Up Close With: Lauren Deborah
A golden ray of sunshine, the rainbow on our grey days: this week’s patron profilee is another Aussie expat (we are everywhere) who lights up our screens as a volunteer Writers Hour host. Lauren Deborah (unfairly dubbed Lauren 2.0 because there was already, well, me on the hosting crew) is a “chronic oversharer” with a renowned podcast and a wonderful Substack who alternates between light, funny and confessionally deep. She stumbled upon our community quite recently, but has embedded herself well and truly — and we’re very glad she has, too. World, meet Lauren D!
Lauren Deborah, she/her
- Based in Tiohtiá:ke, otherwise known as Montreal, Canada
- As for her age? “I turned 30 in a pandemimoore so I am going to live this one up the whole 365 days! I am 30 and thriving!”
- Volunteer host for LWS writers hours
What do you write?
Mostly I work on my weekly Substack, Hi, Lauren Deborah!, which is a digital journal from a ‘chronic oversharer’. Some weeks it is funny, others it is deep. It is important to me that I do not give myself too many rules, but rather write from my heart and stay honest. It is mostly mini (mini) personal essays.
What are you working on right now?
Putting my weekly feelings (with no barriers, nothing is off limits) into my digital journal. On the side I am also working on my first television pilot — which who knows if that will ever see the light of day but I like to revisit it with fresh ideas and thoughts from time to time. I also enjoy the daily prompts on HitRecord.
I came back to writing after a long hiatus and my cup is so full. I am taking my time feeling out my ideal medium and potential future projects. There are a lot of ideas floating around in my head; I want to make sure I let them all marinate.
Where and when do you write?
Ahhhh, mornings! My favourite time of the day is the morning, and my favourite way to start the morning is with Writers’ Hour (+ a hot cup of coffee with the warm morning sun coming in the window). I get to other sessions during the day when I can, but the peace, creativity and productivity of the morning cannot be beat. I also play rain sounds in my headphones — depending on my mood they might be thunderstorms, garden rain, pouring rain, ocean rain…
How do you write?
Most of my thoughts come to me when I switch off, so often when I am out walking or doing groceries or in the shower — I have been meaning to hang a whiteboard next to my tub.
Several times a day I send myself an email from my phone with a random thought. These thoughts and feelings either end up in my nightly hand written journal, and/or in my weekly digital journal/newsletter.
I found that once I deleted Twitter, I was actually able to write these fleeting thoughts then save them to build into something more. It allowed me to nourish the idea — to sit with it, grow it, question it. For me, deleting Twitter was the best decision I ever made rather than to make my thoughts — that are uniquely mine — so disposable.
Once I have an idea about what I want to write about that week I just go for it. I write and write and my thoughts flow pretty freely. I write it all before going back to look at any of it. At that point it is more just sentence structuring and spellchecking, maybe rearranging a little here and there. I never regret what I have said, and I never take away a thought I had because I had it and it was genuine. My intentions are always to keep it as honest as possible.
PS Google Drive is my best friend.
Why do you write?
I didn’t for a long time! Last year I started seeing a life coach who was pushing me to write again. She had asked all the right questions, found what made me excited and how I liked to express myself and she persevered with me until I did it. I heard about Writers’ Hour and to be honest that is how I really picked it all up again. When I was a child and teenager I wrote all the time — both creatively and to express myself. I am so happy for this space to help me tap back into what makes me so happy.
I attended a Monday morning 8am ET session just before the summer and I haven’t missed an ET session since. I also come along to other sessions when work won’t notice me gone, and more recently you can catch me hosting in NZ/AU hour some days! HI! (I am not to be confused with Lauren M aka Lauren No.1!)
I have gone back and forth with ways to create and express myself for a while — I am a podcast host which I love; I am an interviewer and have interviewed a bunch of comedians over the years at past jobs; I even had my own little stint in stand-up comedy. Nothing has fulfilled me in expressing myself and brought me joy the way coming back to writing has. I am absolutely obsessed with giving myself this gift every day. I love that I can share it with the LWS community.
What inspires your creativity?
My lovely brain and my big heart. I moved to a new city in March 2020 for work (for those of you playing at home — the timing was bad to say the least). As a result I spent 1.5 years utterly alone, in the physical sense, and without support or people close by. To top it off I moved somewhere I didn’t speak the language and my would-be French lessons were cancelled due to the pandemimoore.
Then something clicked a few months in — that this was the most authentic version of myself I had ever been. For the first time in my life, I had no outside influence on what I said, did, watched, wore, ate, spoke, thought…
I write because I want to hang onto her. She’s the best and I am so glad I found her.
What’s your favourite book?
I like what I like and I like Eat, Pray, Love. I also cannot go past any autobiography by a rock star. That is just a world so unlike any I will ever know and it fascinates me. Keith Richards’ Life and Steven Adler’s My Appetite for Destruction have been two favourites that stand out.
What’s the best advice you’ve received about creativity?
I watch this video on YouTube once or twice a year, cry, revaluate and shift. I will not do it any justice, so just enjoy.
(In summary: “you can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.”)
What’s the one thing you would tell other/aspiring writers?
Just freaking do it.
Don’t worry about what people will think. Don’t compare yourself.
I compared myself for so long that I stopped writing for so many years, and I am so glad I do not compare anymore. Everyone has their own unique voice and thoughts — no one is you and that is why you need to write. Most of all: there is space for us all to succeed.
How can we discover more about you and your work?
- My weekly Substack
- On Instagram: @hilaurendeborah
- Listen to my podcast, My Dad Stole My Limelight (a podcast about coming out!)
- For more of me in general, head here for links.