I'm back and 2014 feels good already.
We spent a week in New Mexico with family, and got every drop of relaxation we could out of our winter break. Today, as you read this, everyone has resumed their routine as usual, hopefully a little more rested (and in newer clothes).
I came home to the nicest surprise. An advance copy of my book sent by my editor. I didn't realize I was opening anything like THAT when I was casually opening the mail folder, then BAM! I screamed! The kids wanted to know what was wrong. To hold this book in my hands, the equivalent of a year plus of work, feels almost as exciting as meeting my two babies for the first time. Peter and I sat down and flipped through the pages, I embarrassed everyone by smelling the paper and running my hands over the surface of each page. It is really here!
Many blog authors write books. I mean, we see this often, right? That whole process looked easy from where I sat. They write a blog, get noticed by a publisher, get asked to write a book, done and done. For me personally, it was NOT as easy as that. By the time I got around to approaching publishers about my book, it was a bit harder to convince publishers that just because you're a blogger you can write a book. (I don't blame them frankly.) Because of that, I worked to convince a lot of people along the way that Yes! I can do this, and Yes! I can words that people want to read, and Yes! I have content that would work great in a book. That takes a lot of believing in yourself and what you are doing, because some days you will feel like you're not good enough. These feelings were something I hadn't needed to tap into so solidly for a long time. Leaving a career 10+ years ago to be at home for made me wonder if I have the same gumption and drive I once had. Did I go soft? Do I still have the stomach for it? This time around, my "work"- handcrafting and teaching others to enjoy handcrafting- is something I feel so excited about, and have such a passion for, that it was, in fact, expressing my drive was surprisingly easy. It's in my soul. I live it!
2014 is all about continuing to get up every morning excited and passionate about what I do. And sharing that with all of you, even more than I ever have. It won't be all roses and unicorns every day, but I really want to keep all that effort and passion that I put into making this book a reality close to me and use it, every day. Do what I do with intention. As an example, I work at home. Sometimes I even dress up to go down to my studio and work! Why not? I learned that from my daughter, who comes down the stairs completely made up in a black dress and tights just to sit around on a Saturday or Sunday. At first we were all like "whoa, where are YOU going?", until I started thinking "why not?". If it makes you happy? Do it!
A lot of us talk about a word(s) to focus on at the beginning of each new year. Last year, mine was be curious. This year, it's intention.
Intention- an act or instance of determining mentally upon some action or result; purpose or attitude toward the effect of one's actions.
As usual, my smart family sent some great links to start the year off with intention, or with a good laugh, which is also needed, and I wanted to share.
Fill out these questions and create an Artist's Statement. (I had a lot of fun doing this!)