Thursday 2 June 2016

2inspire Inspirational Woman: Patti Clark, Author of This Way Up

In this interview we meet Patti Clark who is an accomplished speaker and workshop leader dedicated to helping people through various life transitions on their journey to an extraordinary life. For more than 30 years, and over several continents, Patti has been sharing her knowledge and wisdom with others. Her new book, This Way Up: Seven Tools for Unleashing Your Creative Self and Transforming Your Life, is her latest endeavour. She is a native of the San Francisco Bay Area,  has a B.A. in Social Sciences from UC Berkeley and an M.A. in Education. She has taught English at the University of Wisconsin, Madison and at Oregon State University. Patti spends part of her time in the United States, and part of her time in New Zealand. She and her husband and their two sons live near the beach on the Coromandel Peninsula. Read her inspirational interview and be ready to unleash your best creative life! 

Please tell us what is a typical business day for you?
I usually wake up at 6 AM, no alarm, just boing! For some reason my internal clock thinks that is when it needs to be awake.  I drink warm lemon juice first thing in the morning, have been doing that for years now, I absolutely believe in it’s health benefits.  I then get a cup of tea and go back to bed to journal.
I don’t have a ‘typical’ day after that.  I’m a writer and a workshop facilitator, so it depends on my schedule.  My workshops are usually in the morning, and I try to write daily in the afternoon. 
I try to walk on the beach near my house daily.  Walking on the beach is one of my favorite things to do.
And in the evening I love to read.  I’m a book junkie.

What made you start writing and how did you get started?
I started writing my book, This Way Up: Seven Tools for Unleashing Your Creative Self and Transforming Your Life ten years ago.  I had been facilitating workshops in personal development for women for many years and had been an avid Positive Psychology follower for years as well.
The process actually began at a bookstore in 2006, while I sat with my son Lukas, having coffee and leafing through a stack of self-help books. He asked why I hadn’t written my own book. He said that I had been telling him the stuff in those books for years, and that I shouldn’t be reading other people’s work, but writing my own.
I knew immediately he was right. If I didn’t start writing, I felt like my own sons would doubt what I had been saying for years: “Follow your dreams! You can do it!” Not to mention it would be a kind of betrayal to myself.
Many of the participants in my workshops had asked if there was a workbook to use as a follow up once the workshop itself concluded. I have those women and my sons to thank for ultimately inspiring me to write This Way Up.

What would you say has been your greatest accomplishment in the business world to date?
I have had several people tell me that my book has been transformational for them, that the 12 week journaling workbook helped them through a really tough time.  And that just makes my heart sing.
One of the things that was very fun was that my high school English teacher (from over 40 years ago!) read the book and loved it and said wonderful things about it.  That was very cool!

What has been your biggest challenge in business so far?
Doing everything that is required to market my book.  I thought “Phew! Now I’m done.” Once the book was finished and went to the publisher; but oh my that is when the real work began.  Marketing one’s own material is challenging and requires a lot of tenacity.

What are your future plans for the business? 
I am launching an Online Workshop Series, based on my book.  The workshop runs for 12 weeks and follows the format of the workbook.  It’s online so there will be women from all over the world participating.  I’m really excited about it.

If you had to do it all over again, what would you do differently? 
Start the whole marketing process a lot earlier.  Everything needs to be set and already moving well before the book is published.  I feel like I’ve been running to catch up to myself for months.

Why is it so important to inspire young women in particular to follow their dreams?
Great Question!  One of the things that we do in our workshops here in NZ is ask women what they wish they could have told their younger selves way back when.  And the answers are all so moving. 
We are so hard on ourselves and the messages from social media in particular are harsh!  We need to be gentler to ourselves and be our own best friends. 
Young women are the future of this world, they need to be nurtured and inspired!

What advice would you give to somebody who wants to start a business in your industry?
Don’t give up! No matter what!  Writing and publishing requires such tenacity and perseverance. It is not for the faint of heart, that’s for sure. Believe in yourself, be your own cheer leader.

What or who inspires you in business and why?
In my field, I have three favorite authors that inspire me:
Anne Lamott
Julia Cameron
Shakti Gawain

These three women writers are all inspirational to me for different reasons: their honesty, their spirit and their willingness to speak their truth.

What is your favourite inspirational quote?

“The most important decision we make is whether we believe we live in a friendly or hostile universe.”

- Albert Einstein

For writers:

“A professional writer is an amateur who didn't quit.”

- Richard Bach

Patti Clark
Facebook Page:
Patti Clark – This Way Up – Author Page
Linked In:
Patti Clark – Author This Way Up


  1. Great interview. Patti inspires with her words and all that she has accomplished and plans for her future