good, but when I sell a novel, then I’ll really have made it.” Motivation can create great things, but the problem with this way of thinking is that there’s always one more thing that you convince yourself will be the moment that you’ve made it. This way of thinking feeds off of dissatisfaction with the present. It emphasizes lack. Thoughts are powerful, and when I made a conscious effort to shift them to something more positive and present, I noticed a big change in my experience of what was happening. Put simply, I enjoyed it more. It slowed me down. It freed me to create. The easiest way I’ve found to change thoughts like these is by expressing gratitude for little steps along the way. Whether that’s a morning free to write at my favorite coffee shop, or a breakthrough with a character, or writing the last page of a novel. All three are worthy of noticing, and feeling grateful for.
Trust that you’ve already made it. The best part of a creative life is the fulfillment of creating just for the sake of expression and because it’s what you love to do. So keep writing. Keep creating every day. And take a breath and realize you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be. Being mindful and aware of this is one of the best ways to honor the creative part of you who’s likely been creating since she was small. Be gentle. Speak kindly to this part of you. And then watch how it frees you to create anything and everything.
The Boyfriend App is out today!
Audrey McCarthy can’t wait to get out of high school. Her father’s death and the transformation of her one-time BFF, Blake Dawkins, into her worst nightmare have her longing for the new start college will bring.
But college takes money. So Audrey decides she has to win the competition for the best app designed by a high schooler—and the $200,000 that comes with it. She develops something she calls the Boyfriend App, and suddenly she’s the talk of the school and getting kissed by the hottest boys around. But can the Boyfriend App bring Audrey true love?
Check back later in May for my review of The Boyfriend App!