Public Affair

Anyone who knows me well, knows that my favourite author is the sublimely talented Elizabeth Gilbert. I find her so inspiring, her memoir Eat Pray Love changed my life and helped me forge my own journey (albeit not through the beauty of places like Italy, Bali or India) to self acceptance and through the pit of depression and out into the light. If you follow my Goodbye Fatty blog, you will no doubt already know all about these challenges and what I went through so you are all caught up? Great!

Liz (I hope I am allowed to call her that?) has written a fabulous new book called Big Magic, it is all about creative living beyond fear, something that speaks very expressly to me. I have been devouring this book every night, chapter by chapter, consistently fist pumping and screaming out “Yes! Yes! This so happens!” to the point of my housemates asking if I am ok in there (to which I reply with a resounding YES!). This is something that I have struggled with for so long, constantly being excited by creativity, but then fear creeps in and takes over and everything dwindles and I fall back into the black pit of “artist suffering” resolving myself to the fact that I will never be a writer or creative person.

A large part of the book explores our influences growing up and what people say to us about being creative and how this cannot lead to success (or what the world deems as successful) and I must admit that this is where probably three quarters of my fear comes from. What if I put it out there and it gets shot down? What if everyone laughs at it and it is a complete failure? What if my family read it and realise that some of this is about them? What then? This and a host of a million other questions consistently flood my mind when I start a creative project, I exhaust myself going through all of this, that I am so depleted and my creativity is completely bruised and battered, and the project slips away.

One of the ideas in the book explores making our creative projects public, this is something that I also struggle with, I have believed for the longest time that all creative work is for public consumption, otherwise how do you know if its any good? This has been my struggle this week and my realisation is this, I create because I want to create, because I make something that did not exist the day before. I do it because it get’s hold of me and I have to get it out. It doesn’t have to be a fully formed novel or script, it can be an idea with a few major plot points, and the more I dwell on it and research it, it reveals more of itself during this process. My problem is posting everything up for anyone and everyone to see before it has been attended to and coddled to produce a work worthy of creativities idea. I also do this in my personal life too and this has been a huge realisation this week, I looked back at the last few posts on here and they are deeply personal. I am posting up thoughts and events about myself and someone else I am currently involved with (hopefully still am!) and while I am an open book, he is a private person who does not necessarily want my thoughts about us and him out there for everyone to see.

When I approached the subject with him, he did listen and say that he understands why I need to write about it, and I agree to some extent that I definitely do need to write about it, but that doesn’t mean that it has to be public. So if you are reading this expecting hot and steamy details about my relationship, I am sorry to disappoint you, moving forward that is completely off the cards, I will be continuing to write about it, but it will not be something that is made for public consumption.

I feel like this is a first in a series of giant leaps forward for my creative life and I am excited about where it takes me. If you look to the left you will see a cute little cartoon that I nabbed from Liz Gilbert’s Facebook page about fear. This is a quote from Big Magic about where fear should be in the presence of our creative lives. “Fear is allowed to come along for the ride, but it is sitting in the back seat, it doesn’t get a say, it doesn’t get to navigate, it definitely does not get to take over, it does not even get to touch the radio! Instead of fighting it or conquering it, we have to work with it and acknowledge that it exists” I cannot stop reading this passage over and over and dwelling on the direction this will take my writing.

Recently I gave up playing games and dedicated that time to my writing, already in the last few weeks I have seen such a surge forward in my work, I am getting to pursue and accept so many things that I just kept on the back-burner because I was convinced that I would do these things “when the time was right”. Already this post is close to 1000 words, something that used to feel like such a chore to get out, now just seems to be flowing out of me as I open myself up to the creative process and accept that yes I am a writer, yes I am a successful creator and I have all the tools I need to do this.

If you want to listen to the Magic Lessons podcast hosted by Liz Gilbert you can subscribe here

2013 – The Year Of The Happiness Jar

2013 – I can’t believe it’s over already! But it is and here we are starting a brand new calendar year already! At the start of this year I started a happiness jar from my favourite author Liz Gilbert and every time something good or something that made me happy I wrote it down and put it in the jar. When I had bad days when I felt depressed or sad I would empty out the jar and re-read everything in it in an attempt to reflect on what was important in my life and what makes me, me.

I have gleefully watched this jar fill up and up all year long and decided that NYE was the perfect time to reflect on the year and remember the happiness over the sadness and stash the happy times in a scrapbook and start the jar empty again!

1) My sister came today! We got to spend some good quality time together, just the 2 of us

2) I got rid of all the poison and went to work HAPPY and with a positive attitude

3) I got to hang out with my brother for a few days! WOW I MISS HIM!

4) I went out clubbing and didn’t get drunk. I reconnected with old friends and had such a great time

5) I realised who my true friends are and who I have to cut out of my life to move forward and be happy.

6) I’m going to find better friends and do what Tim did get rid of the losers and abusers

7) Mum is home from hospital and she is safe, happy and healthy!

8) Dinner with Sonia and Hannah. I feel supported, loved and appreciated

9) Today I got the email about the internship! My life could CHANGE!

10) Today I started going to the gym…oh god what have I done? This will be good for me! Stick with it

11) Feels like Tim and I are getting our friendship back on track. This time I won’t let it slip away!

12) One of my friends got a job at a newspaper as a journalist and thanked me for my help with his writing. What the?? Crazy but ill take it!

13) First personal training session today – the guy is a little weird, but doesn’t seem like the typical gym douche. My whole body is crying in pain but I am feeling good for doing it.

14) Holy Boobs Batman! I went down a pants size!! WHAT THE??? So happy! Keep going

15) I got offered a management position! Seriously? Ok this is scary but I am excited for the challenge

16) A work colleague I struggled to get along with is now someone I consider a friend. Seriously never EVER saw this twist coming! Such a great guy and a great support.

17) MY whole family is coming for christmas! I am so excited to see everyone and have some great quality time with them all at our house.

18) Queensland was AMAZING! So much fun, so much sun, I loved the energy in that place.

19) EB Expo was today and got to go as media. Such a great vibe and buzzing with next gen goodness. I feel so blessed to be a part of this! I feel like I am starting to be taken seriously as a writer!

20) My bestie is pregnant!!! OH MY GOD! So excited for them! I cannot imagine two better people as parents!

21) I got a new job, a new job that appreciates their staff! Wow! haha but seriously seems like it’s going to be a challenge but I feel like it is the right move!

22) OMG I got good marks at uni? WHAT THE!!?!!!?!!?! So proud of myself right now

23) Finished 5 chapters!! AWESOME!!! KEEP GOING! DON’T GIVE UP! Am so excited for this world I am creating.

24) Just got another game from Black Panel to review. Feel out of my depth but am loving the challenge

25) Newcastle Mirage!! WOOT WOOT! Bring it ON! Exciting new zine for Newcastle, so honoured to be writing for it!

These are the 25 pieces of paper in my jar, and while yes it may not be the most revolutionary pieces of happiness on the planet, they are mine nonetheless and I will treasure them for 2013.

So out with the old and in with the new! I will attempt to do more than 25 this year and welcome the influx of happiness in my life! Let the photo’s roll!

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