Good morning, loves. It's a beautiful day and I hope you're enjoying it for all it's worth. This week we read Part IV of Big Magic: Persistence. I can't believe how much I'm loving this book - and I'm a devoted fan of Elizabeth Gilbert. This week I want to focus on once again applying what is talked about in the chapter. What is it that Gilbert writes about Persistence exactly? Let's discuss that.
Oh this chapter. Be still my heart. This is so affirming for what I needed to hear. Ms. Gilbert writes about finding your passion, accepting the worst parts of making that passion into a vocation and learning to relish them, and most importantly - commit to your passion and make time for it as a priority in your life.
She writes that it isn't about quitting your job to pursue this creative venture single-mindedly - in fact she encourages the opposite. It reminds me of the lesson my Dad taught me when I entered the workforce as a teenager: you don't quit a job until you have a new job. There's no need to quit your day job so that you have time to focus on this new project. You can fit it in if you want it bad enough. I'm a stay at home mom to three boys 5 and under. Granted, I have more time in the day than most, however it's not like I stop parenting while I'm working on the blog, taking photos, or designing new products. I've accepted over the last year that working on Blessed Bookworm is what gets squeezed in between the responsibilities of every day. During nap time, meal times, bath time, etc - I squeeze in 10-15 minutes here and there of work. I often am up for hours after the rest of my family is asleep working on my business in silence or waking up earlier in the morning to take advantage of the quiet dawn hours. I make time. While training for a half marathon, I work out throughout the day or go later at night or wake up at 4:30 in the morning to get a run in. I sacrifice sleeping in on the weekends to put in the work towards my goal. It's a choice, but I recognize that my real responsibilities that keep our family afloat (and alive haha) are what come first.
Gilbert writes about treating your passion as though it's a lover that you're having an illicit affair with. She goes further writing about trying to be sexy for your passion. I love this metaphor. My work is 1000 times better when I get dressed, do my hair, and maybe even toss on a little minimalist makeup. My workouts are better when I'm wearing a cute running tank and sneakers. It's motivating knowing that I look good. It's fantastic. I work better and feel better throughout the day by treating my passion like I'm taking it seriously and showing up and not just working in my pj's. I think the same is true for how I feel about motherhood. I feel like I perform better as a mom having washed my hair and adding that dash of mascara and tinted chapstick. It makes my actions more purposeful. When I squirrel away time for my passions, they know I'm there for business because I showed up prepared and dressed the part.
Then - oh the best part of the entire chapter is write here - she writes about perfection. She writes about it's (in her opinion) a very efficient vehicle for Fear. You can hide away your creations or even abandoning working on them all together in the interest of "achieving perfection" or failing in the attempt. Screw that. I know I'm not an earth-shattering talent in design. I'm okay with that. I love what I do and I work my ass off to learn more about the trade so that I can become better. But perfection isn't even what I'm after - it's not on the table for me. I want to do my best. That's all. I'll read and research as much as possible to learn about how to create better designs or learn new techniques and shortcuts. I'm a damned SLOW runner, but I run so who cares? I work in strength training and cross training and different exercises so that I can become better but becoming the next Olympic qualifier has never been my goal. My goal is to run a race and cross the finish line. It's to live a healthy life and set an example of such for my sons. Perfection is not a factor and it shouldn't be. Because like I said on Monday, Perfection is one cold-hearted bitch. I don't need her in my life nor do I have any interest in her judgements.
Like so much in our life, our passions are what we make them. And I think we as humans vastly misunderstand what creativity is. It's not there to make us millionaires. Even the existence of millionaires, royalty, etc are things we created. Creativity and passion are their own entities and do not exist to make you into something else. They exist to exist. You are the person who is deemed lucky enough to be a part of that process. Stop trying to pressure your creativity into making you into something - maybe that will happen one day, but statistically the odds are not in our favor. Who cares though? Certainly not I. I run because I like to run. I design because I like to do it. I write because I feel like I have something to say. If no one else takes note of that - I'll still be here.