money

Embracing My Creativity by Deidra Dallas

I know. I have not kept my promises to myself to post a new blog at least once a month. I mean, really -- how hard is that? Once a month. Actually, my goal should be once a week, but I was realistic with my goal setting and settled on once a month. And I couldn’t even keep that up. 

It’s not that I didn’t want to. I actually have a list of blog ideas. They’re already basically outlined and ready to type. I literally just had to sit down and write them out. 

I even had a friend message me to tell me how much he enjoyed my writing and that he was looking forward to when my next post would be written. I had no idea that this meant anything to anybody besides me, and I was so, so touched. It inspired me. I have an actual audience. I need to write for them!

But I didn’t. I meant to. I wanted to. But I didn’t.

I’ll be honest. I was freaking out about money. 

I’ve talked before about how I have a penchant to be obnoxiously over-planned about all aspects of everything. I think through every scenario for every situation and have an agenda, three alternatives taking into account variables seen and unseen, and an emergency plan in place before I even start on an activity. 

I both love and hate this about myself. The feeling of order and calm all of that planning gives me is one of my favorite feelings. The inability to think about anything besides all of the planning is one of my least favorite. 

It’s something I struggle with a lot (clearly because I’ve written about it before). And it’s something I’ve been struggling with over the past few months because, let me tell you, the coffers were running low at the Dallas house. Not exceptionally low -- see all the planning discussion above -- but low enough that my emergency plan was about to have to kick in, and I hate having to resort to the emergency plan. That means four other plans have fallen through. That’s not okay for my brain.

So I refocused, took stock, and planned again. I found alternatives to supplement my bank account, and I went after them with gusto. The problem was, I had no brain space for anything else, especially writing. Creative free-thinking goes out the window when I’m in planning mode.

What wound up happening is my schedule was packed from morning to night. I was driving a ridiculous amount of time to get to one source of income and my day was carved into tiny segments from hopping back and forth to two other sources of income. By the time I got home, I just wanted to binge watch Gilmore Girls for the fifth time to numb my tired brain (and because Gilmore Girls is exceptional). 

But, then my best friend told me something that made me re-evaluate. (She has a knack for that.)

“If you’re spending all this time working and you don’t have any time to write, you might as well just teach so you can have a steady paycheck that’s more than $10 an hour.”

Oh, right.

See, my problem is, I have a hard time making writing my job. It should be. That is my goal. But actually prioritizing it when it’s not currently making me money is tough. But, my best friend is right. (She has a knack for that, too.)

So, I scaled back at the same time that some things fell into place that allowed me to scale back without stressing. I have to plan a little differently throughout the month in terms of paying bills, but I’m pretty good at the planning thing, so that’s not that big of a deal.

Now, I have to force myself to turn writing into a job. In other words, I have to plan to write, something I was not doing before. (I know. I’m as shocked as you are.) 

Since life is funny and timing is often fortuitous, this book Embrace Your Weird by Felicia Day just came out. It also was not a plan -- I didn’t even realize it was being published. But I saw it on social media one day and bought it on a whim.

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Guys. I cannot stress enough how awesome this book is.

Embrace Your Weird is a self-help/workbook that encourages you to actively work on your creativity and to prioritize your personal needs aka working creatively. Felicia (I’ve read her book, so that makes us first name friends now) shares her own thoughts about how scary and stressful but overall soul nurturing this process is, and it’s just such a comfort. 

I’m only three chapters in, and I don’t work on it everyday, but it’s helping me take some baby steps to thinking differently about writing. It seems silly that I have to teach myself to think differently about something I’ve been doing for 25 years and that I literally have a college degree in, but...I do. Because I’m not perfect. I don’t want to be perfect. Perfection is way overrated. 

(That’s my new mantra -- working on convincing the planning side of my brain that it’s true. We’re getting there.)


Check out Felicia Day’s book(s) here: http://www.feliciadaybook.com/