My Personal Guide to Making Blogging A Worthwhile Pastime ~ Revisited

Post by Carina Spring. 

I have decided to delete the post that originally occupied this space.

image

In it, I focused a lot on some vague doubts that had been stirring in the back of my mind.  I am glad I wrote about them and shared them.

In the end, though, they are inconsequential doubts, and my post gave them too much attention and power.

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Now, I feel a sense of freedom letting that post go.

The post also included a list of ideas to help keep blogging feeling like a worthwhile pastime. I may revisit some of those ideas in future posts.

For now, though, it is enough to say that the same truth that makes most creative activities worthwhile also makes blogging worthwhile:

Focus on the doing, the during, the now.

Let go.

And have some fun.

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I’ve kept the comments that responded to the original post. They offer excellent advice, and kindly captured and reflected what matters most. Thanks!

Shelter That You Take With You.

Post by Carina Spring.

Recently, my eldest brother scanned big boxes full of old family pictures and shared the files with us.  It was a labour of love for him, taking hours and hours of work.  I was so grateful he’d done it, as those pictures are part of our family history.  It was amazing to see all of these captured moments in places that have represented home not only to us, but also to some of our ancestors. And what really struck me was how much it is the people and the love that make home; the rich, shifting tapestry of relationships that accompany us through life.

“Home wasn’t a set house, or a single town on a map.  It was wherever the people who loved you were, whenever you were together.  Not a place, but a moment, and then another, building on each other like bricks to create a solid shelter that you take with you for your entire life, wherever you may go.”

Sarah Dessen, What Happened to Goodbye?

The Lure of The Window-Sill

Above Image:  Creative Commons, “Window and Flowers” by Sukanto Debnath, is licensed under CC by 2.0

Post by Carina Spring.

Sunny Window-Sill, Autumn In Sydney Australia, by Ruby Goes, Flickr, CC.
Creative Commons, Sunny Window-Sill, Autumn In Sydney Australia, by Ruby Goes, licensed under CC by 2.0
Window, La Boca Buenos Aires, By DiegoTorres Silvestre, Found on Flickr, CC.
Creative Commons, Window, La Boca Buenos Aires, By DiegoTorres Silvestre, Licensed under CC by 2.0

Windows are a wonderful place where the comfort and ambiance of the indoors connect with the light and colours of nature.

Crack a window open, and the fragrance in the room immediately transforms.  Freshness.  The season enters your room through the air: fresh cut grass, new blossoms from a nearby lilac tree, the woody smell of wet soil.

The sounds gravitate to meet you.  Urban sounds, mingled with the sounds of nature.  Children playing, the mesmerizing rustle of leaves in a soft breeze, birds, a car driving by.

Wherever I go, I always ask for the window seat.

Come Rain or Come Shine by Faith Globe, Courtesy of Flickr, CC.
Creative Commons, Come Rain or Come Shine by Faith Globe, licensed under CC by 2.0.

 

Curtains by Lynn, Found on Flickr, CC.
Creative Commons, Curtains by Lynn, Licensed under CC by 2.0

 

View From My Window, by KaCey97078, Courtesy of Flickr, CC.
Creative Commons, View From My Window, by KaCey97078, Licensed under CC by 2.0

 

Sunglow Window and Tree Shadow, by Ken Bosma, desertdutchman, courtesy of Flickr, CC.
Creative Commons, Sunglow Window and Tree Shadow, by Ken Bosma, desertdutchman, Licensed under CC by 2.0

Thanks for stopping by homehurrah.com!

Image links will soon be added. Sorry for the delay ~ technical difficulties.

 

Something I Could Not Resist

Post by Carina Spring.

Image: Redfish Lake Idaho Morning Fog by Charles Knowles, Courtesy of Flickr, CC

Background ~ Inspiration for Today’s Post:

Why don’t I just give up? That was the title of Monday’s post at The Creativity Cauldron. Essentially, the post was about how we sometimes decide to give up “working on a particular creative vent only to return to it.”  In her post, Bekki Hill was wondering why she kept going back to writing a novel, even though she had decided not to work on it this year. She left us with some thought-provoking questions: Have you a similar problem with a different type of creativity? Do you have a theory about why I can’t give up?

The interesting coincidence was that the previous Saturday evening, I had been discussing this very same idea with a woman at a dinner party. We really connected and wound up sharing stories about our creative journeys so far. This woman is a talented singer, and lately had been feeling a strong desire to write. She wasn’t quite sure how to get started, or why she wanted to do it, but the pressing fact was that the desire kept coming back.

The Big Decision:

Years ago, I went through a lenthy period in my life when I was having a hard time doing creative work. I was too busy, and when I actually had the time, I didn’t have the energy.  Top it off with a pretty strong inner critic, and I just couldn’t make creativity a regular, satisfying part of my life. Sure, I would draw or paint occasionally, but the ideas and the ache to create were always present in the back of my mind.  Frustrated by the conflict between my desire to make art, and the inability to get to it, I decided to quit. I was not going to draw, or make any kind of art anymore. I would abandon the whole thing, quietly freeing myself from this problem; I would lead a life without that constant urge to create. Of course, that did not happen. I continued to have that longing in my heart, and the ideas continued to come.

Like A Fog Horn…

One day, I was watching a documentary called Man on Wire, about Philippe Petit and his epic walk on wire across the Twin Towers. I’ve mentioned it before in a previous post, and also linked it to his beautiful Ted Talk. Anyhow, at the time I watched the documentary, I copied some of the most memorable words into my diary.

This was one of the quotes, although to really appreciate it, you should hear it said with his musical French accent:

The only way to become an artist is having no choice,

to be called…                                         

So being called is something beautiful…

First, it’s like a song, like a fog horn… Someone or something calls,

but it is also a provision of faith, and vocation calling…

 

Nadine Schaeffer Cloudforest Flickr CC
Nadine Schaeffer Cloudforest Flickr CC

A couple of days later, in my next diary entry, I realized something:

“This is the hardest thing, in some ways, days like this. Days when you are tired… You feel a bit blue, and routine calls forcefully, rather than the beautiful horn of your vocation. And you wonder, do I even have any talent? Why should I bother? Who am I kidding? When will I ever have time? … It is in these moments when one feels discouraged. Yet, why do I keep dreaming, and thinking, and longing to create? I think that is the fog horn. That part of you that is aching and wishing to be expressed, sometimes more loudly than others…”

In other words, that fact that we keep going back to a certain creative outlet, that inability to abandon it, that is the calling of a vocation.

Letting Go of Resistance …

Philippe Petit reflected, “Something I could not resist, and did not make any effort to resist called me up on that wire.”

In our busy lives, we sometimes put off doing things that we really need to do for ourselves.  That’s life.   One shouldn’t feel guilty about it because there are times when we have important responsibilities, and it is necessary and good for those priorities to guide our time. I don’t want to make it sound like it was a bad period in my life, either. I was happy for other reasons, and I did not resent the choices I needed to make. Still, I knew something was missing.

Eventually, the problem for me was that resisting who I was, resisting what I really needed to be doing, was becoming a habit of thought. Everything else was always the priority.

I have entered a different stage in my life. These days, I work part-time, and although my career still keeps me busy, I have more time to devote to my creative outlets. The wonderful thing is that now I am ready, and I am so grateful for the opportunity. I still have a long way to go.  I am still learning, and little by little incorporating creative outlets into my life.

In the end, it is Rudyard Kipling’s words that have often come to mind:

Do the things you really want to do if you possibly can. Don’t wait for circumstances to be exactly right. You’ll find that they never are.”

 

St.Joseph and Benton Harbor Lighthouses - Russell Sekeet, Flickr CC
St.Joseph and Benton Harbor Lighthouses – Russell Sekeet, Flickr CC

Liebster Award

Home… hurrah! is happy to accept the Liebster award.  I would like to send a sincere thank-you to Bekki Hill at thecreativitycauldron.com, and to the Domestic Philosopher at domesticphilosopher.com .  I appreciate your nominations for this lovely award.  It is a wonderful way to discover new blogs, connect with other bloggers, and feel encouraged about all of the hard work we put into these projects!

the-rules liebster award

Some of the blogs which I regularly visit have very recently accepted nominations, so I will not include them in the list, although they are also wonderful blogs!

My nominees:
awellstockedlife.wordpress.com

cafegirlchronicles.wordpress.com

simplyclearly.com

morning’s light

3-chairs.com

thispeacefulhome.com

Here are my answers to Bekki’s questions:

What’s your earliest memory of being creative? Creative activities were encouraged and part of growing up in our household.  My brothers and I would draw for fun, and play imaginatively, so in my memory, creativity and childhood are practically symonymous.

Who are your ideal dinner guests? People who want to relax, and enjoy an evening sharing and connecting in an authentic way.

Do you have a secret talent or party trick? I do have secret talents, but I have no party tricks at all!

Are you tidy or untidy? I used to be very untidy, especially as a teenager, but that has changed. Now, I embrace the challenge of creating a space that enhances living. I love spending time at home, so I want it to be set up in such a way that the whole family can relax, grow, and enjoy doing the things they love. My space tends to be lived in, not perfect, but also clean, bright and welcoming.  It’s all about celebrating your home and nourishing the life you want to live.  This is a topic of interest to me, and early in my blogging I wrote a two part post on it: part 1 and part 2.

What’s your drink of choice? It depends on the time of day!  I love water and drink plenty of it throughout the day. In the mornings, a like to have a coffee with a lot of milk. In the evenings, especially on weekends, I enjoy a glass of wine.  Every now and then, I crave a delicious cup of tea.

Who inspires you? My mom has been a great role-model for me. Through example, she reminds me to be resilient in the face of life’s challenges, and also not to see age as a barrier to doing what I love. Now in her 70’s, she still bike rides, volunteers,  and is improving and learning new skills all of the time.

Did you have an imaginary friend when you were a child? Yes! Actually, I had more than one, and my brothers and I still laugh about them. Our childhood sibling rivalry stories are far more entertaining thanks to my imaginary friends!  For the record, my brothers are awesome and we have a fantastic friendship!  Oh… And now my friends are real.  😉

Do you usually procrastinate or get on with it? Mostly, I get right to things these days, but there are a few types of activities that I would put off forever, if I let myself!

Have you ever seen a ghost?  Maybe; I have had a few mysterious experiences that are hard to explain.

Do you generally set goals or go with the flow? I set some general goals, and then I go with the flow to reach them. Sometimes, this means that the goal evolves into something else altogether, and I am open to that.

In your opinion, what is the best blog post you’ve written so far? Give us the link. I like this one, not because it was my best post, but because it was a new style of writing for me.  It was more spontaneous, and while it is still developing, it feels right for blogging.  It was also the first time that I took a snapshot with my cell phone camera and used it as my image.

… and the answers to the questions from the Domestic Philosopher.

Would you rather visit the past or the future? The past.

Do you believe that everything happens for a reason? Yes, I do think that some things happen for a reason.  I also think that, sometimes,  we read into a situation that which we need to learn to help us understand our own path.

What is your favourite animal and why?  This one is tough for me because I love animals in general, and appreciate that they all play an important role in our environment.  If I absolutely had to pick one – whales.  They are inteligent, infinitely fascinating creatures.

Would you like to be famous? I am not really interested in fame.  I want to contribute, help, and do meaningful things with my life.  If fame were a biproduct of that, I would accept it and use it to help me contribute, help and do meaningful things with my life.

What has been the happiest moment in your life so far?  Becoming a mom.

If you could live anywhere where would it be?  The mountains, though I also love where I live now.

What is the best compliment you have ever received?  I am fortunate to have received many beautiful compliments throughout my life, and feel grateful for all of them.  Perhaps the most memorable one, though, came from a special needs student in one of my classes.  She held up a beautiful drawing she’d made of a woman wearing a long, light blue dress, and sincerely told me,  “This is you as an angel.”

What’s the worst chat-up line someone has used on you/you have used? Hmmm… I can’t think of any.  I guess I’ve always been pretty forgiving because I think it takes a lot of courage to go up to someone.

Would you be a child again?  I had a wonderful childhood, but I live in the present and love my life now.  I have learned a lot over the years and wouldn’t want to go back to not knowing what I know.

Do you think money makes you happy?  Money makes you happy, to a degree, because we need food and shelter. Once our basic needs have been reasonably met, research shows that more money won’t make us  happier.  Feel free to read my post on this topic, based on a documentary on happiness.

Do you think men and women will ever be truly equal? Unfortunately, not throughout the whole world.

Eleven Random Facts about Myself:

I have curly hair.

I love swimming in natural bodies of water (lakes, the ocean).

I am a minimalist at heart, and have been for most of my adult life, long before people were calling it that.

Sometimes, I will go for a walk, and it turns into a run. I can’t help it, running makes me feel free.

I love to read non-fiction.

I love snow, but dislike driving in it .

I speak Spanish fluently.

I used to do gymnastics.

We have a sailboat that we enjoy on the lake, in the summers.

I love having journals and books on my bedside table so that I can reach over, and read or write whenever I want.

I love sitting by windows.

Questions for The Nominees:

  • What is one of the most important things that you have learned from blogging so far?
  • What is your favourite season, and why?
  • What is your favourite dessert?
  • If you could live anywhere in the world for one month, where would it be?
  • What is one of your favourite quotes?
  • If you could pick any decade to live in, which one would it be?
  • What do you do to relax?
  • What colour(s) do you enjoy wearing?
  • What is your dream job?
  • What is a movie or book that you found to be very worthwhile and would highly recommend?
  • Are you a morning person, or a night owl?

Where Do You Like To Do Your Creative Work?

My son and I both have this week off, and it has been a wonderful holiday so far! We have relaxed, and taken some great walks in the beautiful weather. My son spent Saturday with grandma, so my husband and I even had time for a lovely date. And even though time is going fast and it’s already Wednesday, we have made plenty of time for creative work up to this point.

Question, by Graur Codrin, from Freedidigtalfotos.net.

My son has been practicing his drawing skills and working on a small comic strip.  So, busy with all this creative work, we started to think about how different people have different ways of working.

Where do you like to do your creative work? (Writing, drawing… whatever you prefer to do.) Is there a place where you feel your creative juices flow most naturally?

How Some Famous Authors Found Their Flow.

It is fascinating how creative types work best under different conditions, and using different rituals. Here are a few famous examples of how some authors have found their flow:

vintage-typewriter-Witthaya Phonsawatfdp2

Laying Down: Maya Angelou (I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings) would rent a hotel room for several months at a time. She would ask the staff to remove all visual stimuli from the walls. Then, she would spend about 5 or 6 hours each morning in the hotel room, writing on the bed while leaning on her elbow.

Truman Capote (In Cold Blood) has called himself a “horizontal author”, finding his muse while laying on a couch or a bed.

Standing up:  Apparently, Ernest Hemingway wrote The Old Man And The Sea standing up! He would wake up at dawn and pour out his thoughts, standing over his typewriter until noon. Then, he would head to the bar!

Out and about: J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter) loves to wonder into a cafe with her notebook and write blissfully, seeing where it will take her.

Creative people tend to have their unique preferences!  Some people love to lay down, others sit at a table, or a desk.  Some people like their space cluttered, others like it clear and sparse.  Some like to work in a dark space, others like a bright work area.  Some like a quiet space, others like a lot of action and activity around them.

How About The Humble Hobby Artists Around This House?

A drawing of a small bedroom.

How do we like to work around here?  Well, my son loves to draw (and sometimes write) in the late evening, right before bedtime. He lies down comfortably on the rug on his bedroom floor, and turns on his work lamp. Aside from that light source, he likes the room dark as he gets his ideas down on paper.

Me? When writing, I like to sit comfortably on the couch or, my favourite place to write, on my bed.  I like the room bright with warm light.  Normally, I do my visual art in the studio, but sometimes I even like to sketch while in  bed. In fact, that is where I did the quick sketch featured above. (It is not based on any of the rooms in our house, but rather on the idea of small spaces, which kind of fascinate me). Anyhow, this is all very amusing to my spouse, an early bird who jumps out of bed as soon as he opens his eyes!

Where do you like to work? We’d love to hear about it.

 

Image Credits:

The first image is by saphatthachat, the second image is by Graur Codrin, and the third image is by Witthaya Phonsawat.  All of three images are courtesy of Freedigitalphotos.net