Donna's Writings

08/18/2010

Mid-summer check in

Hi everyone, I hope you’ve been enjoying the Summer of Lace posts! I know I immensely enjoyed working with all of the creative designers who contributed to Successful Lace Knitting, and I wanted to share a bit of that collaborative experience with you in this series of posts. There are a few more remaining in the series but I’d like to take a few minutes out for a mid-summer check in, because my travels are about half over (I’ve spent a month in England and a month moving around, and now I have two months in Vilnius with a short excursion to Geneva and Rome planned). Before I started this summer, I set out to create a plan for my business and creative life. In the plan, I had four goals: two focused on creativity and two focused on making money (specifically EARNING and PROMOTION). Over the first half of my trip, I found myself doing really well on the money-making tasks, but not spending as much time as I’d like on creativity explorations (although I did take some time out for a little painting, thanks to the encouragement of a friend.)
my painting

Painting for fun!

Today I had a mid-summer chat with my business and creativity coach, Cynthia Morris, and made some plans to spend more time on my creativity goals for GROWTH and PLAY during the rest of my trip. To do this, I’m going to work with Cynthia’s Creative Toolkit for the Traveler, with the goal of having fun while capturing the experience of being EuroDonna. Instead of trying to write long, extensive pieces in my journal, I am going to let myself spend a moment here and there doodling with words (and some pictures). Some of the things I will try will be capturing bits of dialog I hear around me, making lists of words for each letter in the alphabet, writing haiku, capturing special moments in words and sketches, and making a scrapbook of Lithuanian ephemera like bus tickets, store receipts, and other things I find interesting. If I feel like writing more about anything, I’ll do some freewriting, but only if I want to, if it is for fun. At the same time, I want to GROW and learn more about writing, just by writing! I am also going to explore PLAY by being led by fiber arts materials. Tomorrow I’m going to a knitting club at a local yarn shop and I will  get some new fiber arts supplies. I will just let the materials tell me what to create. I’m not deciding now if I will be knitting, crocheting, felting, or even trying some other type of techniques. When I see what materials are available, I will just dive in and do something interesting. Most of my work is with traditional knitting techniques from around the world, so my creative works are limited and constrained by the traditions I am writing about. I have enjoyed working with these constraints very much, but now I want to focus on discovery and exploration, and do something that feels fresh. I want to keep my own personal connection with the fiber, rather than working with it because I am teaching or writing about some specific techniques. I want to explore being me as an artist, rather than as a teacher. So there you have it. I can’t wait to see what happens over the next two months. Yes, there’s also work. Finishing up an article and a book, making a pile of socks and mittens for the same book, and doing stuff for my day job. But now that I’m settled in Vilnius, a place that feels more home to me than where I actually live, I am looking forward to settling into a comfort zone and routine, giving myself time to explore creativity, to work with fibers and textures and words and colors and shapes and – WHATEVER – to see what interesting art pops out of my soul. And with that, back to our regularly scheduled programming.
Travel
2 Comments
  1. Donna

    Thanks Cynthia. The journey is always fun! Well not always. Sometimes I forget that it supposed to be fun and get bogged down in the details. I read somewhere the other day that there are more important things than always being caught up! LOL

  2. Cynthia Morris 08/19/2010 at 7:46 am Reply

    Donna,
    Thanks for sharing your creative process with us. I love helping you! It can be challenging to juggle personal and professional creativity. I know I’ve had to work to ensure I have my own writing voice and not just my coach’s writing voice.

    It’s also challenging to balance producing and inspiration gathering while traveling. We’re in a different state, literally and figuratively, when we’re away from home. That can be very helpful for our creativity, if we can play with it. I’m so glad you’re using my Creative Travel Tools to enjoy your odyssey more!

    Have fun!

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