the process of becoming

a blog for twenty-somethings trying to navigate the world and follow your dreams


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the end of an era

It’s official. I’m going to semi-retire this blog. Not because I no longer desire to share the joys and woes of this 20-something life, but because my passion lies in a much more specific field, and it’s not fair to neglect this blog with the intentions of not doing so.

Whenever I prepare for an interview—whether for a paying job or an internship—I re-realize why I’m doing it and why I’m pursuing book publishing. I have SO much excitement about the literary scene and community here in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota (the “Twin Cities” for those of whom do not live or have ever been here), and books and writers themselves bring me the greatest joy. I’ve had the privilege of meeting awesome people in publishing and the joy of becoming acquaintances with writers and MAGERSliterary figures who either call the Twin Cities their home or are visiting.

So why am I telling you this? I’m not going to dissolve all my interests into only book-related things (secret time: I have lots of hobbies. I play a few video games, I knit, and I LOVE horror movies, to name a few), but I am going to start something that I’ve been meaning to return to for a while, which is creative writing (in a new way), and I really want to share my excitement about the people and experiences that I’m getting here.

AWP-signA year ago, my mentor challenged me to go to one literary event/reading a week after hearing me express how many I was finding out about and how I felt it almost too much. Suddenly, I found myself last minute at the Saturday sessions of AWP—by myself—and loving being there. And then there were more readings, and events, and then a job where that is what I do, and an internship and gwsuddenly I know people. Not only is my husband graduated and excited about art, but I have this very young community around me that I want to reach out to in new ways.

Thus, my new blog will be about that. About the amazing literary events happening right rain taxi 2013.jpghere in my hometown (and oh, yes, across the river in St. Paul too ;)). About authors, debuts, poetry slams, book festivals, collaborative readers, books in art—you name it! And hopefully also a place for discussion to start.

So farewell, the Process of Becoming. I do believe I achieved what I set out to do—become a 20-something who, despite the mishaps of post-college adulting, is proud to have discovered who she is, who she’s become.

Thank you for reading!

Best wishes,

Sarah

P.S. I will tell you when the new blog is live!


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hello again, friend

It’s been a while.

Things have changed, rather drastically, and dare I say that I feel like a different person? I think so. It’s December, and 2015 is coming to a swift end, which, obviously, calls for reflection!

Couple things!

I’m looking into re-launching this blog/website, but I’m ready for it to be a little more focused, and little less personal, and a little less commercial (in those few and far between posts that seemed so much like random articles we read online). But I’m not sure what that means! I do know that it means I want to add a page for my freelance writing services and possibly merge my portfolio onto here, while also keeping the other site as well.

I also know that I want the book reviews to come back and the reflections on literary events series to be in full swing. I mean, I get to experience SO many every month now!

Which brings me to my career update (and the bringer of joyous news!): 

  • I took a hiatus from blogging when I was hired by an independent bookstore (and the best, IMHO) as the Events Assistant. I have been privileged to work alongside authors such as Nick Offerman and Marlon James, to name a few. I also assist with social media and general retail in the store. (YES, I get to touch books all day, new and old!)
  • I started freelancing more and am currently a company newsletter producer and designer (and writer and journalist all in one!).
  • I became a barista at an independent coffee shop and trained in Dogwood Coffee classes.
  • But the best part is that I was hired as a Marketing & Publicity Intern at the prestigious Graywolf Press in Minneapolis!

I could have written a big giant post about all my excitement, but I realized that with these 4 unexpected new opportunities, I would need to concentrate on giving my 100% to all of the above. And being at Graywolf really showed me that all my 8 months of planning, researching, networking, and prepping to break my way into the publishing industry had paid off and helped me step into the glorious book publishing world.

And I couldn’t be happier.

Now as the internship draws to a close, I turn to the new year with more hope than I have ever had for my future career — no matter the timing, I know I can succeed (without moving to New York!).

So I will be brainstorming and deciding what this blog is really going to be. It was a journey to get to where I’m at now, but it’s also an opportunity to grow and share even more of what this creative world holds.

Cheers to change, hope, and reinventing creativity.

 

 

 

 


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being a drifting creative

CREATIVE MIND

(Image courtesy of Yasmeanie on Deviantart Picture)

Calling all creatives, this post is for YOU.

I’ve only recently begun to call myself that term as a noun instead of an adjective. Me. Sarah. A “creative.” I like it, because when I quit drawing and painting back in high school, it started the small crisis of what do I call myself now? I knew I was a writer, but I didn’t feel like I could own the term “artist” anymore.

Now, I know that I’m all three. I’m an artist, a writer, and an all-around creative. It fits, because it covers all my bases, leaves room for growth (what if I want to start repurposing furniture? Start an Etsy shop of my knitting and cross-stitching? Start making literal book art out of book pages? Paint again!?)… and it also sounds rather mysterious.

“Hi Sarah, how would you describe yourself?”

“I’m a quirky, twenty-something creative with a passion for all things literary.”

It’s helped.

The only problem? I’m going through the crisis again.

But really, it’s one I’ve gone through many a time, as I’m sure every other artist/creative/writer/designer, etc has in his/her life. Especially before we hit 30. Where one moment you’re dead sure you’re going to be that next famous watercolor painter (me), but then you get a bad grade in Drawing 1 and you high tail it out of there in favor of acting. (Pretty close to me). You move onto something else. You identify yourself with a new project, a new passion.

I’ve had so many ideas that turn into interests, interests that turn into passions, and passions that turn in artwork and actions that actually end up falling through and leaving me discouraged. Right now I’m finding myself faced with this blog. Do I love blogging? Yes. Do I have what it takes to maintain it? I’m finding out rather quickly. But I don’t want to give it up, 1) because this is what I decided to do for a time, a solid amount of time, and because I’m way too tired of changing my mind, or giving up on something simply because I wasn’t passionate enough or good enough as the next person. How many people can say that about opportunities, jobs, even careers?

I’m trying to tell myself it’s not that I’m broken, and it’s not that I can never make up my mind. I’m sure of many things, like my love of books, my talent in writing and editing, and my passion for creativity and art and loving people. But I’m 23 and I still haven’t found my niche, the way those passions take action and root and turn into something permanent, concrete, or long-term.

I’m tired of drifting. But maybe this is just part of the process.

Do any of you 20-somethings feel this way? Creatives? What helped you narrow down your interests or passions and start focusing on that one thing that makes you you?


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goals, resolutions, or dreams? my list for 2015

With New Year’s behind us and already a surge in pink and red Valentine’s products filling stores and ads, I almost feel like 2015 started without me! The holidays were busy, we cleaned the entire apartment, I packed away the wrapping paper and supplies, and before I knew it – I didn’t even fill the champagne glasses in time for us all to yell “happy new year.” Oops!

After the hustle settled down, I started thinking about what I wanted 2015 to look like for me. I have never been big on making new year’s resolutions, maybe because as a teen I wanted to be “different” or maybe because I knew the stats showed I wouldn’t keep them.

However, this year I’ve decided to put more thought into the beginning of a new year, even if I’m a few days or weeks late. After all, a goal/resolution is still helpful whether it’s made on January 1st or June 21st (Summer Solstice goals could be a thing, right?). I’ve learned so much, and I’m growing in the ways I discipline myself, look at my life, and try to change. I have dreams, but I’m also learning about what is practical (and tending towards that vein) rather than what looks great but may fail (Pinterest DIYs, anyone?).

But what is the difference between the popular word “resolutions” and the common “goal”? Do we define them by practicality, feasibility, or reality? Or can dreams be included as well?

I have a “bucket list” that I made in Italy in 2012 which I’ve tried not to think of as a joke. It consists mostly of dreams that could actually happen. Things on the list back then were “fall in love and get married,” “ride a gondola in Venice,” “travel to (fill in the blank here),” etc, many of which I have achieved. But when I went back to that list, I realized that I needed to keep it for reasons other than having items to cross off and brag about. I needed to think about what I really want out of this one life I get to live. I started thinking about my dreams and figuring out how I can turn those into practical, realistic goals that can be achievable.

For me, I like the term goals because they can be broken down into achievable parts, and they can originate from dreams and life-long goals. “Resolutions” sounds too abstract or me. Thus, the “2015 goals” lists were born. Multiple ones, as I have a personal one as well as a creative & professional one. These lists are born out of my dreams, and I will come up with practical plans for reaching them. I’m not a quitter, and so if I set small goals in the beginning and reach those, the by-end-of-December-2015 goals will be less daunting and impossible.

These are some of my 2015 goals (creative or personal):

1. Build up my writing portfolio and have at least 10 finished or published pieces by the end of the year (this blog or other mediums).

2. Read 35 books, 5 of which should be classics.

3. Create art I am proud of and can share. Don’t leave unfinished products or abandon talent.

4. Manage and maintain a blog regularly! (:

5. Narrow down my passions and practice focus.

6. Learn and practice Italian.

7. Gain as much job, internship, or volunteer experience as is feasible and learn from everything I take part in. Know my limits and what stress is too much.

What are some of your goals or resolutions for 2015? Are they born out of dreams or more practical steps?