My Creative Mentors
I had followed the siren’s song.
You know the one…
Hustle. Hustle. Hustle. If you work hard enough you can do anything.
When you put all of your energy into work your body and mind fall apart.
The day my Kickstarter didn’t kick I melted into a puddle. Without the adrenaline I’d been running on I was completely drained.
So I just… stopped.
I think I took about two months off the internet. But when I came back from my hiatus I slipped right back into old patterns.
I was drowning at sea.
This is my message in a bottle: an introduction to the ladies who pulled me into their life boat, wrapped me in blankets, and poured tea from a thermos. I never would have survived without them.
It’s been three years tossed in the waves, but I finally feel like I’m back on solid ground.
So I’m sending this out to sea in case you’re the one feeling capsized. Maybe one of these women can help you find your way back to you again.
My first step on the road to recovery was a drastic one. I deleted my blog. It’s back now, because I did archive it, but it was down for a whole year. I didn’t know how to approach blogging in a healthy way so I quit cold turkey.
I lost my sense of community at that time, because so many of the groups I was part of (both online and off) were creative entrepeneurs.
Stepping back felt right, but it was very isolating and lonely for me.
Becca’s prompts and gentle guidance encouraged us to each express creativity in the way that felt most true to us. Gardening, cooking, painting, crafting, singing… any form of creative expression was celebrated. And there was no pressure to monetize.
We talked about this a lot in Becca’s episode of Kindle Curiosity.
The beautiful thing about connecting in this way was that I began to build my self worth outside of achievement and perfectionism.
If you feel the need for a group of women who will celebrate and support you NO MATTER WHAT then the Creative Sisterhood may be for you.
After about a year I felt the tug to write again.
So I decided to revive my blog.
But I knew that I needed someone to hold my hand and cover my ears when the sirens began to sing.
Enter Mayi Carles.
Just when I needed a blogging mentor Mayi opened a truly magical program called The End of Boring. It was a masterclass in how to be yourself online (and how to tell sea sirens to bugger off.)
This was just what I needed.
I held a vision of myself as Renaissance Woman wearing an autumnal headdress and gathering creative souls around a metaphorical fire. (Sound familiar?) Everything you see here and on the podcast was touched by Mayi’s magic.
I was following my curiosity with wild abandon.
But to be honest I was more than a little rusty. So I signed up for my first art class since university.
And I met my third mentor… Sara Tasker.
Everything came a bit full circle for me during Sara’s Gloom and Glow course.
As I completed assignments I rediscovered my love of photography. Somewhere along the way I’d become disenchanted. I never stopped taking photos, but they had became less intentional and more routine.
Sara reminded me that photography can be art.
Each photograph led to new discoveries as I navigated the creative constraints of the course. After working on my own for so long I’d forgotten the magic of limitations. The same ideas that I had dismissed before the course ended up being some of my favorites (see Exhibit A & B.)
If you’re feeling lost at sea I hope you reach out.
You are not alone.
Connect with one of these ladies or with me. The more we share our stories the less power they have over us.
…ok, now I’m picturing my perfectionism as the Jabberwocky from Alice in Wonderland.
Let’s stand together and tell our inner Jabberwockies that they have no power over us.
We have to get home to tea.
P.S. What’s your biggest creative struggle right now? Let me know in comments or send an email. I’d love to support you.