the process of becoming

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


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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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the recent adventures of this 20-something

I know, I know. I’ve been MIA from this blog for the past month or so. I think about it a lot, but I’ve been going through the expected mid-blog crisis (which falls about a few months in) of the usual insecurities. Are my posts interesting? Do I write/market/pick topics for the right audience? Will anyone read these? Is this the most important thing I could be doing? Hasn’t someone said this before? 

All good questions, but not all helpful for motivational purposes. Either way, no I have not abandoned you. I’ve come to realize that a blog is a life too, and it needs time to develop, grow, and become the blog it needs to be. As well as the blog’s author/writer. No pun intended.

As an update, the recent adventures of this 20-something include:

1. Unexpectedly going to the last day of AWP ’15 (Association of Writers and Writing Programs Conference) in my homie Minneapolis in the beginning of April and experiencing all sorts of grand bookish knowledge, overwhelming book fair booths, important people meandering around me, and furiously scribbling all words of advice and inspiration in my notebook. Unfortunately it did not involve lots of laughing with sophisticated writer friends or copious amounts of free drinks, but it did include pleasant meet-ups, awesome poetry, and much grown-up-edness. It was truly an epic meant for a blog post by itself. (It might be outdated, but I’m still going to write one. It was just so rad)

2. Publishing internship applications, application-denying emails, and general anxiety over my aging body and the fleeting number of open entry-level positions in the Twin Cities area (in the beginning? like, 12. right now? zero). I know I know, I need to relax, it was only my first round of trying.

3. Discovering that, in the meantime and possibly forever in addition to some kind of career in publishing, my dream job is STILL to work in a bookstore shelving, recommending, and selling books. I cannot tell you ENOUGH how much my nose wants to smell that new and old paper smells all day and err’y day. I don’t care a lick how it pays, I will probably be in the depths of despair forever if I don’t work in one at some point in my life. The journey begins.

GilbertBlythe-copy4. Being in the depths of despair over the passing of beloved Johnathan Crombie, AKA Gilbert Blythe, my actor-represented first literary crush. I actually watched Part 2 of the Sequel the night before I found out the news, and it was SO. SAD. I mean, AGH.

5. My new goal of going to two literary events in the Twin Cities every month. My mentor challenged me to one a week, but with all my interactions at work most days, ain’t no introvert got time for that! I plan on posting a photo and short post for each one I go to. (and no, AWP doesn’t count! Although I went to that after the challenge begun at the end of March)

6. Being so so so so excited for my husband to graduate on Saturday! We have big plans for teamed-up creativity for when he finally has the time, and I’m starting to look forward to that more than I ever expected. Stay tuned!


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my inspiration

Image

Some people get their inspiration, their spark, from nature, some from photography, some from food, or feelings, or stories, or people, or other art. 

I think I get it from all of those things, too. But the biggest source of inspiration for my writing are words. Words like the short poems I read on Tumblr quite often: unpublished, raw, real words. I don’t go to book stores to be inspired, I go to bookstores to drink in published works. But when I want to write myself, I read what is unedited, rough, and dripping with recent emotion. 

Here is an example of what I read and what makes me want to type and scribble until my fingers turn navy blue. 

“i could live with a life of
adjusting your collar,
ironing down shirts
and our future.
i could live with a life of
kissing the top of your head
while you bandage my scraped knee.
i will love you at 2 am
over sandwiches and
silliness,
sitting cross-legged on the
kitchen floor.
i could live a life with you 
of not only dancing in
the rain,
kissing in the rain,
but sharing together the
unspeakable joy
of standing in the midst
of a storm and
each other,
getting drenched, and
laughing out loud
with each other and
God.
and so, we will help
each other hang up the
laundry
which muffles what
our hearts want to say, and
when we don’t feel like
dancing, we will look
at each other and leave
that up to our eyes.
when your heart hurts 
because it’s been a long
day and you can’t help
but wonder why you can
bandage people up but
sometimes they never
heal,
i will sit on the floor with
you and hold your hand
and tell you that you
are the strongest person
i know.
and when there is no joy
in the storm
and the rain never seems
to stop, and it soaks
our shoes and makes 
us utterly miserable,
like coming down with
a cold in june,
please understand that i am
equally miserable without
your company.
this is what i have to offer you.
i hope you can live with the
weight of my words
and the girl along with them. 
i hope you can love me,
not just now,
but when i am old, 
and only my soul
is beautiful.”