My Creative Identity

This July I will have been writing a blog for over 5 years and during that time there's been a fair amount of  unpublished blog posts: posts that I didn't publish in time to remain relevant, things I didn't love once written down or some that just felt too raw. I've always been pretty protective of what personal information is shared about myself and my family and have worked hard to shape 'A Playful Day' into a space in which I can feel good each time I log back in. A post that felt difficult to write sits on the page, waiting to greet me when I return here and that changes my safe space, making it feel less fun to be around. 

It happened that a few weeks ago I wrote something that felt really good to pour my heart and soul into. Writing is such a strong release for me and there it was, black and white, punctuated (some of which was correct) and ready to share. 

I chose not to hit publish. 

It was about when my page views hit the upper 20 thousands per week that I noticed I stopped writing personal blog posts. If I'd been reluctant to use this space in that way before, I was more so with a sense of audience watching. I had created A Playful Day to remind me to find a playful moment in every day and that was my mission. I felt like I needed to focus there and avoid too much mess with an audience that continued to grow each day.

I noticed it spilling over into social media too. There were conversations I read but rarely commented on. I sat in a neutral zone, determined to only encourage positive conversations and to continue to support women in their making and business. I say women because this is predominantly the audience and people I work with but of course, not exclusively. I also feel very committed to women creating and defining their own terms either in business or their creative expression. It has always been the undercurrent of what I do. 

 

That unpublished post irked me though. I started to feel as if the words in this blog are no longer my own. The whole point was for this to be a place I entirely owned and shaped for no one else but me. 

So I'm returning home again with this one.

There is always a story behind every post. Sometimes it's as simple as 'my camera is at this angle to hide the mess in the corner that I didn't tidy'. Other times, like today, it's a deliberate refocusing on my original purpose of creating this website: to find a playful moment in every day. Just like 5 years ago, I have found myself in great need of something playful recently and so here I am once more, putting the playful before the storm. 

What does Creative Identity mean to you?

What does Creative Identity mean to you?

So this month I will be really pushing myself to make and really show what creativity means to me. I would love to hear from you all as I look inside of myself and attempt to answer the question 'What does a Creative Identity feel like to me?'

My creative identity is entwined in the sessions I lead with other business women. We create together, pondering the best way to convey how a yarn creates the most enticing texture when knitted into a fabric. We play with words and images to best share that with an audience in a way that is loving, intelligent and appealing. I talk with them about their passions and dreams and we help shape goals that allow them to keep developing their own Creative Identity. 

My Creative Identity is also joining up with others to bring a beautiful project to life (stay tuned for some news, there's some magical things ahead I can assure you) in way that I can feel proud of when people ask me what I do for a living. 

However, the Creative Identity that resonates the deepest for me on a daily basis is the side of my crafting that happens in the intimacy of my own home. It binds itself with motherhood, friendships, my home and well being. It's in the moments I withdraw into near silence, the only outward show of my thoughts are as I pause to examine the way a stitch just caught a fleck of colour to stunning effect. I become absorbed, letting hours of stress and to-do lists melt away as I just lose myself in an activity I cherish and adore. 

Wildflowers and season change can spark so much joy

Wildflowers and season change can spark so much joy

It's also watching my daughter as she runs towards me full of exuberance, her little hand clenched around a bunch of new wild flowers. She deposits them happily in front of me and obligingly, I sit naming them all, delighted that she too now celebrates the changing wildlife around us from season to season. Just as I do, she roots herself in the changes mother nature brings, drawing in all that colour and texture into her happy moments each day. She learned that from me and I am so glad to have given it to her.

My creative identity is everything I hoped I could be and more. 

 

 

What does creativity mean to you? If you are making and sharing your creative endeavours this month please do let me know (@aplayfulday on Twitter and Instagram) and as always, it's wonderful to read your blog posts joining in the conversation. I'd love to hear your thoughts. 

#creative_identity

The Importance of Believing in yourself as a Blogger

Change is never easy. No matter how you come to the decision that an evolution needs to happen, the emotions you feel in the build up to it and afterwards can range from sheer exhilaration to gut wrenching fear. I think it's fair to say I've felt every emotion in the run up to this blog post but you know what?

It's going to be ok. 

Do you know how I know that? I know that because of so many of you are reaching out and leaving comments on the blog, chatting with me online and sharing your lives with me. You have all helped me grow into this storyteller that cheers smart women doing clever and creative things with their businesses and someone who encourages sharing inspirational ideas. 

However, something has been stirring inside of me and now has reached a frighteningly forceful chant of 'YOU MUST CREATE MORE' and I think every creative person I've ever met can relate to that feeling. 

If in doubt, read widely and give yourself time to reflect on your goals. Trust me on this. 

If in doubt, read widely and give yourself time to reflect on your goals. Trust me on this. 

In the light of too many ideas, too many barriers, too much anxiety (and not enough gin) I reached out within this fibre community and do you know what happened? People responded with excitement to hear that finally I am ready to invest time in my ideas. Personal heroes and people I have held up as my inspiration have given me time and feedback about what A Playful Day means to them and I have listened. 

the importance of believing in yourself as a blogger

So what does that mean?

It means ending some relationships or changing the way they work in my professional life to give me the room I need to grow. 

It means developing a sponsorship package for A Playful Day that creates new and exciting collaborations doing what I do best: story telling. 

It means holding my breath and taking a plunge. 

I've decided to immerse myself in this blog and this community. It starts with the 'Love Your Blog' challenge but it goes deeper than that and I hope you will all join me on my journey to create something truly special. 

Spring: Time to grow?

Spring: Time to grow?

So here we go, a commitment to YOU as much as a commitment to myself. Change is hard and so I'm asking today, will you help me? 

If you've been reading and following along in my various homes on the internet, today is a really good day to let me know you're listening and that this community is strong. Help me spread the A Playful Day message by sharing anything you love that I've created. It's important that right now, I know I'm standing on strong foundations. 

I have to change the way I support my family and so have taken on special sponsorships and affiliates. These need to sustain me while I'm developing new and exciting possibilities so if you wish please do click the links, get that Craftsy  or CreativeBug class you've been meaning to take and get what you want! I would so appreciate that at an uncertain time. 

In return I promise to be here more, to listen and to keep creating. Yes, there is a monetising effort but it won't change my voice and I promise to protect this corner of the internet we've created together. In fact, if there's someone you want to see me working with, get in touch. I want to create stories together. 

Ok?

Now go forth and have a great week. I'll be here, evolving and it's going to be great.