Friday, December 16, 2011

The creative life: dig in

Yesterday, a reader commented on my Green Dreams post, which was written about a year and a half ago. This morning, I read that post again and found these words, which feel like a wise reminder from my (slightly) younger self:

I would like to offer my time--because I have it, and I'm grateful for that gift--to living creatively. Anyone who's ever made anything knows that there is a great deal of invisible work behind what's created. There is the original vision, changed and altered and made deeper by reflection and time, there is work, there is error and recognition of error, and incorporation of error, too, and there is luck, happenstance, improvisation. There are bursts of production and activity, and lulls of wondering, daydreaming, even doubt. There is sacrifice. You have to figure out if it's worth it to you--figure out what you're sacrificing, and why you want to.

Mostly, though, you just do it: you do the work you've chosen to do.


Living creatively, improvising, digging in, committing, taking risks, messing up, pausing to reflect, continuing, trying new things and rediscovering the tried and true: that pretty much sums up my life at present--or at least, the life I'm aiming for, every day. Yours, too?

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On that note, I'd like to tell you about a few projects I'm currently digging into.

* increasing subscribers to my blog: If you look on the right-hand side of the blog, I've got links to a variety of extras, including a new feature that allows you to type in your email address and receive blog posts in your inbox. We're still tinkering with this (and by "we" I mean my techie friend Nath is troubleshooting for me), but I'd be happy if you signed up. And then please let me know if it's working for you.

* Storywell: My friend Susan has launched a business aimed at helping people tell their stories: "Whether you are writing for your own family and community, aiming at publication, or needing help in telling your company or organization's tale, we can help you tell your story well. We offer you a team of professional writers, editors and proofreaders whose goal is to help you develop as a writer." And guess what? I'm one of the professional writers on her team. Interested, or know someone who might be? Get in touch.

* a new challenge: "Make Carrie's Book a Bestseller." Okay it's a crazy challenge over which I have no real sway. Even publishers don't know how books make it onto bestseller lists, the compilers of which seem to collect data from a variety of unpredictable sources. But I think it will be fun. Kevin is the brains behind the idea. He created and hosts a flexible web site for his business that can be used by personal trainers as a forum to run challenges. We're using that forum to create a challenge called: "Help Make Carrie's Book a Bestseller." The site is still under construction, but I plan to have it ready to launch in the new year, and you will be invited to join. I only have one hope for my book, and that's that it will get read. Then it can speak for itself.

* early to rise: This isn't really a project, it's just something I want to continue whether or not I'm working toward a particular race (my next one is in March, which still seems too far off to be highly motivating). I like the ethic involved in getting up early. I like that it's not easy. It's not easy, but it's ALWAYS rewarding. This morning, my internal alarm woke me up for yoga. I'd planned to sleep instead, but when my eyes saw 5:48 on the clock, I recognized that it was a little gift, and I accepted it. Few of my evenings are free. My only guaranteed alone time is in the early morning hours. I've never been a morning person and even now do not consider myself one; but that doesn't mean I can't rise early and move my body and stride confidently into the day.

(Just realized that this looks like an early New Year's resolution list. It's not meant to be. I'm very ho-hum on resolutions. I prefer big picture overviews of the past year combined with swooping excitement and energy beamed at the year ahead. Every year on the eve of my birthday--which is Dec. 29th--I write just such an overview in my journal, by hand. Very old-school. Very satisfying.)

11 comments:

  1. March: is there a big, splashy book launch in the works for K-W?

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  2. You bet!!!! Details still need to be worked out, but there will definitely be something, perhaps several somethings. I'm thinking a combo of launches for different tastes: a daytime launch and an evening launch. (Probably on different days).

    I will probably talk so much about these launches that you will be very very tired of hearing about them and will come only to stop me from telling you more.

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  3. March: is there a big, splashy book launch in the works for K-W?

    By the way, I love the "word verification" things that Blogger has you type in order to post a comment. Some of them should definitely be words. For this one I had to type "wobitic". Should be a real word: "a tendency to wobble", or something.

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  4. Sorry for the double-comment: the first one looked like it had failed to go through.

    For this one I had to type "zingbo". Which should be a synonym of "bingo".

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  5. Zingbo would make a great name for a dog. Ah, I want a dog. Probably a bad idea right now. But still.

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  6. Hi Tricia,
    Yes the race I was referring to is actually the Run around the Bay (is that what it's called?) in Hamilton, toward the end of March. 30km. Though my book launches in March too (March 3, I think), so that's another race to work toward, though I don't have to get up early and run to be ready for that race ...

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  7. Oh yes. I knew there was a running race but I couldn't think which one you would be doing!

    I think it is just Around the Bay. I have never done that one, but have heard it is excellent.

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  8. If you choose to get a dog it is much, much smoother with a (very carefully selected) adult! (having just barely survived the puppyhood of our first dog, sans kids and relished the arrival of our second dog as an adult)

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  9. why are you trying to increase subscribers? Just curious. I usually check the progress of my blog through comments and then Google analytics. . .maybe I'm missing something?

    I find that I make goals almost any time of year. I like your morning goal - I am a morning person so even if I get evening time alone, my brain is just shot and I'm worthless.

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  10. Good question, Margo, and I've been mulling over the answer. I guess it's a fairly self-serving goal--I'd like to have more subscribers because then more people would be receiving a daily hit of Obscure CanLit Mama, and also getting info related to The Juliet Stories, launches, reviews, etc., as publicity gets rolling.

    I also check stats on Google analytics, but this would be a nice way simply to get the word out. I've subscribed to a few blogs this way and really enjoy when the latest post pops into my inbox. That way I don't have to go and check, or remember to check.

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