This video, at half an hour, is longer than what I usually post; but I’m asking you to watch it because it reveals a critical problem that I wasn’t even aware of until recently: Western consumerism is literally choking the world. Please watch this, and then add your thoughts to the comments below. What can we do to lessen the problem of discarded clothing?
Because writing is such a solitary pursuit, unless we writers have someone to vent to, we can lose our perspective and objectivity, especially where our own writing is concerned. And while we know that everyone’s path is unique, sometimes we compare ourselves to others and find ourselves lacking.
When that happens, the voices in our heads pontificate, and we believe them.
Here’s what the voices are telling me right now:
- What I’m writing is not very good.
- I’ll never get a book into print.
- If I haven’t broken through yet, it’ll never happen—I’m too old.
In my darkest moments, I believe it. I’m ready to quit. I’m ready to pivot. I’ll be a reader, or a quilter, instead. I’ll spend my time practicing piano. I’ll throw myself into Zentangle, or drawing, or painting. There are so many better ways I could spend my life, so many things I’d rather be doing.
I love all those things. I squeeze them in. In between my writing.
I’m addicted to writing. I hate it. I love it. I can’t not write.
So I remind myself:
- I’m a better writer now than I was a few years ago. I keep growing.
- Writing is a challenging career. The most important ingredient of success is perseverance.
- Some people take a longer time than others to reach their goals.
So, why am I writing this? To vent? A little. But also because I know someone out there is hearing those same discouraging pronouncements from the voices in her head. I want to say, I’ve been there. I know what you’re going through. Don’t give up. Write for yourself. Write for that one person who needs to read what you’re writing. Trust that someday, some way, your words will get into that person’s hands.
Don’t believe the lies.
Doesn’t it seem harder and harder to buy the perfect gift for a special person? And with the supply chain problem we’re experiencing, this Christmas might be even more challenging for shoppers.
Maybe we all could make gifts this year.
And if we could use supplies we already have, that would be super!
And if we can repurpose something we have that we’re not using, even better!
Looking around the web for ideas, I’ve found some that look not terribly difficult or expensive to make. You still have time to make a few of these! (And you can probably modify them to accommodate materials you have on hand.)
Click on the links for directions.
Don’t tell anyone, but I am working on this Holly Jolly Christmas quilt.
Chunky Knit Throw Blanket I priced the yarn at about $10 a skein, and you need at least 3 skeins for a small throw blanket, so proceed cautiously with this. The good news: no needles or supplies needed other than the yarn!
Photo Keepsake Ornaments You could use any photos for these. You could go take pictures of your recipients’ houses! (But if you look like you’re casing the place, you could get arrested. . .)
Refrigerator Magnets made from photographs and jar lids.
Upcycle an Old Frame for the grandparents. The kids can help. Use it to frame a picture of the family in ugly Christmas sweaters or a kid’s visit with Santa.
Now it’s your turn. Are you making any holiday gifts this year? If you do, post a picture on your social media or website, and give us a link in the comments below. (It’s okay if you wait until after you give it if it’s a surprise.)Tell us how you made it—did you design it yourself? Or where did you find the instructions?
This week’s offerings are heavy on writing tips. But there are some crumbs for the quilters and crafters.
- Incredibly fine quilting from the International Quilt Festival.
- A quilter talks about the creative process.
- Make some holiday cards.
- A profile of the first Native Secretary of the Interior, Deb Haaland.
- How to improve the article you’ve just written.
- How to write a short story.
- For the fiction writers: a very good article on characterization.
- Revelation: writing is not as glamorous as it seems.
- An abandoned clinic.
- For writers: how to read.
- How to decipher crochet pattern code.
- For most writers, the road to publication is long and winding.
I visited a garden nursery a few weeks ago, and I was startled to see this sign:
Okay. It wasn’t until a while later that I saw this darling. I socially distanced him. (Her?)