1. Tell us your name and something about yourself.
My name is Cassandra McBlane aka ‘Cassie’ and I am a 21 year-old aspiring writer who has a keen passion for language and the art of English. I am currently studying in my third year at Deakin University in Melbourne for my Bachelor of Professional and Creative Writing (Arts). I have always had a determined mind about establishing a career in the field of writing and journalism even at a young age, and I have since approached many aspects in the industry. My experience now ranges from blogging, reviewing, novel and story writing, poetry, public relations releases, feature articles and prose.
2. Give us a brief description of what your blog is all about and tell us what makes your blog unique from other blogs out there.
In 2011 a friend approached me with the suggestion of starting up my own blog to cater for my writing habits and passion. For my own personal space and for something to give me ambition in the field, I started The ‘Foreverthings’ (www.theforeverthings.com) to post my own writings to a small audience. Eventually, though, my blog gained a lot of public attention through social networks, and my readership grew to hundreds of subscribed followers. With this in mind, I decided to keep my blog consistent and flowing with news articles, celebrity gossip and my own takes on life itself. Now, my blog is a popular domain for my musings and things that take my interest in life. Many blogs establish themselves in one particular field of interest, but I have made The ‘Foreverthings’ to include a broad spectrum of reading for younger and older audiences, to target many demographics. Believe me, it works! I constantly have people contacting me with their thoughts about my site, and telling me how they take such a curious interest in it because of its unique content. As a blogger, I find that you must write on things that get people talking. Nothing gets people talking like quirky news or interesting things you experience in your daily routine, so why not write about it!
3. Tell us about one of your worst habit or quality?
You could ask anyone that knows me well enough, and they would all give you the same answer; my worst habit is definitely my constant obsession to correct people’s grammar, punctuation and spelling. It becomes difficult to log on to a social network site when there are many, many errors that pop up on the screen in front of me. But on the other hand, my friends learn a lot about English in my presence!
4. What was your most embarrassing moment?
I am definitely a clumsy person, so I find myself tripping over my own feet most of the time, but for some reason I remember one certain incident in high school where I managed to trip over myself and fall flat on my face. I am still haunted by it when my friends recall it now, but it definitely made for a good story when it came to writing about my memories from my adolescence (if I’m allowed to call it that yet).
5. We all know that life is short, but why do you think we do so many things we don’t like and like so many things we don’t do?
Life is all about risk taking, but you have to be a risk taker to delve into that particular point of living. Being a writer means I have to conjure up enough imagination to write about things I haven’t yet experienced, but in some ways, it makes me more prone to craving a bit of excitement and adventure in my life. My favourite saying is, “You can’t write if you can’t relate”, and it is completely true; how do you write about something that you have not yet endured? You can still put your pen to paper, but how authentic is it? Life is all about getting out of bed in the morning and going through your day, doing things to get you to the right side of success and enjoyment. We do things we don’t like so that we can further ourselves, perhaps in our career (who wants to be making coffee for the boss, when we want to be the boss ourselves?) or whether it is because we have people we need to provide for in life. Not everything in life is enjoyable, but those things that aren’t, are usually the paths to the things that we most adore in the end. In some cases, there are things we wish so dearly to do, like bungee jump off a cliff, but anyone that has had to deal with me in their life would know there is no way I would volunteer to endure that. Maybe I would love the idea of doing it, but seeing myself actually go through with it is a whole different concept. That makes us come back to being risk takers, which not all of us are. Some of us, like me, are dreamers; if you have an imagination to suffice as a replacement for being too afraid of something you would hypothetically love to do, then take it and use it to your full advantage!
6. What is the one thing you’d most like to change about the world and why?
It is a cliché´, but we all want it more than most things in the world, and that is peace. Unfortunately, too many of us have differences that provide us with determination and angst to distance ourselves from others. If the world could unite more freely, without judgement, it would be a success beyond any other. Without war, without crime and without the constant blame on others, life would be easier to enjoy without guilt.
7. If happiness was the national currency, what kind of work do you think would make you rich?
Well, I would certainly start by spreading it and sharing it with those who need happiness most. I suppose, with every currency, there is poverty; those that are feeling down could do with some wealth, and I would use my own to make them financially and emotionally comfortable, which would then make me the same in return. It’s a win-win situation! Giving is definitely the one effort worth taking on, and is a job that is endless. There is always someone in need, and if it can make you just as happy in return, there’s no reason to hold back. In a way, with my writing, I feel like I am already doing this.
8. Are you currently doing what you really believe in, or are you just settling for what you are doing?
Currently I am not settling or completely doing what I want to as a career, but instead just setting myself up for potential success. In some ways, I have already fulfilled my dream of having people recognise my writing. Now, when I go out, I run into people who stop me and say, “What you are doing is something I wish I had the commitment and determination to do”. That is the best thing that any aspiring writer can hear in their life…the appreciation of someone who loves what you love doing. In the future, I want to be wider known for my writing and be published in both print and digital media. In its entirety, though, what I am doing as a hobby and job in my present day is something I believe in; that sense of enlightening those around you through your own writing, and having them appreciate it in return. There’s always room for more success and improvement, of course, but that is what I want the future to bring.
9. If the average human life span was just 30 years maximum, how would you live your life differently?
Too many times in my life, I have held a negative conscience, which is also another of my bad habits. Although I am probably the loudest, bubbliest person you are likely to run into, I can get into the mindset of being the “glass is half empty” sort of person. If I knew time was running out sooner, I would make a more conscious effort to be positive and have the realisation constantly that life is not always going to be a granted thing. We expect to go to sleep and wake up the next day, but this is all something we shouldn’t take advantage of. Life is fragile and precious and I would definitely choose to adopt this outlook if things were going to be different for me in the future.
10. To what degree have you actually controlled the course that your life has taken?
I have controlled a majority of my life, as I use my writing to steer myself in the right direction. My family have always been extremely supportive of me, and have never stopped encouraging my passion and strength in the field of writing. This is something that makes it impossible to give up on my dreams and I am never left feeling like I haven’t fully given it my best, because my parents have always been the sort of people to make me do so. This has given me independence and the constant drive for success in my life, which makes me branch out to different experiences and new jobs in the industry. I like to have a proud mind when I wake up each day, and that gives me the ability to tell myself there are always more things to be ticked off on my “bucket list”. In the past, however, I have struggled with my diagnosis of depression, just over eight years ago. This is a constant burden on my life, as I know it is something I will always have to keep on top of, but writing has allowed me to better my self-confidence and the positive mind that comes with it. When I feel fulfilled in what I do as a person, and know that people enjoy what I am doing as well, and then I feel I am in control and on top of the things that are able to make me weak. In the end, weaknesses are the things that keep us striving to better ourselves as people, and gain a full sense of control.
11. What’s the most outrageous thing you have ever done in your whole life?
It’s not completely outrageous, but more so spontaneous, but I was sitting in English class in high school one afternoon and the discussion about girls and body image came up. Needless to say, as a bit of a feminist myself, I put my pen to paper with anger over society’s constant pressure on females to be skinner and look timeless. The end product had my teacher demanding that I send my piece of writing to Channel Nine’s A Current Affair, so that is exactly what I did. One year later, they contacted me asking to be on the show and face the nation for a segment on my thoughts toward the social issue. I was dolled up, photo shopped and interviewed all for the sake of showing Australia that it is easy to be digitally enhanced, especially for celebrities. When I look back on it now, I think, wow, that was a bold thing to do, to get up on national television and tell society that what we are doing is wrong. I was only fifteen at the time.
12. Choose a movie title for the story of your life and explain why you chose it.
The Notebook, not because it is romantic and has me reaching for the tissues time after time, but because I find myself always documenting the things I enjoy and making sure I capture everything I do in some sort of notebook, so that in the future, I can reflect and tell myself I really set out to do what I wanted to. I want to be able to look back on my life and smile with the thought that, even though I am not fearless, I am a risk taker in my own mind and life experiences. You can’t write if you can’t relate.
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Cassie, reading this interview took my breath away, it was excellent. You are expressing yourself so well and with such maturity. Keep it up girl.