That’s how long I’ve been writing posts on this blog.
I began on typepad.com and lost the first three years when I moved to wordpress. I began writing as a teacher, then a runner, sharing my ups and downs, successes and failures.
When I took over as tech coordinator at Fredericksburg Academy, I used it to connect teachers with each other and folks around the world who were using technology in effective ways- what worked and what didn’t.
Recently, after a year or so focused on poetry, I’ve documented my own learning– figuring out how to use vintage letterpresses to print cards and posters. Again, failures and wins.
I have no idea if anyone reads this. But it doesn’t matter to me. I turn 64 this year…and I think, in ten more years, I’ll look back and have a personal map of my thoughts, hopes, and dreams.
But the one thought that resonates is this desire to keep learning, sharing, and moving forward.
Happy New Year…. 2016
A year ago, I wrote Mary Anne Radmacher to see if she would let me use her quote: “Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow.”
She explained that her quote is licensed, but that she would accept a trade of some sorts for the right to use it. I was thrilled, but it took me the rest of the year to figure out what I wanted to do. I wrote her recently, and we worked out the details.
Today, I started working on a polymer plate, but I am not too excited. I was trying to do two colors, but they didn’t work together. And the font for Courage? Yeah, it doesn’t work.
So, I’m going to redesign to see if I can come up with something else. I love the quote. It resonates with me in so many ways. But I want to do it justice.
I’ve been battling inner demons about my art. Some days I feel like a complete failure. And then I seem to be able to pull myself out of it and move on, knowing I love what I do and that’s what matters.
This article popped up on my feed today, and it speaks to me on a number of levels. Here are the 5 steps, but read the whole story.
LIVING ARTFULLY IN FIVE STEPS
- Remember “I am not my thoughts.”
- Distance from, and Dis-identify with, your thoughts.
- Accept yourself completely.
- Find your inner voice and state your truth before your higher self.
- Wait as long as it takes. Let your soul guide you.
And then there’s Ira Glass, whose comments have helped artists for years:
Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.
Is it the dark? Or is it the cold rain?
Either way, I struggle (as my dad often did) with this weather. Nevertheless, I must pull on my boots (literally pulling on Birkenstock boots today) and head out. I am attending the University of Mary Washington Student Holiday Market as a vendor. I have to admit– this is not my favorite thing to do. Who likes selling themselves? But if I want to get my work out into the world, I have to, well, get it out into the world.
And what I know about weather is this: it always changes, much like anything, any moment in life.