In 2011, Marie Kondo, a Japanese organising consultant, wrote a book called The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up
. It was a best-seller in Japan long before it was published in Australia in 2014, and her books have gone on to sell millions of copies.
While Marie inspired many people to adopt the KonMari method of organising (which, for the uninitiated, is the process of gathering together everything you own, one room or 'category' at a time, and only keeping items that spark joy), her book inspired Sarah Knight, a freelance editor and writer, in a completely different way.
Sarah's first book, The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k
, was published earlier in 2016 and while quite different in tone to Marie's book with a similar title, it is a brilliant and hilarious homage. Sarah's two-step 'NotSorry' program is revolutionary, and that's why we've included it in our Body, Brain, Balance
promotion throughout the month of June.
Read on to learn more about the hilarious and creative Sarah Knight.
1. Which book has had the most influence on you?
I’m not sure I can pick just one! John Irving’s novel A Prayer for Owen Meany
is a book I proselytize for because I just love it so much. Editing Jamie Kilstein and Allison Kilkenny’s #Newsfail: Climate Change, Feminism, Gun Control, and Other Fun Stuff We Talk About Because Nobody Else Will
was an eye-opening experience that influenced my thinking on politics and the media; and obviously Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up
sent me down the path of writing my own book—however different hers may be in tone and content.
2. If you could invite three fictional characters to dinner, who would you pick?
Jane Steele (from Lyndsay Faye’s novel
of the same name, in which Jane Eyre is reimagined as a serial killer), David Bowie-as-the-Goblin-King from Labyrinth
, and James Bond.
3. What is your number one way of keeping your body and brain in balance?
Sleep! I cannot overstate the importance of getting enough sleep. I think I need even more than the average person, and if I don’t get it, everything suffers.
4. What is the most important piece of advice you have received?
Never put anything in writing that you wouldn’t want to see on the front page of the newspaper. (Sadly, I have not always followed this advice.)
5. What would you like to tell your 18 year-old self?
Don’t put so much pressure on yourself to be perfect…unless you think you’re really going to enjoy all those panic attacks in your 30’s.
6. Who inspires you? (Doesn’t have to be limited to other writers or people in your industry.)
My husband, who is as cool, calm, and collected as I’ll never be. Writers like Lena Dunham
, Caitlin Moran
, Roxane Gay
, and Lindy West, who are loud and proud (and often funny) about their life experiences and don’t bow down to the haters who would like to see them silenced. And Hillary Clinton, for having the strength to endure not only a lifetime in politics, but the particular insanity that is this year’s American presidential election.
7. You’re stranded on an island with all the living essentials at hand, but what one additional item would you need to survive?
8. What’s the best book you’ve read in the past 12 months?
Ooh, that’s a tough one! I’ve read some great books lately. Fates and Furies
by Lauren Groff, Everyone Brave is Forgiven
by Chris Cleave, and the aforementioned Jane Steele
leap to mind.
9. What is your number one tip for people struggling to make a change in their life?
Break big scary things into smaller, manageable goals. If the change itself seems too overwhelming to contemplate, then think about it in terms of a series of smaller changes—it really works.
10. How would you summarise your latest book in 25 words or less?
My book gives you permission to be yourself, and shows you how not to hurt anyone else in the process. It’s funny, profane, and life-changing!