{curiosity catscan}

I was scrolling through Instagram this morning (something I treat myself to every morning) and found an ad for a creativity workshop by Liz Gilbert. She’s my new EVERYTHING. I read Eat Pray Love years ago (and saw the movie, twice) and thoroughly enjoyed her story of self-exploration. I’m currently reading Big Magic, and I’ve been listening to her podcast Magic Lessons, since goodness knows I have plenty of time in the car commuting to/from work! I’ve been putting a lot of thought lately into how I can incorporate creativity into my life, and her stuff just speaks to me on this level. Any opportunity for me to learn something from this woman is an opportunity I’m going to take. So when I saw this creativity workshop, I didn’t think for a second that the $32 wouldn’t be well worth the money, and that the time wouldn’t be well worth the investment – I just went for it.

As a result, I am following the program and creating a “Creativity Notebook,” which I will be posting here so that I can share it with other students also in this program. I hope that you will find this interesting, and perhaps even helpful for yourself. I encourage you to follow along and create your own Creativity Notebook. I also encourage you to share it with me – one of the things that I’ve always valued is having a tribe of like-minded people whom I can bounce my thoughts, feelings, and ideas off of. I’d like to be able to do that for you.

SO… here we go…

Q: What is effervescent in me? What bubbles a little bit? What is a little bit interesting?

  1. 20 minutes of reflection (which, admittedly, took me more than 20 minutes):
    • The last thing I really wondered about was how I could live off of income based on consulting/freelancing jobs. I did a Google search on “how to make money freelancing” last night, and found some great sites with suggestions… I just lack the confidence to quit a safe, salaried job with health insurance to go freelance, even though I feel that’s the direction many jobs are going in the areas I’m interested in.
    • The last time I experienced creative flow was working on an infographic for a presentation at work. It’s not something we normally do for these presentations, but I found two hours of time in my workday and just plowed through it. I loved every second of it. Taking data and boring sentences and converting them into a collection of attractive, quick-glance graphics was so fun and gratifying. This is one of the things I love about Instagram… it’s all pictures. Yes, there’s text, but the images are the basis of communication there.
    • When I was 8 years old, one thing I most loved to do was ice skating. It’s as simple as that. I mean, I loved creating elaborate stories for my Barbies, and I loved arts and crafts… but figure skating was my first love.
    • It should be no surprise that the last passage from a book that really inspired me came from Big Magic. It talked about how monetizing your creativity puts too much importance on forcing it to perform. When I had my personal style blog before, I loved the idea of being able to monetize and hopefully someday quit my (fill in the blank with: boring, stressful, awful) job and get paid to do something I love. While I loved the idea of monetizing, I don’t think I was quite driven enough to even make that happen, so it’s a moot point. However here I am, blogging again… and trying to think of creative things that I can do for money…
    • I feel most beautiful when I’m treating myself to alone time. I’m surrounded by people all day long, and it’s completely energy draining. Alone time is when I finally feel the tension and stress leave my face and body, which is something that I spend way too much time carrying around. Alone time could be taking a bath, trail walking, reading, snuggling with my cat, or even relaxing on the couch and watching TV. When I’m not forced to focus on other people’s needs, and on being an adult, I feel beautiful. I’ve been told that I’m too loyal, and too concerned with other people’s feelings… when I sit and think about that, I realize that these traits run me down and make me feel haggard. Haggard isn’t beautiful.
    • Strangely enough, I just identified my superpower and added it to my LinkedIn profile. Here’s a direct copy/paste of what I put: “I’m incredible at helping other people find words which suit their natural ‘voice.’ As a result, I often help friends edit their resumes, cover letters, research papers, and other written work.”
    • If I weren’t afraid of anything and could choose any way to make a living, I would choose not to specialize in anything and let myself do a little bit of this, and a little bit of that. I like to dabble. I like to become the best at something, use it up, and move on. I’d love to test my hand at consulting on personal style, social media for small businesses, setting up WordPress blogs/websites for people, athletic adventures for city girls, content writing, being a workout buddy for women who need motivation… I want to do anything that has nothing to do with anything I’ve ever done for a paycheck before.
  2. Assess the big picture and identify themes:
    • Writing, blogging, words
    • Images, graphics
    • Physical activity
    • Not wanting to be a cog in the machine, alone time, freelancing, consulting, money
    • Confidence, feelings, fear, freedom, motivation
      • Of these themes, I see that I really don’t belong in a typical office setting, but I’m too chicken-shit to step outside of that box and trust myself enough to make a living to support the life I want to have.
      • I’ve been really excited about opportunities to consult/freelance which allow me to work behind the scenes (social media, blogging, blog design, editing, providing others with words)
      • I am all over the damn place… I need to figure out what I’m an expert at, and I need to exploit the hell out of it! This is a discussion I had with someone recently… I know this. I’ve KNOWN this. I know she’s right. But for some reason, having someone else tell me this is the kick in the pants that I needed. She also happens to be the person who mentioned that the future of marketing (I’ve been doing informational interviewing with people in the industry) might be going in the direction of contractor/consulting positions. Scary!
      • Fear is a motivator. I really need to stop letting my fear stop me and just freaking embrace it already!

don't let fear paralyze you, let it motivate you


One thought on “{curiosity catscan}

  1. Hi Emily,
    I loved reading your post. I want to give you a hug, in a nice “I know how you feel, been there, done that” way. I live in the Boston area too, so that resonated with me. I have a background similar to yours. I get all of the creative/work struggles. In short: I have felt your pain.

    I’m not sure if you’ve heard the term “multipotentialite” but a young woman coined the phrase for people who don’t really possess the “do one thing forever gene”. Hand raised! Her name is EMILY Wapnick and she blogs under the name Puttylike. She recently posted a TEDTalk on why many of us don’t have one true calling (here’s the link: https://www.ted.com/talks/emilie_wapnick_why_some_of_us_don_t_have_one_true_calling?language=en). I’ve followed her road to discovery for a few years and think there may be a few nuggets you could get from what she offers. (Full disclosure: I have no affiliation with her other than I follow her blog from time to time)

    I’d be happy to banter with you as you go through the course. I’ve mentored (and been mentored) but sometimes you just want/need someone to bounce ideas around with.

    Best of luck.
    Stephanie DelTorchio


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