As many millions find themselves in self-isolation, it’s easy feel like we are squandering our time if we are not “productive” enough. Household chores and little fix-it jobs that we’ve left off for weeks or months suddenly seem imperative. But let me let you in on a little secret – since the dawn of time, since you were born, until you the day you die, there will be chores. There will always be dirty laundry and overflowing trash and drippy faucets and overstuffed closets waiting for us to organize them.Continue reading “There Will Always Be Laundry; Make Time for Joy!”
Writing and creating art are most often solitary experiences – hours spent staring at blank computer screens or pieces of paper or canvas – time spent trying to find the right words or colors. Time, largely spent, in our own minds. But we don’t have to – and shouldn’t – create within a bubble! Most art is made within a community, with support from family and friends, with sage advice from mentors, with the occasional self-help book. If you’re having trouble getting started or finishing a project, here are some books that will help.
We’ve all been there before – when facing a looming deadline for a research paper or work presentation – we somehow find ourselves binge-watching episodes of Stranger Things on Netflix or re-alphabetizing our book shelves. We have every intention of doing the thing…eventually. We even set arbitrary deadlines for ourselves: I’ll do it at 11 o’clock. And when 11 o’clock comes and goes and we still haven’t done the thing, we move the finish line. I’ll start tomorrow. I’ll start Monday. I’ll start the first of May. I’ll start in the New Year. In the meantime, we stew in anxiety, guilt and self-hatred. Why can’t I do the thing? What’s wrong with me? Will I ever do the thing? Can I even do the thing? Continue reading “Why We Procrastinate. (Pt 1)”
When I was sixteen, I was a fan of a one-man-band, Dashboard Confessional. My friends and I traveled miles to tiny clubs all up and down the east coast, stood shivering outside in line in winter in bad neighborhoods, got our ribs bruised up against the partition in mosh pit, covered our backpacks and messenger bags in band pins from Hot Topic, went thirsty or hungry or without sleep – all to hear the soul-bearing lyrics of someone we considered to be a modern day poet. Continue reading “SELL OUT: Does Art Suffer from Success?”
In a world where it’s all about the next, young innovative person to come along, it’s easy to feel like we have passed our expiration date as writers or artists. But does creativity have an expiration date? Is there such a thing as “too late” when it comes to creating?
We’ve been taught to think that perfectionism is a good trait. No one ever goes into a job interview promising to do less-than-perfect work. In fact, potential job candidates are often coached to answer interview questions about their greatest weakness as, “I’m a perfectionist in everything I do.” But is perfect attainable? Or even desirable? Or is perfect holding us back? Is our mental image of that “perfect” thing keeping us from doing anything at all?
Continue reading “5 Ways Perfectionism is Keeping you from Living your Creative Life.”
A few months ago, the idea of an “Artist and Writer’s retreat” wasn’t remotely on my radar. I was about to finish a one-year teaching contract in Korea and was looking for my next job. Would I stay in Korea, go back to Japan, return to the States or go somewhere completely new? The possibilities stretched out before me, but none of them felt right. Something in me resisted the idea of entering a classroom again. I loved teaching and my kids, but I needed a break. Not a vacation, crammed with sight-seeing. My soul was crying for a return to itself.