Today marks the three-year anniversary of the start of this blog. First and foremost, I want to say THANK YOU to all of you who read, like, and comment on my posts. I am blessed to have such awesome readers! You consistently inspire me to new growth.
I’ve gone through periods of faithful daily posting, periods of silence, and periods of sporadic posting, but somehow I’ve managed to write over 550 posts (on this blog) during that time. It’s fun to look back at those early posts and see how my writing has changed with time.
“Unanimity is impossible unless you are willing to be invisible. We can be unanimous in our lack of feedback for the invisible one.” ~Seth Godin
Seth Godin wrote a post a few days ago called For the one person who didn’t get the joke. As is typical of his posts, this is a short, quick read that still makes a profound point. (Yes, that’s my encouragement to take a moment to go read it for yourself. It’s worth it!)
There will always be someone who does not appreciate each creative thing I may make. This is true of my writing, the jewelry I make, the things I crochet, the food I cook, the way I dress, my style in decorating. I can’t please everyone.
“Too much reading is just frustrated writing.” ~Samantha Bennett
The quote above arrived in an email this morning. It was an ironic quote to read on a day that I dedicated to reading. I read two (borrowed) books in their entirety, finished off the last third or so of another book, and am working on a fourth book. All in all, a very delightful way to spend the day!
While I have experienced times when my reading is “frustrated writing,” today’s reading was different. Sometimes reading becomes fuel for my writing. (It’s no coincidence that I sometimes refer to “devouring” books. It’s much like food for the mind!)
I’ve gotten to the point where I very seldom listen to music at home because I so value the silence. So today I’ve been going through my extensive CD collection in an attempt to weed it down to a more reasonable size given how little it is used. In the process, I’ve been listening to some of these old CDs again today to help me choose the ones to keep and the ones to get rid of.
As I’ve gone through this exercise today, I’ve been fascinated to discover the impact I’m noticing on my creative work as I have music going in the background. I’m so used to writing and creating in silence now that I kept finding even the quietest instrumental music to be a distraction!
“Writing makes a map, and there is something about a journey that begs to have its passage marked.” ~ Christina Baldwin
Tomorrow’s blog post will be my 500th post that I’ve published here on this blog. Because I’ve taken some longish sabbaticals at times from blog writing, it’s taken me almost three years to get this far.
This blog began as a safe space to record my journey. It continues to be that space for me, but over time, it’s also become the map showing where I’ve been. It’s the record of what I’ve learned and how I’ve grown through the experiences I’ve encountered along the way.
I enjoy writing, and words usually come fairly easily for me. (At least, they seem to in comparison to the struggles I’ve heard other people describe for their writing process.) But the last few weeks have felt really dry and flat for me as I sit down each evening to write my blog post.
I know I’ve been stressed and busy with wrapping up the semester, preparing for the holidays, getting as many items up on Etsy as possible for holiday shoppers, finishing the yard work preparations for winter, and attending holiday functions. I know that some of my struggle to find new ideas each night is simply exhaustion. But that’s not all of it.
I tend to be a bit hard on myself. (OK, OK, I tend to be a lot hard on myself, but that’s beside the point for this post.) One of the things that I’ve found myself often criticizing myself for recently is the diversity of creative ideas and projects that I am engaged in.
I write. I make jewelry in an ever-increasing number of styles, techniques, and materials. I crochet several very different kinds of items. I make a number of homemade versions of cleaners and bath and body products. I am re-engaging with woodworking. I’m playing with ideas for re-using and upcycling various materials that would otherwise be waste. I cook in more creative and less recipe-dependent ways all the time. And I’m constantly investigating new possibilities for creative work, like polymer clay, basket weaving, and metal working.
Talk about scattered! How can I ever expect to become any good at any of these if I am dabbling at them all? (At least, that’s what my inner critic keeps saying to me …)
Most weeks, I collect links around a specific topic to share in my link love roster, but this week I just want to call out a few of the many blogs that I draw inspiration from on a regular basis. The list of blogs in my RSS feed is long, so I can’t possibly give a shout out to all of the ones that I love, but this list covers a few of the highlights among those that I’ve been following for a while and that are consistently an inspiration to me. There are a dozen more that I could add that are equally deserving, but I doubt you would all read a post that was that long!
In each case, I’ve tried to pick a fairly recent post that I particularly enjoyed as a starting place, but I’d encourage you to look around at other postings too, if what you see is of interest to you.
I love to write. I love the way it stretches me. I am a better person when I write regularly. And yet, writing is also hard. It takes time and energy and focus, and there are days that all of those things feel like they are in short supply.
When I encounter those days, I start to question why I spend my time writing when it does not bring me any of the standard measures of success (money or fame). It is helpful in those moments to be able to remind myself why I write. This week’s set of links are ones that explore this question in various ways, and each of them helps to remind me of the reasons that I write.
I’ve spent most of my life thinking that I was not a creative person. I thought of creativity as some magical talent that only certain people had. I don’t think that any more.
I am increasingly convinced that all creativity stems from the ability to see life with fresh eyes. And every single one of us can learn to do that, including me. It doesn’t even matter what one’s preferred creative outlet is. It still all comes back to learning to see life with fresh eyes.