9.8 C
Byron Shire
May 16, 2021

Interview with Clare Bowditch

Latest News

Bluesfest announces October dates for 2021 festival

After two disappointing cancelations of their event, Bluesfest has announced that they will hold the 2021 festival over the...

Other News

Re Netflix

David Gilet, Byron Bay You would have to say that the Byron district has more than its fair share of wankers,...

Tweed residents facing rate rise in 2021/2022 financial year

Tweed residents are invited to provide feedback on their council's budget, revenue policy and fees and charges, as Tweed Council prepares to finalise its delivery program and operational plan for the next financial year.

Travelling at the speed of lies

When Tim Berners-Lee and others created the architectural foundations of the world wide web, they did so with the vision of openness, idea sharing, and trust. Human nature has a way of making things more complicated, of course.

Editorial: The vulnerable at risk

Most of us would hope that the taxes we pay go towards key areas such as health, education and to supporting the most vulnerable in our community.

‘Seven and a bit’ stone

Stone & Wood are thrilled to announce the return of Festival of the Stone to their Byron-based Brewery, Saturday...

School Strike for Climate next Friday

Next Friday from 10am Byron Shire students will be demanding political action on the climate emergency in what they and their supporters say is our present, future and reality. 

Clare Bowditch speaks about her book at the Byron Writers Festival

Your Own Kind of Girl: Clare Bowditch In Conversation

Byron Theatre, Community Centre  |  Tuesday  |  6pm  |  $30

Often we see successful people and we think that they’ve never struggled. That somehow their lives were easier than ours. You could be mistaken thinking that about Clare Bowditch – talented, articulate, beautiful. She’s a woman who knows how to command a stage.

She’s a fierce advocate for women in the music industry with her mentoring program Big Hearted Business, she’s a broadcaster with ABC radio and she’s a natural singer and deeply poetic songwriter. As it turns out, she’s also a gifted memoirist. In Your own Kind of Girl Clare tells the story of her childhood – punctuated by grief, anxiety and compulsion – that later went on to shape her life. In her early 20s Clare’s mental health became so precarious she was forced to return home, where she slowly learnt how to navigate her self-doubt, her self-loathing and of course her belligerent inner critic whom she came to call Frank.

At 21 Clare had a profound realisation about the way she was feeling. ‘I realised that it was the story about myself that caused the panic and anxiety. From the moment I knew that, I knew I would recover. I knew that this was a book I was going to write – but I felt like I needed to let time pass so I could slowly, slowly tame my inner critic – so I could pass on what helped me, so that people know they are not alone with their complex grief.’

‘I think a good 20 years has allowed me the luxury to process’ laughs Clare. ‘It’s [writing] not a magic wand!’

In writing this book Clare tells the story of her warm and connected family, who was faced with tragedy when her sister Rowie developed an illness and died. Clare was just 6 years old when this happened and it’s clear in her memoir, and in her reflections, that grief and guilt are tightly intertwined. Clare was aware of this and so worked with a therapist at the time of writing to support the more complex trauma.

‘I speak of the nature of memory and how it is built up of sights and sounds. I took writing this seriously. Often I didn’t know if I had a memory, or I had been told a story or seen a photo. Learning is circular. To love Rowie, I had to let go of my guilt, so I could let her go.’

‘In informing identity we are natural storytellers and we want to belong to a clan. We have shared stories, and we want to tell the truth – to allow for ambiguity and memory, and in the process of writing this, I had to rely on back-up from my beautiful family.

In Your Own Kind of Girl, Clare traces back her sense of exile from her own body when, as a little girl, a boy said she was too big to be a girl. This was a defining moment for her when she suddenly sensed her ‘wrongness’. Even though she was only young, it was the seed of what later became an eating disorder where she fluctuated from thin to fat, experiencing the attention throughout with extreme discomfort. Connecting lovingly to her physical presence in the world is a struggle that Clare openly shares with readers. As a woman, it is profoundly reassuring to know that someone else has felt like that too. Even with body-positive parenting and role models it can be hard to give children a robust love of themselves.

‘We have half a chance for giving our sons and daughters a framework for loving their bodies, but they are up against a world where they don’t always fit – sometimes I am thin and sometimes I am fat – and it’s fine whichever I am.’

This is a heart-breaking, wise and at times playful memoir. Clare’s own story told raw and as it happened. A reminder that even on the darkest of nights, victory is closer than it seems.

With startling candour, Clare lays bare her truth in the hope that doing so will inspire anyone who’s ever done battle with the inner critic. This is the work of a woman who has found her true power – and wants to pass it on.

Byron Writers Festival are presenting ARIA award-winning singer/songwriter Clare Bowditch at the Byron Theatre, 6pm on Tuesday 5 November to talk about Your Own Kind of Girl. The event will include a candid conversation with Dumbo Feather’s Berry Liberman, followed by a live and intimate musical performance.

The event will take place at 6pm, Tuesday 5 November at Byron Theatre. byronwritersfestival.com/whats-on for tickets or call 6685 5115. $30

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Power outage in Byron Shire

Power supply company Essential Energy says that approximately 1,780 homes and businesses were without supply this morning.

Filming of Byron Baes begins with no indigenous consultation

Filming of the Netflix series Byron Baes has reportedly commenced without any effort made by the show's production company – Eureka Productions – to consult with local indigenous groups or the local Council.

Byron Comedy Festival launched with a laugh

At a hilarious sold-out launch of the Byron Comedy Festival, Dr Karl Kruszelnicki had the entire Byron Bay Surf Club giggling last night

School Strike for Climate next Friday

Next Friday from 10am Byron Shire students will be demanding political action on the climate emergency in what they and their supporters say is our present, future and reality.