Going backwards to go forwards

The podcast I was listening to finished in 15 minutes instead of 30. I continued to eat my lunch and pondered what to listen to next. I searched through recommended podcasts. Nothing was enticing me. I remembered a podcast someone mentioned on Linkedin. Nah, I had listened to that already. Even though I am sure there were more episodes, I was searching for something else. I saw The Moth series and clicked on that. Just started it when I recalled a podcast I used to listen to. This American Life. I stopped The Moth. I searched and immediately subscribed to This American Life. Ready to listen to next time. 

For me, This American Life was something I would try to catch every time a new one was released. I had to do this at home on my computer. I had no other device capable of playing podcasts at the time. It’s been almost a decade, well I am sure a lot less, but I have never listened to it on anything other than my computer before. Kind of exciting and I am looking forward to listening. Will it be as good as I remember? Will it be better? Will I meet others who listen to it? A former roommate used to ask me, “Did you hear the latest podcast?”. Then we’d talk all about it. I clicked play and waited as the podcast began…..

I skipped a week

And that is okay. Writing this blog weekly was already a new habit I was working on cultivating. Skipping a week is going to be normal and okay. It does not mean I am not working on reaching my goals. It just means something more important came up. Or that I did not decide to spend the time and energy that week on writing here.

Documenting everything all the time is exhausting. I do not even try to do it, but do read about it being exhausting from all the ‘influencers’ I follow. Unless, I imagine, you have a team of people behind you posting everywhere for you. And as we are capable of making decisions we can decide that the extra few minutes would be better doing something else. Recharging, eating, getting some vitamin D, watching another creature play, petting the cat and dog, calling a friend, planning the future, learning about climate change, voting, protesting….. I digress.

Another Day ….NO!

It may have started out as just another day. But I won’t let it stay that way. Unless it is a day of self care and rest. Although I do incorporate self care into every day of the week. A few minutes of exercise, early to bed, sitting around if necessary. The work day can keep me still. I manage to get up a lot. I mean a lot. Drinks, stretches, snacks, stretches, bathroom breaks. Whatever. 

But just another day. I think not. I always have projects in the works. That enables me to work a little on each one (and I do not mean the same one) each day. Today during my morning break I connected with others about a project that I am planning for September. It seems way off, but the end of April is here and summer is right around the corner. This was a little goal, but may have larger impacts. So I say to you, is this just another day? NO! Do something. Even if that is just going outside and looking up at the sky. I mean straight up. But not into the sun. 

As a friend once told me, “I woke up today. It’s a good day.” Make it a beautiful day by doing something with it. I shared in a past post, it can be a small act towards a goal. It all counts.

A Little Book of Alliteration

I illustrated a book! It is called A Little Book of Alliteration it is a children’s book for adults. That’s how we’ve been describing it. Text Art by Richard Hecht and illustrations by moi.

https://www.blurb.com/b/11109022-a-little-book-of-alliteration

Self-published via Blurb.com. Check it out and purchase your copy today!

P.S. – any suggestions on other self-publishing sites? Ones you used/liked/hate/recommend/wouldn’ttouchwithatenfootpole?

I left a toxic environment.

It was a good choice to leave for my sanity. But I took a lower position, going to work my way up. But it is not in a creative field and I am a creative person so I am feeling an emotional struggle to hold on till it’s been a year at least, then I can move around in the business to a new position. That was the plan. I however would prefer to get back to working in a creative field. I just need to read some encouraging words to keep me going on this crazy path of working at a job that is great, but just okay for me.

I am reforming those words. Due to my Dream Job post. I should and will focus more on the dream job. It is one of those things you say you will do more of each year, than several years fly by and you have not done much different. Oh there are moments when things are taking you down that path, then the old familiar things grab you by the hand and skip you backwards or to the side a bit. Saying look at this comfy chair/couch/bed/blanket. Why would you want to face a challenge? Why take a risk? We are not your fear. Follow us over here. Stay where you are and know. But really it is fear in disguise distracting you with a shiny object called comfort zone. 

I refuse to give in! And my secret weapon is you. Yes, tell yourself that you will do this, but also tell everyone else. Have an accountability partner, and from my personal experience have more than one. Write it down. Write the date next to it. Refer back to it. Have a very small goal that you can achieve. Till that goal becomes part of your regular schedule and gets you to where you want to go. Your goals may become totally different as you go down the path. At least though you are going down the path. Finding out if you want to do it and proving that you can do it. Because you deserve the change. You deserve to reach your dreams. 

Do what works best for you. I read a story about someone who wanted to run a marathon. They set out to do so. They injured themselves. They went backwards. But after they healed they set a much smaller goal. One to work their way towards running that marathon. To run for one minute a day. Just one minute. They slowly worked up to five minutes. And not every day. They may never make it to that marathon, but they learned that you do not always have to jump in head first. You can take bite size or really really little bites towards your goals. For me it is writing in this blog. At least once a week. That seems like a small goal. And some of my posts may be shorter than others. And I may not post the same day or the same time. But it will be once a week. Any time that week that I decide. I am also deciding what social media platforms to share the posts on. What works best for my audience? The audience I am trying to reach. Who are they? Where are they? Or is it just for me? Right now it may be just me and that is okay. 

Maybe one day I will answer these questions. Maybe one day I will write out SMART goals. But I suspect I will just add weekly less than 5 minute tasks. Okay, writing the blog post may take more than 5 minutes. But I allow myself to write short or long. That’s the beauty of setting small goals. You also set the parameters. And mine are fluid. Perhaps that is the artist in me.

The price of books and other dilemmas

Hard cover or soft cover? Tactile book or e-book? Online or in person? Bulk order or print by demand? Those are the easy questions. Or you think so till it comes time to price your book. How much to charge depends on how much the publisher is charging you. Then add on your profit, but if you add too much will your book not sell? And does anyone purchase books anymore? Or can you get your book into a library? How do you do that? One of the reasons for creating a book is to create the book. Whether that is to prove to someone that you can do it. Or because  you just had a good idea. It does not matter. But if you expect to make money or become rich off the sales of the book. Then you are either writing a novel, how to book or need to create a time machine. Back to the time before e-books, before printing books yourself was possible. Even when people made zines by copy machine may be too recent. 

I know people will buy the book. Not sure how many. For me the book is one thing on a lifetime journey of creative endeavors. It will be exciting. No matter how many people purchase nor the price of the book. I do like the idea of a book tour. Mini tour. 

Maybe the price will make people feel a special connection to the book. After all, it is art! One of a kind and done by real life artists! 

How much would you pay for a book with hand drawn art?

Dream Job

I was talking with a former co-worker. Ideal email chat, checking in on each other. She asked me what my dream job was. Usually I come up with something vague for this, but not this time. The question, the timing or something in the air made me ponder this question for a while. My true dream job is to not work at all. Well I would work, but being able to do what I want. Like taking fun part time jobs, volunteering, getting up at any time and spending the day riding my bicycle. Is that impossible? I think not! Getting there before I hit retirement age (that’s a long way off yet will be here before I know it) may be my biggest challenge. 

Writing in this blog and actively seeking outlets to display my art are two things I am doing. I know I could do more. Any suggestions on steps to my new dream job goal?

Clicking ‘leave’​ or Networking as an introvert

Someone messaged me via LinkedIn. Nothing unusual there. I get a few generic messages trying to get me to apply to jobs or go back to school. A few ongoing conversations with people I know in real life. The job ones I am like …. is this a real person? Is this a real job? Why would I want to work there when this email is not really personalized? I tend to ignore those robo messages. I apply back to friends and forget the rest.

But then I received one from a contact who just seemed to be using LinkedIn to network. Figure that! Actually using the platform to network in a way that is further than just ‘connecting’ to another person. I bit this bait and I am glad I did for it was a real person on the other end! We chatted back and forth a bit before they politely mentioned that if I was interested in working my side hustle I might be a good fit for what they were doing. I hesitated away from that, but kept the conversation going. I was enjoying the other talk and I could not really understand what it was they did for a living. We shared leads of networking opportunities with each other. Which led to my conflicted personality traits rearing their heads at the same time.

I signed up to join a free online networking opportunity they told me about. Who would not? I mean it was free. That’s my budget! So I was looking forward to the event, not having a clue what was in store. The go getter in me held the baton. Yes I signed up immediately, I was going to go and talk to everyone and share what I want to do and meet all these people who would love and hire me immediately!

Here I am. Registered. Logged in. Camera off. Mic off. Name not complete. What the hell do I put as a job? Then the host shared the event plans. What! They are going to have us breakout into rooms of two people!!! There is no way to hide from only one other person. Breathe. I go through two breakouts with no idea what I am saying, no elevator pitch ready or really receiving much interest from other people. And I forgot to ask them what they do. After the second breakout is done I click the leave button and I am out of there!

The leave button on Zoom. You have all seen it. And it is calling me from the moment they said rooms of two. Not only do I hit the leave button and leave Zoom. I leave the physical room I am in. Like they will not be able to see me now that I left the area.

I breathe and go back into the room. Sit back down and click that button on Zoom. Here I am again. Back in the room with my camera and mic on. The host is talking to one other person who was late to the event. I act like I had some internet problems, but I left. I hit the leave button and I have no regrets about it! I would do it again, but I am glad that I also faced my inner shy self and went back in. I ended up meeting more people. And even though this event was not my thing. I did find some inspiration from the people I talked to after I decided to go back in. Because I now had some knowledge of what was going to happen, what people were there for and how to better use my time. Instead of rambling on (which I think I was only doing in my head) I focused on either what I wanted to get out or asked them questions. Was this their first time? I found out it was for a lot of them. And for the person that said that they have been to these events for over 20 years, I asked why they keep going. What they did and so on. I actually had someone say maybe I could write for them in the future! Now that was an unpaid offer, but hey it was something. Even if we both knew I was not going to do that.

The important part of the night for me was this: I went back in. I let myself freak out, leave, leave the room. Heck I would have been okay if I needed to walk all the way outside or hide in the bathroom for awhile. In the future I may do that last one in real life.

Amy’s Art Cabaret – Debut

Inspired by Dueling Makers and Art Ateliers (personal podcast about artists and their art studios), I present to you Amy’s Art Cabaret. Saturdays, 2pm PST live stream. An artist, or two or three and myself. We’ll talk art, life, time and more while making art! Note; art is interpreted as all mediums and media. Music, dance, general silliness and serious art will be created live in front of your eyes via Youtube! So sign up now to follow!

Engaged audience members!

Dueling Makers

How often do you get out of your comfort zone only to realize you really like doing this thing that you hesitated to do? Or maybe even did not want to do. Why? Why did you not want to do it when you knew you could?

Shyness is nice and shyness can stop you from doing all the things in life you’d like to

After I was indirectly, or was that directly challenged, to go against my boss (welcome to upper management he said to me once) to be in an episode of Dueling Makers I thought well I’ll get through this. I cannot say no. And I should invite everyone I know! Which I did. And I am happy I did. Cause I had a blast. What a great way to end a work day.

I really like the flowers I created on this episode. And look how much my hair has grown out!

My immediate reaction after the show? I want to create my own series! I do not want it to be restricted to a time and day or even to be weekly. I want to invite my local, national and international friends! Now to figure out what to call it, for it will not be affiliated with Dueling Makers, nor a challenge show. It will also be open to all ages and kinds of medium and people. Suggestions anyone? And do you want to be on an episode? Let the fun begin!