Clare Bowditch is a storyteller who lives in Melbourne with her husband Marty, their three teenage children, a white groodle, and one lone surviving free-ranging guinea pig. In terms of ‘the fancy stuff’, Bowditch is a bestselling ARIA Award-winning musician (Best Female Artist), Rolling Stone Woman of the Year (Contribution to Culture), Logie-nominated actor (for her role as ‘Rosanna’ on hit TV show Offspring), and a former ABC broadcaster who still misses her talk-back callers very much, and hopes they’re doing okay out there. In her spare time, Bowditch does a lot of public-speaking and event-running. She uses humour and the collective terror of ‘public-singing’ as tools to teach skills around courage and self-leadership. She is also the founder Big Hearted Business, a love project designed to support creative people in their businesses, and businesses with their creative thinking. As a musician Clare has performed and toured with the likes of Leonard Cohen, Paul Kelly, Cat Power, John Butler, Snow Patrol and Gotye. The person she enjoys touring with the most is her drummer and husband, Marty Brown.
Your Own Kind of Girl
ARIA Award-winning singer and actress Clare Bowditch confronts her inner critic in this no-holds-barred memoir.
This is the story I promised myself, aged twenty-one, that I would one day be brave enough – and well enough – to write.
Clare Bowditch has always had a knack for telling stories. Through her music and performing, this beloved Australian artist has touched hundreds of thousands of lives. But what of the stories she used to tell herself? That ‘real life’ only begins once you’re thin or beautiful, that good things only happen to other people.
YOUR OWN KIND OF GIRL reveals a childhood punctuated by grief, anxiety and compulsion, and tells how these forces shaped Clare’s life for better and for worse. This is a heartbreaking, 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 their inner critic. This is the work of a woman who has found her true power – and wants to pass it on. Happiness, we discover, is only possible when we take charge of the stories we tell ourselves.
What an energetic session this was, lots of laughter and very much like a conversation between friends, I enjoyed it a lot. Clare has just signed her second book deal, pretty much just as Melbourne has gone into hard lock down.
Your Own Kind of Girl took Clare a long time to write. She started and abandoned many times over until she at last found the right time. But she also says that it took a long time to write because when you write about self-doubt, inevitably, self-doubt gets in the way. She also felt a lot of shame while writing it, but feels no shame in sharing it – a notable distinction, I feel. Clare believes it’s really important who you let read that first draft. Don’t show the wrong person the first draft! Another thing I liked: in the telling of any story, the excruciating part is what you have to leave out. Clare is talking specifically of her book, which is memoir, but I feel this is accurate for any writing.
Grief underpins much of Your Own Kind of Girl, specifically, the loss of Clare’s sister in childhood. I loved this: Grief ties us to life. It’s at this point that the session became quite emotional, as Clare shared that her mother is in palliative care, during Covid. For her family, this is like revisiting the grief they have already previously experienced. Clare then said that in many ways, Your Own Kind of Girl is a love letter to her mother. It was such a privilege to bear witness to Clare’s honesty and strength. I liked her well enough before this session, but now, I think she’s utterly fabulous. I can’t wait for her next book, and I don’t even need to know anything about it!