I just pre-ordered Sabrina Ward Harrison's new book, And the Story is Happening. Excited? YES. I find Sabrina and her artwork so inspiring, and I can't wait to sit down with her words and collages and ideas and soak it all in. (April 27, hurry up!)
Who is your biggest creative inspiration?
In case you missed it last week, I put together a fun 'lil post on Style Illuminated where I designed a bedroom based on a springtime outfit. (I'm no fashionista, but I sure have a soft spot for style - as evidenced by my always-evolving Style Inspiration board on Pinterest.) You can check out my sweet interior design skills here.
[Photos by lesleymyrick on Instagram]
I've been hung up on this idea for a while that I need a studio. Not just want, but need. I mean, how else can you create art? It's soooo much work to take my boxes of art supplies out of the closet and set everything up and then clean up; and when I work I awkwardly take up the entire living room floor; and it's so messy to work with paint and spray adhesive and gel medium in my tiny, white-carpeted, one-bedroom apartment.
Writing that makes me sound like a huge whiner. Which I've realized, I am.
I don't need the perfect time, or the perfect space, or the perfect supplies to create. I just need to do it. So...I'm doing it! Above are the beginnings of a few beautiful messes.
[Image via Inspiring Words on Pinterest; original source unknown]
Good morning! Thanks for your patience and understanding during my little blogging break. Here's where my heart is at after taking time to breathe and think...
I have followed all sorts of tips and tricks to "build a better blog". I've read every article, followed every how-to that's out there, and taken e-courses and workshops. But here's the thing - I've gotten so caught up in trying to be a successful blogger that I'm not actually creating anything myself! My own art and creative adventures have come second to simply sourcing content to share here - and the kicker is that top of that, this sweet 'lil blog isn't all that successful anyway. This whole process of trying to "create a successful blog for my audience" has been incredibly frustrating - and it's not working, because it's not true to me. I feel that blogging should be an outpouring of my ideas, inspiration, and creativity...and right now, it's taking all of my ideas, inspiration, and creativity just to keep up with what I "should" be doing as a successful blogger. And dude, it's totally draining.
There's a fear mentality that is communicated to bloggers: You really must post 5 days a week or you don't exist online! You really must leave a bazillion comments on other blogs to be part of the blogging community! You really must create content carefully targeted to your audience! You really must guest post to get noticed! You really must do x, y, and z to be a success! My response to the "you really must" attitude communicated to bloggers is this, as written by the fabulous Tina Fey in her book, Bossypants: "When people say, 'You really, really must do something', it means you don't really have to. No one ever says, 'You really, really must deliver the baby during labour'. When it's true, it doesn't need to be said."
Sometimes I have to remind myself that I don't have to do what everyone else is doing. And what I've realized over the last two weeks is this: I don't want to build a successful blog. I want to build a successful career as an artist - an artist who just happens to have a really great blog too.
Recently I watched an awesome video by my one of my sassy business mentors, Marie Forleo, on differentiating between fear and intuition. I've been wrestling with what I "really must" be doing with my blog, and what I feel in my heart. I don't often share videos here, but Marie rocks pretty hard and I genuinely feel that this is awesomely valuable information:
Did you watch the video? Keeping on my current blogging path definitely left me feeling contracted. And despite the fact that my new plan for this blog doesn't involve any of the things that bloggers "really must" do, just the thought of making changes leaves me feeling so expansive and free that I have no doubt that this is what my heart and intuition is telling me.
So what's the new plan?
+ To post when inspired. To share what is genuinely inspiring me. To share what makes my heart flutter and my creative juices flow.
+ To post when creating. To make more time for art in my life. (This. Is. Huge!) To share the creative process.
+ To post when educating. To share experiences as a freelancer and as an artist. To share the ups and downs.
Short, sweet, simple, and rings true to me. I don't think that there's anything better than that. And even though I'll no longer be doing what I "really must" on my blog (*gasp!*), hopefully you'll stick around for the journey with me. xo