A Day in the Life of Amanda Smith: Adelaide & New York Creative Writer
Amanda Smith flies in the face of ‘Adelaide’ stereotypes. In her mid-20s, she quit the corporate world, before cramming her soaring spirits and unquenchable desire, into a compact, carry-on business that fused travel and writing.
Already established as a Creative Writer and Journalist, Amanda set out on a 3-year world expedition, with passport, visas and globally-creative business plan, before deciding on two head offices: Adelaide and New York City.
That part of the journey has been seriously fruitful, with her human-centred, storytelling style garnering international clients the calibre of News Corp, TedX and Google.
In the midst of all that coffee-shop and airport wifi, Amanda’s also managed to pump her first book out, exploring the psychology of travel, and how it shapes our psyche. With its release slated for later this year.
So, let’s meet this word (and worldy) wise, Writer.
A TYPICAL DAY FOR AMANDA THE WRITER LOOKS LIKE… WHAT?
I’m an early riser, so I’m usually in front of my MacBook by 7.00 am. I’ve learned to ‘schedule’ my personal projects first-thing before I transition into ‘business brain.’ I spent 1-2 hours on writing and editing my book, The Inner Fire.
I head to my office or a nearby coffee shop to complete two, three-hour sessions of client work. I live in New York right now, so chances are I’m soaking up the chaotic NYC energy, and infusing it into my writing. You learn a lot, just from people-watching and wandering the streets.
Work doesn’t really stop until around 9.00 pm, as I usually have evening calls with my Australian clients. It sounds full-on, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
NOW, WHAT IS YOUR BUSINESS, EXACTLY?
I’m an international freelance Copywriter, Journalist and soon-to-be-published Author. My focus is on travel, culture and lifestyle, but I also write for a range of industries including entrepreneurship, beauty, education, tourism, marketing and even a dash of politics. I’ve worked with local and global brands including South Australia Labor Party, SA Motor Magazine, SA Tourism Commission, Brand SA, Travel + Leisure, Food & Wine, Royal Caribbean, Japan Tourism, and Body & Soul.
AND, WE HEAR THERE’S A BOOK COMING?
The Inner Fire is my exploration of “the phoenix cycle” experienced by all travellers: new experiences growing into great joy… then fading… absence… grief… and back again into something new.
Society says loss equates grief. Travelling suggests “Little Grief” is everywhere; that this grief is about experiencing the death of some part of us. I ask, what if it sparks something new?
I explore the three years living in my own ‘phoenix cycle.’ Peppered with the lives and experiences of others who have experienced life-changing shifts, my book has its own itinerary for you: an emotional ride through some of life’s deepest, sometimes unexpected, and paradigm flipping feelings.
I believe a rebirth happens when we travel, yet most of the time, we don’t realise it. It’s just as much an inner journey as it is a physical one. I draw on theories and concepts related to reverse culture shock, weaving in voices of both travellers—those who are living these experiences, and non-travellers—who have been through major identity shifts. My book is part narrative, part self-help.
AND, WHY NEW YORK?
There’s nowhere like it. After travelling to over 50 countries, no other place gave me the same feeling New York did… of possibility and expression. I owe a lot to New York. Living between NYC and Adelaide somehow clicks with me. I’m very fortunate.
WHAT’S THE FAVOURITE PART OF YOUR WORK?
Writing is an art, even if I’m conjuring ad copy for a brand. As humans, we connect through storytelling. And, by choosing the meaningful clients, I’m able to spend my days crafting narratives that people connect with… and I’m able to communicate it through the lens of my life experiences.
SO, HOW DID YOU GET INTO WRITING?
I studied both Public Relations and Journalism. But for me, writing was always self-expression. It was and still is, my greatest teacher. I worked in junior marketing and copywriting roles, before going out on my own, at 25.
YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE WHEN STARTING YOUR BUSINESS?
Confidence! I’m an empath so I take absolutely everything personal. The best decision I ever made was to invest in mentors who I respect.
OKAY, THE ACHIEVEMENT YOU’RE MOST PROUD OF?
Following my inner compass, to first quit my job, then take my business ‘on the road’ for three years, and again, to settle in two cities. Everything meaningful I’ve achieved in my life has happened since I made that decision, at 25.
ANY INVALUABLE ADVICE FOR A BUDDING WRITER?
Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it. I once had a boss tell me I was “too young” to be a writer. I had other people tell me it was “too hard” to get into travel writing. Follow that drive, invest in yourself (through mentors and life learning), and find your tribe. At 25, no one I knew had a business, so I joined a coworking space and found my first cohort there.
HOW DO YOU DEFINE SUCCESS?
I believe the journey of business is an exploration of self. Like many things in life, it’s a mirror. My definition of success has little to do with the external world, but rather, having the strength to live a life that feels right for you. The external success will always follow.
Thank you so much to Amanda for sharing her time and expertise with us. If you wanted to hear from more amazing businesswomen of South Australia, jump over here.
Do you know an amazing SA woman we should feature? Let us know in the comments below or share with The Jane Community on our Facebook Group Ask My Friend Jane.