“We live in such a content-saturated society now where everyone has a voice and a platform, and we’re all sharing it with the world all the time. The words you share with the world are important, so make them good!”
When I met Liz Feezor a few months ago, I was really fascinated by the her blog’s name; Stylish Disaster. Not only is that name genius, but the fact she decided to leave the corporate world to work as a full time writer is very fierce and brave. I love surrounding myself and this blog with intrepid creatives that have allowed themselves to overcome fears, doubts, and judgement. Liz is a clear example that following your dreams with a clear intention will lead you to live the life that you always wanted. There are an incredible amount of lessons to be learned in the solopreneur path, all of them will teach you how to create new ways to transform your world into a better place. I’ve always felt that being a writer is one of the most difficult things to do because words are so powerful, and putting the chaos of an idea into words to send an honest message should be every writer’s responsibility. Meeting someone like Liz who writes because it’s her true form of expression and passion, it’s not only a blessing but an honor, she wants to make a difference by helping others communicate in a clear and honest way. I like to believe that creative people are mages who can transform anything. Liz is a true mage, she transforms her words into magical places we can all access. Below is her story in her own words, please keep scrolling down and take a magical read.
- Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Liz Feezor, and I’m a writer and creative consultant based in Austin, Texas.
- Where did you grow up and how does that shape what you do today?
I was born and raised in Houston, and then my family relocated to Boise, Idaho the summer before my freshman year of high school. That cross-country move was a big culture shock and very emotionally difficult for me at the time, but I learned so much about myself and other people by having my life uprooted at that age. It also made me fearless about packing up and moving in search of a better life: I’ve done it several times since then!
- Name something you love, and why?
I love people, plain and simple. I love sitting down with people and learning about their lives, their experiences, their hopes and dreams, their proclivities… people are just fascinating, and I love finding just the right words to describe people and the work that they do.
- What are basic and important aspects people should know about you as a writer?
I am a lifelong learner and student of languages. I majored in Spanish and minored in German for my undergraduate degree: studying other languages has opened so many doors for me personally and professionally, and has also given me a much greater appreciation for the English language. I’m continually in pursuit of just the right words in my writing. I take my work very seriously, but I’m not an inherently serious person. “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of fun” is my mantra.
- How did you find your passion?
I learned to read before I was 2 years old, and I’ve been a reader and learner ever since. Writing assignments in school were always my favorite, and creating communication pieces has always been my strong suit professionally. My passion for writing for and about other people has always been there I suppose, but it wasn’t until relatively recently that I gave myself permission to live my life and create work in a way that truly aligns with my passions and values.
- What is your ideology as a writer?
I have a lot of reverence for the power of language and its ability to transform lives, and my “why” is to harness this power to help others. We live in such a content-saturated society now where everyone has a voice and a platform, and we’re all sharing it with the world all the time. The words you share with the world are important, so make them good!
- How do you overcome your fears?
When I figure that out, I’ll let you know! 😉 I’m learning that, as an entrepreneur, you really have to humble yourself and be open to learning about business, about others, and about yourself in order to grow and improve. I’m new to the world of self-employment (I worked in the corporate world for over 15 years), and getting over the fear of saying “I don’t know” or asking for help when I need it has helped tremendously.
- In what way have you grown by writing?
I’ve learned that perfectionism is not healthy, that a lot of great stuff can happen in the gray areas of the unknown, and that I learn something new every time I write!
- Who inspires you today?
Other female solopreneurs out there hustling and doing great work that means something to them. Anyone who’s found purpose-driven work that moves them and is supporting themselves doing that work. People who do very difficult, often thankless emotional labor like social work and counseling, activism, and teaching. Inspiration truly is everywhere.
- Professionally, what’s your goal?
To support myself doing work that is meaningful to me and those around me. What that translates to in tangible terms is earning at or beyond what I was making in the corporate world doing something I love. That’s the goal! 🙂
- How is it owning a business as a woman?
In a word, weird. I never have thought of myself as entrepreneurial, yet that’s what I’m doing now. I’ve only ever worked for someone else before breaking out on my own, so it’s been a total 180-degree spin for me professionally. There’s always something you don’t know, and there’s always something else you could be working on. No one is telling you what to do or how to do it, which is amazing and terrifying all at once.
- What is the best piece of advice you will give to someone who wants to follow their heart and pursue their passion?
There’s really no other way than to just DO IT. I talked about it and agonized over it for YEARS before I finally decided I was going to take my passions seriously. Decisions by committee and input from others can be valuable, but ultimately, following your heart and your passions is a decision you need to make for yourself. You are your own best advocate.
- Can you talk to us more about Stylish Disaster?
(laughs) So I started this blog almost nine years ago after seeing the movie ‘Julie and Julia’ about a woman who blogs her way through Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking. I’m not into cooking, but the blogging part I was obsessed with. I started a blog called ‘Dressing to the Nines in the 208’ (the 208 is a nod to Idaho’s area code… that’s right, there’s one phone area code for the entire state). The blog changed names a few times since then following moves to Seattle and then to Austin, and I landed on the Stylish Disaster name a few years ago. It’s a fitting moniker, I think: a happy, stylish exterior can often mask a lot of pain and self-doubt, and that’s certainly something I’ve struggled with. My blog has become more of a collection of personal essays and short stories than a blog in the traditional sense, and it’s a big part of my writing portfolio that I’m proud of.
- What advice about becoming a writer have you happily ignored?
That “I can always just write for fun!” While that’s true, I don’t want to just “write for fun”, I want to write for work, and I want to write to change the world. I’m slowly learning to advocate myself and the idea that my work has a lot more value than others might place on it
- What is your ritual to stay creative?
I’ve found that I tend to do my best work in the morning, so I like to wake up and start writing as the first thing I do. As soon as I let myself get distracted by emails and social media (and this is a bad habit I’m working to get better at), I lose focus quickly. I’ve also recently taken to playing on my drum pad (I was a percussionist in a previous life) when I’m feeling creatively stuck or anxious, which is frequently.
- What is your dream project?
I have several things on my “someday” list of things I’d love to accomplish professionally: write a book, keynote a conference, conduct an on-air interview with someone I really admire. Lately my stated “stretch goal” for myself is to write for TV, which I think would be immensely gratifying professionally and a whole hell of a lot of fun. Collaborating with great, creative minds is how I’ve done some of the work I’m most proud of, and doing it at that level is an absolute dream.