Click here to watch on YouTube.
I’ve always been envious of Emily Starr’s singular focus on her Alpine Path. Her one true passion was writing, and she always knew what she wanted to achieve.
My creative endeavors are more… varied.
I’ll gather up a handful to paint a picture for you.
drafted novels, thrown pots, directed plays, painted landscapes, photographed weddings, cross stitched samplers, planted gardens, made mosaics, designed websites, produced short films, dipped candles, made flower crowns, designed logos, stage managed, blogged, vlogged, danced en pointe, painted posters, designed gravestones, baked cakes, bound books, sewn pockets, developed my own photographs, scrapbooked, acted, silk screened, written for a magazine, learned Irish step dancing, embroidered hoops, written plays & performed puppetry…
The list goes on.
Next I want to learn to play the ukulele, crochet & needlefelt.
University was a beautiful time of reckless curiosity for me. I studied anything that sparked my interest, even taking classes that didn’t count toward my degrees.
After earning my masters I started a photography business, and told myself that any other creative projects were a waste of time.
I continually make the mistake of trying to “specialize.”
Telling myself that I have to choose one art form and practice it exclusively. Even so, my focus shifted from photography to cinematography to blogging to vlogging to sticker making…
I clearly lack the ability to stick to one specific thing.
Each time I told myself that my new passion would be “it.”
Then, about a year ago, I made the tough decision to close down my business. It was incredibly freeing. I made discoveries about my creative process, improved my mental health, and realized I had developed a thryoid problem that was draining a lot of my energy. I was able to slow down and take care of me.
I’ve had a bit of a rebirth this year. I’m feeling more myself than I have since my years in college.
I chose “create” as my word for 2017, which quickly transformed into “dabble” inspired by Becca Piastrelli and her creative sisterhood. Instead of creating products I began to kindle my curiosity.
After a year of creating just to create I’ve realized that I’m never going to find a single art form that defines my identity as an artist. So I’ve stopped searching for it.
I’m embracing my identity as a Renaissance Woman and am chasing curiosity with wild abandon.
Post your creative projects & curious explorations with…
Anything that sparks your imagination and inquisitive spirit is welcome!
I’ll continue to share my story (and others) here and to host virtual creative campouts to connect kindred spirits.
Be sure you’re on my list so you don’t miss anything.
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After an 11 month hiatus I’ve dusted off my blog.
Last December we had a YouTube chat about how overwhelmed I was feeling and how I was shifting my online presence from a biz to a hobby. Part of that included temporarily archiving my blog.
Since then I’ve also been diagnosed with hypothyroidism (thanks to my super sleuth sister who also has it and tracked down an amazing doctor to treat us.)
Suddenly I realized why I wasn’t able to handle the amount of projects I had previously.
My body wasn’t working properly.
I may make a whole video about my experience (let me know if you’d like to see one), but for now I thought I’d write a little blog post and bring this full circle…
I’ve been on hypothyroid medicine for a couple months now and am starting to feel like my old self again!
Here are some of the symptoms I ignored:
Lack of Energy
Difficulty Losing Weight
You can start your research here if this list sounds familiar to you. I’m also happy to answer any questions about my experience, but I am still learning myself.
Now onto my takeaways…
1. I CAN slow down. And its good for me.
I’ve always been the classic overachiever. Ever since college I’ve had seasons of overwhelm and then crashing, but I’ve always bounced back after a few days.
When I was forced to slow down I rediscovered some old loves: reading books, slow paced craft projects (like cross stitch), cooking from scratch, and spending unhurried time with family.
Now that I have more energy I am trying to be very thoughtful about creating more balance in my days.
2. Log off.
Social media was the biggest rabbit hole for me. Right before my crash I was spending ALL DAY on social media. Tweeting, reposting, replying to comments. Keeping up with every single post in multiple FB groups.
When I had less energy it was the first thing to go.
I took everything (except IG) off my phone and haven’t looked back. I log into FB once a week or so to check into a few FB groups, but barely glance at my newsfeed now.
And I don’t miss it a bit.
3. Listen to my body.
If I’d been paying attention instead of mindlessly scrolling through FB I might have noticed these symptoms creeping up on me.
Now I am trying to listen to my body and give her what she needs. Morning walks, good food, gentle face washes, soaking baths.
I’ve spent long enough neglecting my body that I can’t go back to ignoring her just because she starts keeping up again.
(Wondering why I am calling my body she? Meet the lovely Sarah Jenks.)
So that’s why I’m back!
I’ve missed writing and I have more energy to spread around to the things I love.
I’m just dipping my toes back into the blogging waters without any strings for now.
You’ll notice my new blog is a free one (sorry about any ugly ads, but WP puts them there and I’m spending the money that used to go to hosting on books and craft supplies). #sorrynotsorry
I won’t be keeping a strict blog schedule, but I’m excited about having a space for my writing and letting my photography breathe a bit outside of Instagram’s grid.
My newsletter may come more often, but won’t return to once a week (more likely it will be a monthly recap).
I have a very exciting blog post scheduled for next week so keep your eyes open for it!
There’s a bit of shift coming and it just feels right down to my very bones.
What have you been up to? I’ve missed having this space to chat!
And if you’re a blogger leave links to one of your recent blog posts down below. 🙂
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I’m currently on a blogging hiatus. This year I am letting go of weekly blogging and dabbling in making YouTube videos instead.
If you’re curious about why I made the switch I talk about it here.
My blog is currently in archive mode, but after I get it tidied up I may start posting my videos here.
Meanwhile, subscribe on YouTube if you want to keep in touch.
This year I’m approaching the transition from autumn to winter with a solemnity and reverence. I’m learning about hygge and koseleg and preparing for the dark months ahead. Last year winter steamrolled me from a period of overwhelm into seasonal depression. And after the year that we’ve had it would be easy to go to a very dark place when the days are short and cold and grey.
Lets take care of ourselves shall we?
I’m doing my best to listen to my body and what she needs. Eat well. Get outside. To focus on making positive change (but not expecting it to happen overnight.) To create. To bake. To banish busywork. To find moments of gratitude.
This week I’ve gathered up some nuggets of goodness for you.
Little bits of gratitude and creativity and happiness that I hope can bring light into your days.
Enjoy a wander.
How have you been preparing for winter? Lets chat in comments.
P.S. I’m working on a hygge self care adventure for January, February & March. If that sounds like something that may help you be sure to hop on the list below so you don’t miss it.
It’s November. That means crisp autumn air, thick chunky sweaters, and National Novel Writing Month. (No idea what I’m talking about? Click here. It will change your life.)
This year I’m just dabbling in NaNoWriMo (chances of reaching 50k are kinda low), but November always gives me the warm fuzzies for fiction writing. That’s why I’ve invited Sarah of The Bookish Fox to chat with us about writing this month.
Here are her tips for making writing feel like an adventure.
You know the feeling. You open your Word document to write another post or work on your book, and you just stare at the blinking cursor. Your fingers suddenly feel heavy, and no words are coming to your mind. Anything seems more fun than writing, even cleaning the bathroom (although your husband makes it a disaster area).
Well, I have a cure for you! You probably have been thinking of writing as a chore rather than an adventure. Here are some ideas to make you feel like Indiana Jones when you are writing. Just stay away from rolling boulders, okay?
Write About Your Passions
A huge cause of boredom with your writing is that you don’t care about it. Let’s say you love photography, but you are writing about Twitter. Stop writing about the Tweets and tell people about apertures instead! If you care about your topic, writing will be a lot easier and more fun. And isn’t that what it’s all about?
Change Your Location
I don’t know about you, but if I write in my office too much, I start singing the cabin fever song from Muppet Treasure Island. Go find a library or coffee shop to write in. You can even write in a hotel lobby! If possible, go somewhere new. You will feel like you are on a micro-adventure if you are sipping a new hot chocolate or looking at fancy chandelier.
Research Your Writing
Another great way to get out of the house is to do some research for your writing. Does your main character work in a department store? Go visit one. Better yet, talk to an employee there. He or she might prevent you from making factual errors. Once you have new information, you will be fired up to start writing again.
Treat. Yo. Self.
Buy a fun item that will help you with your writing. Want a pretty new dress? Buy it and wear it as you write your website copy. Eyeing that floral journal at Anthropologie? Buy it, but be sure to write in it every day. Who knows? You might be able to write it off as a business expense!
Write with a Friend
There is something to the saying “misery loves company.” I am kidding. Still, writing is more fun if you are sitting across from another person. You can commiserate about a tough scene or celebrate meeting a word count goal. Just make sure you don’t end up talking the whole time. You know, like the time you did the science project in high school with your best friend.
Announce Your Goals to the World
There is no better motivation than announcing your writing goal to the world. Tell your family or announce it on Twitter. If you feel like you have people depending on you, you will write a lot faster and won’t avoid it. It is even better if you attach a deadline to it. You will feel like James Bond racing against the clock as you push to write your novel in a month.
How do you make writing feel like an adventure?
Let’s chat in comments below.
Sarah Fox is a novel writing coach and editor who helps ambitious authors start and complete their novels. When she is not working on her own novel, she writes for Quirk Books and Imaginary Book Club. You can find her thoughts on writing and pop culture at www.thebookishfox.com.