Studio Visit Book Vol. 1


Becoming her own savior: Amie McNee on the challenges of being a writer

The hardest part about being an artist can be having the courage to take that leap of faith. To drown out the voices around you that constantly put you down, and to be able to say “I have it in me, and I can do it”. Amie McNee’s struggle as a writer is a similar one, as she had to overcome her doubts – external and internal- and come out even stronger. After a tug of war between her inner critic, Amy was able to take the life changing step of becoming a full time writer.

Every week at Arts to Hearts Project, we feature a female artist in our women in arts series. This week, we talk about Amie McNee who really demonstrates what it means to believe in yourself.

About Amie McNee

Amie McNee is an author, public speaker, creative coach, and a book doula. Two of her books have been published so far, while she has written more books that she plans to publish soon. Her writings are hugely impacted by her degree in medieval history as they focus on sex work and sex culture in the middle ages. She has taken the responsibility to tell those untold stories from that time that nobody else would. As a historical fiction author, her book ‘The Rules Upheld By No One’ was published in 2021, while ‘Regrettably, I am About to Cause Trouble’ came out in 2022.

Image taken from Shoutout LA

Taking her first step towards her dreams

Having a degree in history, where she majored in medieval sexuality and pornography, Amie always had a distinctive way of looking at things. Amie always loved to write, but like every creative, she found herself in a traditional office job that was stable and paid her rent. Stability may be comforting, but for Amie it was not enough. It was in 2014 that Amie was scrolling her Instagram feed when suddenly she got the idea of creating her own personal space where she could inspire other writers. At the time, she was in the process of writing her first book and she also felt quite lonely in the process. The process of writing is not as easy, and while Amie realized that, she did not really have any mentor to lead her through it.

Creating her Instagram account, @inspiredtowrite, was Amie’s first step towards reclaiming her voice. It was meant to be a platform where she could be vulnerable. She wanted to talk to her audience about the trials and shame that came with committing yourself to a creative project. As a start, she blocked anyone who could come in the way of her showing up honestly and vulnerably. She wanted a space where she could articulate who she was as a writer and a creative. While her following grew gradually, Amie still was not satisfied. By 2018, she had been rejected by a number of publishers, and so she decided to fully commit to her platform and make money through her writing. She shifted her posture on Instagram, and began to document highlights and lowlights of rejection.

“Choosing to live a creative life is challenging. But it is also good.”

Amie McNee

She had a product to sell, her journaling companion book. As soon as she gave herself permission to step into a space of leadership and authority, her following grew. She knew she had to be unapologetic and authentic, as that was the magnetic energy that attracted people. Now, she was sharing content, ideas and thoughts that people wanted to engage in, and that worked out pretty well for her.

In 2021, Amie’s dreams began to turn to reality as she published her first fiction book ‘The Rules Upheld By No One‘. Set in 1538 England, the book explores themes of shame, repression, and hypocrisy, which, ironically, are still attached with the female experiences of sexuality today. Her second book, ‘Regrettably, I am About to Cause Trouble’ cam out in 2022, and takes place in 1535, Oxfordshire. Her second novel is a coming-of-age story about a girl who has been ostracised and has to find power in unusual places. Through her books, Amie is touching subjects and starting conversations that are considered taboo in the society.

Amie McNee’s book

Tackling her inner critic

What you can achieve as a creative depends on a lot of things. You can work hard, find someone to guide you, and build a strong social media following. However, in order to do all of that, you have to first accept your inner creative child. As creatives, our inner child is often shamed and discouraged for having big dreams. At some point, those external voices transform into our own internal critic. It is that critic that tries to discourage us from doing what our soul needs the most.

When Amie decided to take matters into her own hand in 2018, she had to do a lot of work on her inner self before reaching that point. For starters, Amie had to figure out how to nurture her inner creative child. A big reason why she was not able to pursue a writing career was the fears and doubts that surrounded her. For her, being a full-time writer never seemed viable because it was not a very ‘traditional’ career. Even as she began her journey as a writer, she was constantly faced with self-doubts and guilt of not being enough. Amie believes that it is important to identify that critic and let go of it, so your inner child can flourish.

“I’m going to unpack all of this by acknowledging and respecting the different things that my inner child needs. We can go from there.”

Amie McNee

If your inner child has a creative process, give it the space to thrive. If there is a certain habit or practice that motivates you, embrace it. Instead of shaming yourself, you need to understand that it is part and parcel of being a creative, and you cannot achieve anything if you try to suppress it.

“Give in to your inner child, feed it and do what it needs to let its creativity flow. That is when you allow yourself to do what’s in your best interest.”

“Let go of the guilt and shame of needing time and space to grow.”

Amie McNee

Amie says that it’s important that you take your inner child seriously. Once you give it the chance, and once you show it the kindness it deserves, it will demonstrate just how powerful and capable it can be. For Amie, that was the secret to being able to handle whatever came her way as a creative and a writer.

Being the person she needed for herself

As Amie wrote her books, she came to understand the submission process deeply and how exhausting it can get. This prompted her to become a creativity coach.

“So I became the person I needed most.”

Amie McNee
Image taken from Shoutout LA

Throughout her journey of becoming a writer, Amie wished she had people who cheered her and supported her. Because she did not have anyone to guide her through it, she decided to be that person for other creatives.

“I aspire to bring together creative people and make sure that all of us, even in the midst of lonely work and rejection have spaces to come together and find love and support.”

Amie McNee

Amie offers courses for aspiring writers that aren’t focused on the structure or plot or character, rather, her courses are meant to coach artists who are going through a creative block. According to Amie, her courses will help anyone who is struggling to start or finish or just turning up for themselves.

“To kill your dreams because they are irresponsible is to be irresponsible to yourself.”

Amie McNee

Amie’s perspective on being a creative

Amie always knew that she wanted to be a writer, and like everyone else, she too found herself shackled by the societal expectations. To have a stable office job, that you hate, is something that has been forced down on everyone and is seen as the ‘norm’. But it never fulfilled Amie, and even when she tried to mold herself in that role, she knew that something was missing. She knew that if she ever wanted to be a writer, she had to do it without anyone’s permission. She only needed to have conviction in her own self, and that is how she found her way.

“Artistry is all about risk.”

Amie loves to talk to her audience in a one-to-one fashion. She realizes, that just like her, every other artist, creative and writer struggles with the decision – to take that leap of faith or not. Over the years, she made peace with the fact that embracing risks was the way to go. Getting out of your comfort zone, and listening to your own voice is how you’ll be able to do what you have always wanted to, as there is no reward without risk!

 “I think in reality when we try to prevent disappointment, we prevent magic.”

Amie McNee
Image taken from Shoutout LA

We have all been at a place where we feel lost and don’t know what to do with our passion and creativity. We seek that support and mentorship around us, but not everyone is as lucky to get that. Amie McNee has identified that gap, and she decided to be that person for others; someone she needed the most when she was starting her own journey. While Amie made her own dreams come true, now she is making sure that she can help other people achieve their dreams as well. The biggest lesson to take away from Amie’s journey is that at the end of the day, it’s you who can do it, and all you have to do is give yourself permission to take that space in the world!

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