"The only unique contribution that we will make in this world will be born of creativity."~Brene Brown
I have struggled since last spring with what to do with this space. The thought has crossed my mind a time or ten, that maybe it was time to shut this blog down, and move forward with other projects. I felt like everything that I was writing was pointless. If you know anything about me by now, you know that I thrive on inspiring others, especially other creative women. My lack of inspiration seemed be contained to the writing arena. I was thriving in photographic inspiration, but to put together a worthy blog post it is helpful if the photos and the words inspire.
At the beginning of August, I started my temporary 365 self-portrait project. I could feel myself pulling farther and farther away from blogging. I was posting my daily photo on Instagram, and thoroughly enjoying having my project there. The community on Instagram is outstanding.
Shortly into the temporary 365, I found myself developing a character, and started writing in the third person, a style of writing I had never explored before. I found writing in the third person so extremely freeing. Throughout the month of August "She" continued to develop. The project was becoming about a glimpse into "Her" daily life, adventures, thoughts, and fears through small vignettes. Slowly the joy of writing was returning.
At the end of August, I re-evaluated my 365 project. I felt I had finally found the perfect way to combine my photography and my writing, something that I have long been searching for. But I also knew, to truly the develop the stories I wanted to write, I could not be in the photo everyday for 365 days. At the beginning of September my permanent 365 project was born "Her Life in Vignettes".
Throughout September the words continued to come, and writing was bringing me joy again. But while I was having success writing stories as my character, there were still no words coming for the real me.
|photo credit: Mallory Huizenga|
At the beginning of October, one small, simple moment changed my writing life. My daughter, Mallory, was away for a weekend of creative time up north in our family's favorite place, the Leelanau Peninsula. She posted a picture on Instagram her first day there, of the view out the window of the airbnb studio she had rented for the weekend. Accompanying that photo was this verse: Galations 6:4-5 "Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don't be impressed with yourself. Don't compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life."
The words of those two verses moved me in an unexplainable way. I do realize, that it was this particular wording taken from The Message Bible that made all the difference. Most of the Bibles in our house are the NIV version, which are definitely not geared towards the creative mind. I dug out my NIV Bible and here are the verses in that translation. "Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else, for each one should carry his own load." Definitely not as inspiring as The Message translation.
I let those verses sink into me for a few days, then on Tuesday, October 6, I began what I am calling Creative Meditation Journaling. Three pages of journaling each morning using Galations 6:4-5 as my meditation spark.
I realized I had stopped making an exploration of myself. I had stopped seeking inspiration to fuel me that I could then in turn process and share with others. The journaling is helping me explore what I am doing, what I want to do, and the plans I have for moving forward in my creative life.
I started seeking inspiration in the form of some long unplayed podcasts, books, and articles I had saved in my "articles to read" folder on my computer but had never taken the time to read. It is amazing what you find once you start exploring.
The journaling is helping me form ideas for new blog posts. I feel inspired and refreshed. I feel that I can be a source of inspiration for others once again, which, as I make a careful exploration of myself, is one of the things that still matters the most to me.