Just Keep Working

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We are approximately a month and a half away from the start of a new year. This election has stirred up many things over the past week. I have received so many emails from individuals that I look up to as a writer and as an artist with the same message: Stay united and keep working hard every single day.

With just under 50 days until the New Year, this is what I am doing to get prepared:

Reintroducing myself…to me.

Who am I? What am I about? I have dedicated myself to daily journal writing for the remainder of 2016 so that I can re-plot myself on the map of Taalor. There is absolutely no way you can determine where you are going, if you’re not even quite sure where you are. Sure you can start to head in a general direction, but at the end of the day you will be no closer to reaching your goals. If you only have a feeling about what you want to do then it is impossible to feel accomplished in your life. Be firm about where you are and what you want, and then go exactly where you want to go. That doesn’t mean you can’t take a detour. Or a pitstop. Or reevaluate and evolve. But that comes later. First just plot yourself on the map.

Thinking ahead to 2017. I hate resolutions.

They don’t work and they’re not practical. Why? Because of the mindset around resolutions. They’re wishy-washy. Instead, I was listening to Susannah Conway and she was talking about her word for the New Year. A word that embodies what you want your year to be. Maybe in 2016 you launched your business and branded yourself, and 2017 is your year for growth. Maybe you just graduated and it is your year for self-knowledge or exploration. Take a word that you’re thinking about focusing your year on, and then get out the thesaurus, and find an even better word. Write that word down on a sticky note and post it on your bathroom mirror. Take a picture of the word and set it as the background picture of your phone. Test it out. Embody your word. I have been thinking about my word for 3 or 4 weeks, now. Just when I thought I had a really good one – then I was afraid the universe would take me too literally. So it was back to square one. You might have a feeling of what you want your word to be, so this will be really good practice to build your vocabulary as well. Feelings into concrete, singular words. Go.

I also have a Passion Project that I am getting ready to launch on January 1, 2017.

This passion project will be daily. I find if yours doesn’t scare you, then it probably isn’t the right project. Mine currently terrifies me. There are MANY reasons why you should look into a yearly passion project:

  • It pushes you to create consistently and share your content.
  • It is something that you should do for fun – not to make money or get famous – but just to do because you think you can better yourself by it.
  • It should be a little out of your comfort zone. Think of this project as pushing your current boundaries. Maybe you’re comfortable painting abstractly, but you have never delved into calligraphy. So your passion project is to copy a passage out of your favorite books and push your letter writing techniques…EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. FOR. A. YEAR. I guarantee that on December 31st, when you step back to look at the last passage you copied and compare it to January 1st, you will feel pride and astonishment for how far you have come.
  • You become accountable to yourself and to your work. In the past I have felt so guilty for being unable to choose a career path and to stick with things. I wasn’t kind with myself. I didn’t think, “Oh Taalor…that’s just because you were trying all of the wrong things. You’ve got this.” It was: “You’re so lazy and a quitter.” We are SO hard on ourselves. So find something you love to do, and stick with it for an entire year.

 

Congratulate yourself on the milestones. Be kind to yourself on the days where you just want to give up, but you do it anyways.

 

 

Planning for the Year Ahead

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Creating something or doing something only for the pure reason that it is joyful needs to be implemented into our lives more often. When has the last time you’ve done something just because? Too often we get swept up with the hustle of life – housework, paychecks, errands…

Remember when you were a teenager and you just hung out? Just because it was fun and you didn’t have anything else better to do that day. That carefree feeling. And then that whole adult thing happened. (Side note: my favorite new verb of the last 2 years has been adulting – “I need to go do some adulting now” as I step away from the candy jar and drag my feet back to my desk.)

My point is, when is the last time you just hung out without a care in the world and did something fun that made you happy?

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I decided to start planning a Passion Project for 2017. Something with ZERO endgame, that genuinely sounded like a fun challenge. I first of this from Lisa Congdon (kick ass painter) who did this project where she photographed a collection every day for an entire year. Cool, right? All you have to do is checkout her website and you’ll immediately realize it was probably really fucking cool.

So what kind of project did I want to do? When I heard about her passion projects I actually didn’t want to do anything. They sounded cool, but I didn’t have the capacity or commitment to complete something like that for myself.  Then BAM I was reading this article about letter writing and it hit me:

I am going to write a letter every single day for 2017. I was going to make each letter unique. And just to clarify, I mean letter as in Dear John, my name is Taalor. I love you.  Sincerely, Taalor P.S. you’re cute. Not Chicka Chicka Boom Boom letters.

And here’s the kicker, each letter has be be sent. Somehow. Someway. Maybe not in the mail. Maybe left on someones car. Or at a table. Or in a book. Or in the mail. Probably the majority of them will go there.  The creativity is not only going to be in the words and whom they are meant for, but also the materials that are used to create them. SO MANY OPTIONS. I want to pee my pants I am so excited for this project.

And that my friends is the best fucking part. “I want to pee my pants I am so excited for this project.”  There is no end game. I am not doing this to make money (good joke even if I wanted to), and I am not doing this to copy someone else getting famous. I am sure someone else has done this before, but I’ve personally never heard of them. That isn’t the point. The point is that I had this kickass idea pop into my brain and it has dopamine having a dance parting in my frickin head.

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Action is the only thing you can do to find your purpose and your path. You don’t have to know where you are going. You just have to take a step. In any direction. Just do something. And if you don’t know what it is, put your phone down and go take a walk. Or read a book. I don’t care. Just do something.

What is going to be your 2017 Passion Project? Also now accepting application/addresses for anyone who wants a letter for me! haha – 365 unique letters are going to kill me. Help a lady out! (Sarcasm intended…sort of)

How to Take Your First Step

 

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A few weeks ago, I had really started refocusing back on myself. My daughter is now 9 months old and for the first time ever, all of my energy wasn’t worried about keeping a small human alive. For the first time ever, I was really starting to come into my own as a mother and had gained confidence in my new role. I suddenly had energy (not much!) to something else. I was feeling creatively drained. So drained that I could not even attempt words to a page.

For days I tried to fight that.

Trying desperately to put words to a page, yet failing every single day.

I felt defeated.

Rather than give up (per usual), I tried something for me that I could do. I just started listening to podcasts. While I was getting ready in the morning for work and every time I was in the car. Tiffany Han of Raise Your Hand Say Yes literally saved me. That was my first step.

I might not have been ready to jump back on the horse and write my heart out (for a million different reasons no one has time to read about today), BUT I was ready to listen about creative women rocking it. Women who had been in the same spot I was in now. Just listening was my first step. Listening to this podcast. Listening to my thoughts and feelings. Just tuning back into myself. That was all my first step was.

Slowly I was able to write a little bit more in my journal each day. Throw some thoughts down on paper, and try really hard to not feel ashamed by how horrible it all was. Not super polished and Instagram perfect.

It is important to listen to your inner voice. If something doesn’t feel good or if you are struggling to do it-STOP. Just don’t do it.

It doesn’t mean don’t do it forever. It just means not right now.

Find something that does make you feel good. Listening to Tiffany Han interview women who resonated with my core made me feel good every day. I wasn’t letting myself get down about not producing any work right now. Or the fact that I haven’t been in the last year. Nope.

I was just feeling good. And listening to myself.