You’re 21, with so many opportunities ahead of you. Wouldn’t it be helpful to know more about what’s to come and insights about navigating certain situations from a woman who’s been through it? With that in mind, award-winning journalist, broadcaster, and author Daisy Buchanan penned How to Be a Grown-Up. The book isn’t just for those in their 20s, either, as, let’s face it, many of us in our 30s and 40s also feel like we could use some help with adulting.
If you’re looking for an uplifting, humorous, and helpful book on handling being a grown-up, put this one on your to-read list. While there’s no right way to be an adult, what she shares can give you strength and valuable knowledge moving forward. Let’s talk more about it with her in this interview!
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Interview with author Daisy Buchanan
She is an award-winning journalist, author, and broadcaster. Daisy Buchanan shares life lessons you won’t want to miss in her book from Urano World Publishing, and tells us more in this exclusive interview. Let’s get to it:
I love the title of this book! What exactly is a ‘grown-up’?
Thank you! I think a “grown-up” is a person who knows themselves and feels confident and comfortable with who they are – but had made peace with the fact that adulthood is a work in progress!
What inspired you to write How to Be a Grown-Up?
My first journalism job was on a British teen mag called Bliss (a little like Seventeen), and I loved writing articles and interviewing experts about confidence, self-esteem, complicated relationships, and growing up. Not because I had all the answers – but because I had so many more questions in my twenties than I had in my teens!
I believed that when I was technically, legally a “grown-up,” I’d have it all figured out, and I felt so lost. I wanted to write about that anxiety and confusion, partly because I think we’re all under so much pressure to look as though we know what we’re doing when we’re all feeling lost.
Why are some days just so darned hard to cope with? On those days, what do you do?
The hardest and best lesson I’ve learned – and I’m still learning it – is that we’ll always have bad days. It doesn’t mean we’ve done something wrong, and nothing stays bad forever. I call myself a grown-up, but I’m still basically a toddler because I can’t count the number of times when I’ve felt as though the world was ending when all I needed was a snack or a nap.
And I always feel better if I drink a glass of water, put down my phone and laptop, go outside, and move my body. That’s what takes me out of my head and reminds me that I don’t have to believe all of my thoughts.
Getting outside of our heads can helpful, for sure. Looking back at your 20s, what else do you see more clearly now?
I think I saw my twenties as a hill to climb, and I badly wanted to be perfect by the time I was 30. And yet, I never saw myself as a perfectionist because I didn’t think I was perfect enough!
Now I understand that I can’t shout and shame myself into achieving the life I want and that setting myself big goals will feel uncomfortable – but it’s worth it because of what I’ll learn along the way. Most importantly, kindness has to be cultivated and practiced. The kinder I am to myself, the kinder I am to everyone else.
You balance honesty with humor in How to Be a Grown-Up. Did that come naturally while writing?
Thank you! Humor is really important to me – I think my brain is wired to look for things to laugh at, and seeing the lighter side in every situation helps me put things in perspective.
Interview with author Daisy Buchanan cont’d.
As an adult, what is your superpower?
I’m not the greatest chef in the world, but I’m really good at making mayonnaise – it’s possibly my most grown-up skill! I’m also a novelist, so I’d love to say storytelling – and whenever I meet my deadlines and eventually see a story go from my messy mind and into a shiny cover and onto a shelf at a bookstore, I feel like a superhero.
What did you learn about yourself or the world while writing How to Be a Grown-Up?
I loved interviewing people about their lives, jobs, relationships, and experiences for this book. I spoke to people who have been through bereavement, people who have chronic mobility issues, and people who have lived around the world.
I learned that everyone has a struggle, everyone has a story, and that I have a lot more to be grateful for than I have to complain about!
What is one thing that you hope people take away from reading this book?
That we’re very much all in this together. Now, more than ever, thanks to social media, life can feel as though we’re watching everyone else get it right while we get it wrong. But everyone is trying, everyone is scared of failing, and everyone is hoping to do their best while discovering that their best differs from day to day.
If I’ve got a message for readers of this book, it’s that you’re smarter, braver, and wiser than you know. And if you feel as though you’re messing up, you’re growing and learning. You’re never done with growing up!
Cheers to growing and learning! Do you think women generally have more difficulty being a grown-up?
On the one hand, I think that society expects so much more from women. In some ways, we’re under a lot more pressure to take care of ourselves and everyone else and mature quickly in a way that gets taken for granted.
In another way, we shame women for aging, and when we’re teenagers, we’re criticised for “growing up too quickly” or not quickly enough. I think what makes it harder is that women seem to get a lot more messages about how to be.
To be a grown-up, we need to stop listening to that external noise and tune into ourselves. That’s really difficult!
Can you share with us one piece of life advice from the book?
Think about what could go right. I’ve always struggled with anxiety, and my instinct is to imagine the worst. It took me a long time to realize it’s OK to think about things going well.
In fact, better than OK – because when we let ourselves imagine good things, we start to act them out and make them possible.
One last question! Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Hopefully, still writing novels! And I have a few ideas I’d love to write for TV, too.
So, ideally, writing, swimming in my local tidal pool, and possibly a little better at yoga. For some reason, it’s hard for me to understand that in order to get good at yoga, I need to do some yoga.
Thank you for being here, author Daisy Buchanan! Where can we connect with you further online?
I’d love to invite you to listen to my podcast You’re Booked, where I interview iconic authors about the books on their shelves. Our guest list includes Taylor Jenkins Reid, Dean Koontz, Dave Eggers and Emily Henry.
I’m on Instagram and Threads @thedaisybee, and X @notrollergirl. I have a Substack for writers called the Creative Confidence Clinic.
Get your copy of How to Be a Grown-Up
This book is receiving amazing reviews! They include:
“Her painfully honest, hilarious anecdotes make you feel in good company.” – Stylist Magazine
“Daisy Buchanan has penned an essential read for every twentysomething – and it’s turned in to our go-to guide for adulthood meltdowns.” – Look Magazine
“So full of useful stuff that it transcends its demographic and has something important to say to pretty much anyone. How to Be a Grown-Up is essential reading.” – The Independent
Get your book today! Find How to Be a Grown Up on Amazon in paperback, eBook, and audiobook CD.