In the days when I did art festivals, people would come up to me and say, “You must have a great life, you get to do what you want all day long. I wish I could have your life.” I knew they didn’t want my life, they wanted their version of my life. If they knew what my life was like–21 shows a year, making art to sell, tracking inventory, writing descriptions, keeping track of prices, making price and inventory tags, keeping tax forms, planning trips, paying bills, breaking down a show, loading a van, driving the first 300 miles after standing on cement floors for 10 hours a day for three days–well, I don’t think they thought that was really my life. And clients didn’t need to. I needed to.
My life is very different now, but I still have the same flaws–I want to experience a lot, so I take on a lot. I love working and working hard. But I have reached a point where I am not taking care of feeding the part of me that creates.
No, no, this is not some dire announcement of quitting or leaving. Not at all. What this is, is an acknowledgement that the things I talk about and advocate–deep writing journaling, walking meditation, getting enough sleep–somehow, they vanished from my schedule. I used the time to do more, and I’m still not doing enough. So I have to take a slice of my own advice and get back to deep writing and walking meditation. Because I believe in them. Because I know they work. And because if I don’t dedicate myself to a deep creative practice, I can’t expect my clients to.
It’s hard to get back to a pattern that you’ve had. It will take the same energy it took to put the habit into place to begin with. It will take me 30 days to get back into the habit. So I’m starting with deep writing and walking meditation tomorrow morning. Come with me. It’s a great stress-reliever at this time of year.
—Quinn McDonald develops and runs training programs in writing for businesses. She also develops and runs workshops in raw art journaling. Her book, Raw Art Journaling, is available for free shipping from North Light Books.