I’ve sat down to write a blog post a few times this week.
And haven’t posted any of them.
Ever since my experiment in staying off the internet for a week, I’ve found myself less and less drawn to the computer and the internet. Instead, I paint, draw, experiment, and create. There are notes for projects scattered all over the place, plans being drawn up, ideas being nurtured before being shared with the world.
So many of you wrote, on the last post, that you, too, get sucked into the internet. In chatting with students at my live events, I’ve heard that many go to blogs to be inspired, and spend so much time doing so, you’re not doing any art of your own. I challenge you to do a day without the internet. I know when you’re creating, and you get stuck, you jump online to find something inspiring to get you over that hill of Resistance. I encourage you not to. Instead, get a snack, talk with a friend, take a walk, and then come back to your piece. Get over that hill yourself, with your own ideas, style, and approach. That, in a nutshell, is innovation.
Yesterday, as I drove home after a hectic, frustrating, hour-long-omg! visit to the DMV, an idea popped into my head. An idea so strong and so vivid, I frantically searched for my phone and called someone I know is supportive, amazing, and would give it to me straight.
So as I drove home, I spilled the idea out to Roben-Marie, gesturing with my free hand when I could (stoplights only, please!), smiling so wide, I thought my face may split. And at the end, I said:
“I just had to get it out. I had to share it with someone else. Have you ever had an idea hit you so strongly like that?”
And she has. Just look at all the plates she has in the air (I cannot recommend her shop and classes enough, but I’m biased! We met when I interviewed her for my still-on-hiatus ‘zine, an interview I had to do because I love her art so much!).
She was everything I needed. A sounding board. A friendly ear. And she was just as excited as I was, by the end of the call (in fact, I have a text from her this morning asking how things are going!).
We all need friends like this in our lives. A friend we can call out of the blue who will listen to our ideas, help us narrow them down, and give the pros and cons, if need be. I’m sure if my idea had been one that wouldn’t have worked out, Roben would have told me, then helped me reshape it into something that would. Find a friend like this — a sister, a mother, a childhood pal — and let them hear your ideas, no matter how crazy they may seem. Sometimes, crazier really is better!
But I’m moving slow. This isn’t out of fear. In Reverb, by Gwen Bell says:
“If there was ever a time to slow down and stay focused on just one element of the business at a time, this is it. Practice mindfulness, simply staying present in the moment. Trust that all is unfolding as it should.”
(She is another amazing woman I wholeheartedly recommend. You can sign up for her daily newsletter here. It’s worth taking the time to sign up and read, for a few minutes, every day.)
That’s what I’m doing. A few things a day. Writing the ideas that come down on notecards or in my binder. Spending time refining my art and learning new things (you have no idea how much taking a simple drawing class has changed my approach to art and improved my flow. If you can take one at a local community college, do it.) .
A huge part of it is Born Brave. I’m hoping to start the new YouTube channel this week, or the beginning of next week. Speaking to artists and journalers with chronic illnesses is so important to me, I’m betting half the bank on this new project.
The other half is being bet on a Ning. I announced this yesterday via Facebook, but have learned that you may not see all of my posts over there unless you visit my page (I’m learning new things about social media and marketing every day!). There is so much I want to create over there, just for you, that I’m going all in.
My chips are on the table. I have enough meds for two months. My bills are paid. And while it’s scary in the OMG-my-stomach-is-in-knots-and-my-skin-is-tingling way, I’m still going for it.
I’m working behind the curtains like the Wizard of Oz, getting ready to dazzle you with magic.