Mantra: June 2015

Tenacity is hard.

I hate that hackneyed phrase about what to do with life's never-ending supply of lemons.

I blame the poster which my fourth grade teacher placed right next to the clock.

Creeped the heck out of me.

Was it the acid or the mushrooms that said this would be a great marketing campaign for kids?

But despite my intense dislike of nasal-dispensed beverages, I grew up to be rather optimistic about life.

Until last month.

Because, forget the lemons, life handed me a bunch of  frogs, boils, locusts, hail, meteorites of fire, and I'm pretty sure that at one point blood was flowing freely from my kitchen faucet.

Yes, it was that bad.

But I made the best of it; I screwed on the old head funnel and made some lemonade. I kicked off the new Free Digi Club and I launched the Patreon classes early. Heck, I even started working on a few Year #2 plans, waaaaaayyyyy ahead of schedule.

And that was just dealing with business setbacks. I handled some personal stuff with equal aplomb.

Broken Plans | VanillaArts.com

I've never had such a productive month. It didn't kill me either. I kind'a think it was worth it.

But I don't know for sure- will my hustle be rewarded? It's too early to see much action yet. I've got worms on my hooks, some new relationships, a bit of freelance work, and a few options for the fall. So I'm not exactly in a bad place...

But the wait for visible growth is killing me.

I keep telling myself that businesses are supposed to start slowly, that instant success would overwhelm me. I should want to be the tortoise and not the hare.

But being the rabbit would be so much more fun than constantly trudging.

And if I were the rabbit, I could look back and actually measure some progress. I'm this far from the start, I'm this much closer to the finish line...

So I keep plugging along and I to think about the payout for being patient, and to appreciate that things are progressing at a manageable rate. But boy is that ever hard.

I've never heard the story behind Georgia O'Keeffe's plate.

It must have been something special because she didn't just sweep it into the dustbin. When the plate broke, she treasured the broken pieces.

 Green, Yellow, and Orange by Georgia O'Keeffe

Green, Yellow, and Orange by Georgia O'Keeffe

Was it a favorite plate? Did she cause the accident and then cry over her mistake?

Did someone else drop the plate? Did Georgia furiously lash out at the person who carried it carelessly?

Maybe it what was on the plate that had value. I once swan-dived with a bowl of pot roast and all the trimmings. A whole meal, rendered inedible in seconds. Yeah, I both cried AND did the lash o' fury.

I suppose the plate's back story doesn't matter much to the grander point. Georgia swears that there's a payout if you apply yourself to making the best of your broken china.

A six to one dividend.

That's pretty awesome. One plate sacrificed equaled six works of art that collectors still covet. Not bad for an unforeseen and unfortunate twist of fate.

May was my Mensis Horribilis, a horrible month.

And I took Georgia's advice: I painted the crack. The lemonade is flowing out of my nose.

Let's hope June is better.



Mantra: May 2015

 
 

Deeds, not words.

That's my theme this month. May is all about the follow through.

I'm a planner. A thinker. A list maker. I'm really awesome at figuring out how to get from point A to point B.

 Rodin,  the Thinker . Detroit Institute of Art

Rodin, the Thinker. Detroit Institute of Art

The problem comes when I go to put things in motion.

I don't like to make a move until everything is in place. I wait until all my ducks are in a row and they're all quacking the same tune before I take a step.

That's the problem with being a list maker. All my strategerizing and data processing leaves me waiting for perfection on Step #1 before I can give myself permission to move on to Step #2.

And you can die waiting for perfection.

Here's an example: We are now 13 sentences into this blog post. In that time, I've gone up and edited the printable graphic 4 times. I resized the lettering, then I adjusted the kerning by a microfraction, then I  darkened the drop shadow, then I adjusted the size it displays at. And I could do this all day if allowed. I'd be happy to sit here and fiddle with all the tiny details and never type another sentence.

Enough is enough. Sometimes you just have to hit the publish button.

Waiting for perfection kills creativity.

Think of all the half finished projects you have lying around your craft room. Now add to that all the projects that you've never even started.

 Degas,  Spanish Dancer . Detroit Institute of Art.

Degas, Spanish Dancer. Detroit Institute of Art.

  • Have you talked yourself out of finishing a project when one little thing went wrong?
  • Are you waiting on just the right supplies before you start?
  • Have you put off joining a class or learning a new skill until your life is a little more settled?

Here's the thing- when you die, all your intentions disappear. Plans and dreams and half finished lists are nothing more than electrical signals in your brain; when your heart stops pumping, the world looses access to that data.

We don't know what project Leonardo da Vinci planned to work on next. I'm sure it was something awesome but there's no earthly value to his next project because he never started it. All his gonna-dos and his I-oughtas are completely worthless to mankind. Leonardo has a place in history based on his body of work, not because of his really rockin' bucket list.

I'm not da Vinci, you're not da Vinci. Neither one of us is crankin' out a Mona Lisa in the next few days. 

But we should be making something.

Stop thinking and dance, darn it. 

Deeds, not words.

Enough with the maybes. Just go make some stuff.