Two Sides of a Coin

I’m back at my studio after two weeks of travel, early school dismissals, and sinus infections. Inspite of the goodness that is family mangement/motherhood. it never ceases to amaze me how that gig can consume every last drop of time for creative pursuits.

It’s bittersweet to be here these days, knowing that I’ll have to pack it all up soon. I got a lot done here, in this room of my own. I grew as an artist and writer. I tried brave new things. But, all in all, all of my bigger goals have gone unmet. I’m still not making money as a writer, or as a minister. After much initial interest, my first book proposal is still drifting around, nearly dead in the water. People ask me to teach, then back down when they hear I charge a standard professional fee (that’s life with non-profits I suppose.) I haven’t figured out the freelancing thing. (I can’t seem to write fast enough to get out the critical mass necessary to land a few articles.) And my Etsy shop was just starting to turn a profit, but now I have to shut it down in January because of the overseas move.

I’m glad, so glad, that I’ve rented this room of my own…but sad too, that I’m still so stuck in my journey to the land of professional writers. I’m trying to embrace the small is beautiful concept that even a small start is enough, but sometimes it’s hard.

What do you do when your goals seem unachievable?

Miriam November 20, 2007 at 2:33 pm

I get stubborn. When I am determined, and believe in something, I become the immovable object, or perhaps the irresistible force. I know (I know!!) how hard it is to in the neverneverland of the journey … and you’re farther than I … but I really do think you’re right that Small is Beautiful, even if it’s not exactly where you want to be all the time!

Liz November 20, 2007 at 3:53 pm

Oh that sticky dark and musty place. In the last year or so, I have been trying some different things… I put away ALL my lists, my planning goals my journals about planning and such, and I start randomly pulling things off of shelves in my studio. Usually things I haven’t looked at in a while. Sketches, notes about an idea for a piece, letters from friends or my sister that I left out for myself to find at another time. AND I walk. I walk whether it is raining or sunny. I breathe and I walk, and sometimes talk to myself. I really believe that the physical motion has helped me to get out of more stuck places in my head and heart than anything else has… good luck with all the moving, and once you’re settled again… begin again…

Tess November 21, 2007 at 2:35 pm

You ask what you do when your goals seem unachievable.

You head on over to Barbara Sher’s website at
You join her bulletin board forum (, scroll down to Wishes and Obstacles, share your goals and frustrations and get help and ideas from loads of kind and wise people.

And a question from me: this may be obvious, but why do you have to shut down your Etsy shop? Why can’t you run it from Denmark?

Elaine November 21, 2007 at 11:31 pm

I am not a good source for advice on achieving goals because I struggle at step one — creating goals. But my purpose in commenting is not to give you advice but encouragement instead.

Here are two reasons — I could easily add a few dozen more — why I think your being published and achieving your other creative objectives are a matter of *when* not if:
– Dia de los Muertos
– Immigrant Diaries: Melancholy Songs

Are you sure you don’t have enough “critical mass” in your blog posts to land a few articles, as you put it?

I know my words would carry more weight if I were a publisher. Sigh. Not even close to one as in neighbour or friend who owes me a favour. Maybe you can collect up these and similar comments and send them off to prospective publishers to show there is a faithful readership for your writing.

Cre8Tiva November 22, 2007 at 7:57 pm

never give up on a dream…but you can adjust it…maybe the time line is not the same as the universe…happy thanksgiving my friend, rebecca

Kristin November 23, 2007 at 2:14 pm

I recently bought a book that I’m really enjoying. I can imagine it being of interest to you, too. It’s called “Writer Mama”, by Christina Katz – all about baby steps toward lots of published work, even in the midst of all the demands of parenting.

A blessing on the discouraged parts of you.

Rachelle November 25, 2007 at 7:23 pm

A big thank you to everyone who has given me advice and good tidings.

I think I do need to become a “unmoveable force” in this publishing endeavor. It feels like new doors may open after my move, with a new voice and a new setting. I’m dreaming into it even now….

I’m checking out Writing Mama now… :-)

Bansheegrrll December 5, 2007 at 11:29 pm

What do I do when the goals seem unacheivable?

I break them down into smaller steps. I look at what it is that I really want to accomplish (is it to be published by a publisher, or is it to get the book out there into people’s hands, or is to be heard in some way? Or is it to get paid for being creative?) The real goal . . . or goals . . . then I brainstorm all the little ways I could make it happen, all the steps that might get me there.

I’m really big on baby steps. Hope that “Writer Mama” helps!

Kazi December 8, 2007 at 5:03 pm

How wonderful to stumble upon your website and this particular posting.

I’m an editor for a major newspaper group (Australia) and two magazines: Image; and Food & Wine. I also write/manage two sites on creativity/writing etc. (freelance inspiration) and (creative recovery/free online artist way workshop)

I remember fondly sitting where you are sitting now – a single mum and feeling like my wheels were doing nothing but spinning.

Have you ever heard of the terminology: the quitting zone.

It’s the zone we feel when we are about to experience a major breakthrough: some people quit and never realize their life’s purpose/goal and others continue with their love and passion: following their inner light without immediate gratification.

I highly recommend The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. Every time I work this book/exercises I open up to a new level in regard to my career and writing achievement. Work and rework this book and allow a power greater than self to guide you to your destination.

I have commissioned so many people for columns: people following their own light: a foodie who runs her own website on local places to eat, was invited to write a regular column for FW mag. A hairdresser and personal trainer now write regular cols. for Image mag. These people were focusing on what they loved to do – their trade and unpaid writing on the side. A writing career landed on their laps, a writing career landed on mine and I feel a creative career will land on yours as well.

The key to mastery (ie creating your life’s purpose) is to ditch the frustration, develop faith and trust with your imagination (dare to dream BIG not small) and develop acceptance – find the beauty in the small and beautiful things, the gifts of day to day life. (How wonderful to have a space regardless of where it is of your own – an essential for all creative people, I think!)

Stay in contact with me if you like, I am interested in your journey.

Keep the pen in your hand and the dream in your heart – Kazi
My point is you never know when the Universe will determine its your turn, pretty soon you will move through the quitting zone and the only limitations are our imagination/thinking.

in the meantime … it’s important for us to keep creating (whatever our field) regardless.

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