Copyright Clancy Tucker (c)
Quote of the day:
"What we think, or what we know,
or what we believe is,
in the end, of little consequence.
The only consequence is what we do."
- Guest Author
Today I welcome a guy I know fairly well. He's a very good writer and poet who lives in Western Australia - Kim Stedman. Kim's life has been one great learning experience, from farming, to military service, a career “on air” in radio, a financial planner and now author, educator and entrepreneur.
In 2008 he wrote 'Economic Vision', the foundation of personal financial freedom. He is a published poet and writer of positive mental attitude short stories and essays. Economic Vision is a major long term vision, to reach and teach people to create financial freedom through influencing families, communities, nations and ultimately the world. Kim’s longstanding passion for the preservation of history is reflected in his soon to be published first novel, 'Diggers Daughters'.
Welcome, Kim. Tell us more ...
TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF AND YOUR WRITING JOURNEY.
I was born and raised in rural Western Australia amidst a very large extended family ranging from their 90’s and downwards. Being raised in that climate fostered a love of old things and people. Dad died just before my fourth birthday and I was often told I was like him. (right up to the time Mum died three years ago.) One of his passions was writing, in particular poetry. During extended periods Mum and Dad were apart they wrote a lot of letters as people did back then. Following service in the Australian Army I moved on to a career in commercial radio. This led to fifteen years in financial planning. So I can safely say I haven’t had a boss for over 25 years.
WHEN AND HOW DID YOU BECOME A WRITER?
Sitting on the tank-stand behind the school lunch shed at the age of twelve I made my first serious attempt at writing poetry. On the school bus I’d tell stories to the younger kids and from that the story teller was born. A few years later when I was in the army I wrote a lot of letters to family and girlfriend of the time. I wanted to share the sights of Melbourne and Southern Victoria.
WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST JOY BEING A WRITER?
The satisfaction of creating living, lasting images from thoughts. Of knowing that something meaningful can be shared with many others.
Realising that I can have a lasting influence on people and families lives. In radio it was a few seconds of words while the microphone was open, in a book it is a ‘hands on’ (kinaesthetic) visual and emotional experience. Emotion is one of the most important elements in the absorption and retention of knowledge.
As Carl Sagan said, “A book is proof that humans are capable of working magic.”
Pretty awesome when you think of it that way.
WHAT IS THE HARDEST THING ABOUT BEING A WRITER?
What I call the post production ‘stuff.’ Essential as it is the promotion and marketing detracts from the time and focus available to commit so many of the ideas of new stories and ideas to paper, but I guess that’s what good old fashioned notepads (not the computerised ones) are for.
DESCRIBE YOUR BOOK IN FIVE WORDS OR LESS.
The foundations of financial freedom.
HOW DID THE IDEAS FOR YOUR BOOK COME TO YOU?
Having clients who had no financial goals or idea of managing their own finances, had no structure. As a financial planner there were limitations on what information or advice could be given to client. One way around that was to create a book that could be a self help manual.
IS THERE A MESSAGE IN YOUR BOOK THAT YOU WANT READERS TO GRASP?
It takes structure in thinking, action and support to create personal financial freedom
How you’re living now doesn’t have to be how you’re going to live for the rest of your life. Economic Vision is designed to be a simple learning process providing the tools and how to use them. It also shows why dreams and goals are important and how professional advice can help make the present and the future much more peaceful places.
Copyright Clancy Tucker (c)
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO WRITE ABOUT FINANCIAL SELF MANAGEMENT?
Many people I spoke with as a financial planner had never learned the basics of good financial self-management. There’s one simple principle and two rules at the foundation of financial success. The principle is “the more I get to keep the better off I am and the more I can help others.” It’s done by either reducing expenditure and/or increasing income.
Economic Vision deals with failings of the education system to teach appropriate financial self-management, then establishes how our needs, from the most basic, to the deeper human needs affect our capacity to move towards that success.
It’s the knowledge, the thinking and the practical application necessary to create the ideal future.
WHAT WERE YOU IN A PAST LIFE, BEFORE YOU BECAME A WRITER?
Farmhand (on the family farm), Soldier, telecommunications technician, broadcaster (copywriter as well), financial planner.
WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST WRITING ACHIEVEMENT?
Publishing my first book in 1996. A collection of poems written over the preceding fifteen years. The Road Home traces the emotional journey from young man through adventures, traumas and losses. From the soaring highs to the crashing lows. The Road Home is the point where we start to seek solace and make sense of the journey.
Writing it proved very cathartic.
WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON AT THE MOMENT?
An historical novel based on fact. An inside view if you will of the life of my late mother. To present to the world a view of someone that I both loved and respected and now in writing her story am finding how little I really knew her. So to everyone, take the time to get to know your parents really well, before the chance is taken away.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
The Universe. By that I mean the night sky. Rousing old Hymns in an old church full of wonderful people. Courage of everyday people like my mum and grandparents who had a ''no quit' attitude. Mothers. The much understated and underrated role in life, yet the most important.
WHAT GENRE DO YOU WRITE?
Poetry, business, historical fact/fiction, songs, philosophy.
DID YOU HAVE TO DO MUCH RESEARCH FOR THIS BOOK
Yes and no. It’s a combination of experience and the training as a financial planner.
Truth be told it started from childhood with grandparents on both sides of the family being self-employed. Two people inspired me to write Economic Vision. My maternal grandfather who arrived in Australia aged 22 with ten pounds (twenty dollars) and a sea trunk. Sixty three years later his estate was valued in excess of two million dollars. Also my step father who bought a run down farm in the fifties and left a substantial debt free estate in 2006.
Inspiration comes from association.
DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS FOR NEW WRITERS?
Find something you’re passionate about, that will provide the energy. As one of my mentors said, thoughts become things. So use your thoughts and feelings to create the image and then just ‘let it out.’
See it, feel it, live it, breath it. To me writing is not an intellectual pursuit, it’s something that is carried inside of you and constantly seeking an outward expression. When I started writing my mother’s story there were bits that I knew and I quickly realised how much I didn’t know. However once I started writing the story and settings became real.
As Miyagi says to ‘Daniel san’ in Karate Kid, “best karate (writing, thoughts, ideas) inside, now time to let it out!”
DO YOU SUFFER FROM WRITER’S BLOCK?
DO YOU HAVE A PREFERRED WRITING SCHEDULE?
No. Writing to me is very spontaneous. The idea becomes a thought, becomes a feeling, becomes an action.
Copyright Kim Stedman (c)
DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE WRITING PLACE?
Places that I feel comfortable in or those surrounded by memories. Currently I’m renovating a room my grandfather did his best work in while my grandmother played her pump organ.
WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST JOY IN WRITING?
Taking seeds of ideas and bringing them to life. When I’m in the zone and a thought, feeling or idea is finding expression on the page, picture is emerging and I get lost in the plot I’m writing. At this point it takes on a life of it’s own and it becomes an escape from the real world in much the same way that reading something or watching a good movie can do. That’s when I experience the ‘writers rush’ and experience the high of creating something.
WHO IS YOUR FAVOURITE AUTHOR AND WHY?
Holocaust survivor, neurologist and psychiatrist Viktor Frankl in his 1946 book “Mans’ Search for Meaning,” provides deep insights into humanity while under the duress of being confined to Auschwitz concentration camp. It also provides a unique perspective on life in the death camps of World War II while also providing insights into the current day where we are fighting the invisible enemy, our own thoughts.
This book should be mandatory reading in every high schools.
WHAT’S THE GREATEST COMPLIMENT YOU EVER RECEIVED FROM A READER?
Everyone should have a copy of this before they see their advisor. (Brad Cochrane a financial planner speaking about Economic Vision)
WHAT WAS THE WORST COMMENT FROM A READER?
My brother once said he didn’t understand my poetry, it was too complex. The interesting thing is that he was right. So thanks Bob. It made me a better writer.
Copyright Clancy Tucker (c)
WRITERS ARE SOMETIMES INFLUENCED BY THINGS THAT HAPPEN IN THEIR OWN LIVES. ARE YOU?
Most definitely. Interactions with people. Experiences in the workplace, particularly the army. The birth of your child and subsequently grandchildren. Time spent with the elderly, just soaking up their wisdom and humility that comes from a lifetime of experiences.
Getting caught in the rain.
The night sky in the country.
OTHER THAN WRITING, WHAT ELSE DO YOU LOVE?
Spend time with nature, I find it inspiring. This started with my Dad showing us the wonders of the night sky. Then spending a lot of time with my grandparents in the bush. This left a deep and lasting connection which later became a passion for preservation of the natural environment.
One of the other things is to just ‘spend time’ with people, particularly the elderly and the young. Conversations with them can be both insightful and inspiring.
The elderly provide a window into a very different world to one we live in today. The young with their passion and energy provide a hope for the future. Having grand children ranging from fifteen down to seven provides a window into the future beyond my own life.
Two examples come to mind. The first sitting on the veranda alongside my ninety year old great grandfather watching steam trains at the age of six is indelibly stamped in my mind. The second was walking the beach at sunset with one of my granddaughters who shared her thoughts and feelings on her life at the time. I feel privileged and humbled by both of these experiences.
Also simply being, sitting watching a sunset, a child at play, spending time with stimulating people, gardening, flying, romantic dinners, sharing, a log fire on a winters night with rain falling on an iron roof, clouds, thunderstorms, the first green of winter, the smell of new mown hay, the world viewed from the sky. Studying people, celebrations, music, finding old books, preserving history and...well I think you get the picture.
I love life.
DID YOU HAVE YOUR BOOK / BOOKS PROFESSIONALLY EDITED BEFORE PUBLICATION?
Yes, by a former primary school teacher/author, a fellow financial planner, a legal professional and publisher.
Copyright Vicki Tyley (c)
DESCRIBE YOUR PERFECT DAY.
Sitting on a rock in the middle of the desert with my boomerang in my hand. Seriously though any day that there’s someone to love, something to do and something to look forward to.
Rise early hear the dawn chorus (the birds) see the sunrise and while sipping on a cup of tea. Enjoying the moment. Spend some time with good friends or inspiring people. Spend some time in solitude later in the afternoon reflecting, preferably outdoors or at the lake. Write about life, what has been, what is and what can be. Watch the sunset while contemplating the good things of the day. Then take my wife to dinner.
IF YOU WERE STUCK ON A DESERT ISLAND WITH ONE PERSON, WHO WOULD YOU LIKE IT TO BE? WHY?
All jokes aside, the love of my life. She is an inspiring thinker and achiever. We function well as a team, particularly when the ‘chips are down’. She has a great sense of humour, is very insightful and can turn any situation around. What’s more, we’re both writers so imagine the stories we could tell at the end of the time on ‘the island’.
IF YOU HAD AN OPPORTUNITY TO SPEAK TO THE ENTIRE WORLD, WHAT WOULD YOU SAY?
Probably open with “now listen up!” Seriously though…
All of us on this planet are a part of something far greater than we generally are aware of or acknowledge. Our focus is, in the majority of cases, on survival. Yet by working together on the things that count, like our environment and the general welfare of all humanity our human experience can be enriched.
There are many examples of people who are remembered for their work, examples that we can each follow if we choose to. If we each do our ‘little bit’ then we can make the change necessary and have the satisfaction in the end of knowing that our lives have counted for something. Even if history forgets us our legacy will live on.
You may never see the results of helping someone else, even if it’s just words of encouragement, but when you realise the snowball effect of compassion and encouragement you would be amazed to see the results a hundred years from now.
WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THE FUTURE?
Eight manuscripts at various stages of development and some ideas that will awaken a passion for an awareness of the value and preservation of history. Most significant is my first novel (in progress, Diggers Daughters. Ultimately the development of Economic Vision as a comprehensive, formal financial education platform.)
I also want to see Diggers Daughters made into a movie to highlight the impact of war on the women whose role was family during a time of major conflict and hardship. The passion for this comes from three generations of my ancestors and the realisation of their strength of character and dignity to serve as an example to the younger generation.
Beyond that have Economic Vision evolve into a platform to support fiscal education and development on a global level.
To live life to the fullest.
SHOULD YOU WRITE YOUR PERFECT BOOK, WHAT WOULD IT BE ABOUT?
It would be an idealistic view of ‘The World Possible”. A story of human vision, endeavour, romance and crowning achievements. I would want it to be a book that inspires readers to look beyond what they now have, encourages them to dream and then have the courage ‘do the work’ that leads to a better place.
An encouragement to ‘see it big, but keep it simple.’
My story would also present a case for change and to ‘become the best you can be’. Who knows this could be the start of that story and a world changing movement.
Kim's contact points:
Clancy's comment: Thanks, Kim. Great to have you aboard. Now, pack up all your worldly goods and head to that beautiful spot in Brooklands - CT.
I'm Clancy Tucker.