Growth in winter

Day 5 of my #365project: A faerie house my sister made and left in the woods, nestled in the roots of an old tree, before she flew away to Denver. #rootsandwings
Day 5 of my #365project: A faerie house my sister made and left in the woods, nestled in the roots of an old tree, before she flew away to Denver. #rootsandwings

 #LiveTheQuest – Prompt 5 from Jeffrey Davis:
What indicators of growth can you celebrate? #growth

Look back on your first month. What small indicators can you identify that you have changed something positively in Month 1 or that you are moving in the direction you need? For instance, are you acting differently? Are you thinking differently? Are you speaking about yourself as a business artist and your best work differently?

Being a writer is crazy. It’s completely ridiculous. I could be out there in the Real World, getting myself a Real Job, instead of cobbling together part-time stuff and wondering if this writing thing is really a viable career option. I can give up my huge and quirky dreams, or I can go all in.

I’m going all in.

Spurred by the powerful medicine of Quest2015, I’ve been making some changes. They’re small by most standards, but to me, they’ve felt enormous.

1) I do housework on weekends. Okay, that sounds SUPER-lame. And tiny. But for me, this has been a massive shift. Instead of taking care of ALL THE THINGS first, and then cramming in my writing, I’m treating writing like it’s my job. During the week, I write. And I do the things that, for me, nurture writing–reading about writing, taking long walks in the woods, engaging with big ideas and instances of beauty. In practical terms, this means that my house is definitely not an instance of beauty, but, well, meh. I’m learning not to care so much about that. It sounds small when I type it out, but for me, this reprioritizing–treating my work like the work it is–is a Big Fat Hairy Deal.

2) I step outside my comfort zone. Inspired by Marisa Goudy* and many of my other fellow Questers, I’ve embarked on a #365 photo project. Every day for 365 days, I commit to posting a picture to my social media, in some way addressing my theme of “roots and wings.” More on this in a later post. Hashtagging pictures probably doesn’t sound like a big deal, either, but again, for me this is huge. For one thing, I’m an indifferent photographer. For another, selfies freak me out (I’ve managed to avoid those so far). Most importantly, though, I have a vexed and vexing relationship with social media. I appreciate its power for good, but also get easily bogged down in the not-so-good. To commit to doing anything on social media every single day is a big leap for me.

3) I DIT–Do It Together. Like many writers, I am a largely solitary creature. I love other people, but I love my alone-time, too. I especially like working alone. But Jeffrey is right–collaboration makes for some pretty powerful medicine. Photographer Cara Walton and I collaborated on a piece for an art show that’s opening tomorrow night. We were so excited about the results that we’re working on getting together a show. A whole show. Of our stuff. At which we will show people our art and interact with them and wear things other than yoga pants and be part of the creative community. [Cue introvert freakout]. Despite the freaking out, I’m very excited. More than that, though, I have loved this process.

*Writers and creative people of all types (especially photo-skeptics like myself), check out Marisa’s post on How a 365 photo project makes you a better writer. Good stuff.

6 thoughts on “Growth in winter

  1. Brenna, I love that housework made your list. It’s such a little thing that’s SO not a little thing. House cleaning is self care and so is putting it off!
    And I feel so grateful and humbled to know that my 365project cheerleading has made #rootsandwings part of your process. Expect a shout out in my inaugural Sovereign Standard newsletter out later this week!

    1. Thanks, Marisa! Your #SovreignReality project has so much resonance for me, and I really appreciate how eloquently you’ve been able to frame the photographic experience in terms of making a contribution to writing.

    1. Thanks so much, AK. I’m a possibility glutton. I love anticipating things, too. I think that’s why I can’t get into romance novels–the love happens too fast. 🙂

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