a challenge: small steps

7 August 2009

Writers and creative people often get stuck.  I can be one of the ‘stuckest’ – and I’ve come to learn that one of the best ways to become unstuck is to take small steps.  When you walk – figuratively or literally – the ever-benevolent universe begins to put things in your path.  And you begin to uncover opportunities in the unlikeliest of places.

So many people get stuck because they are too focused on the great big steps, or grand result they are envisioning their art or their lives to be.  It gets overwhelming, and then we turn to time wasters while we wait for the right time, the right place, more money, a better job, a nicer day, next weekend, new art supplies…

Time wasters get us nowhere.  Little steps get us somewhere.  I’m not against time wasters in general – every now and then it’s important to waste some time.  It’s called resting.  But time wasters can also impede our progress – they can stand in the way of what we want.

So in honour of my own desire for change in certain elements of my life, I’m recognising some time wasters that have got to go, and I’ve made a free-write list of little steps.  They may not take me directly to my dreams today or tomorrow, but they’ll get me moving.

And for the first time in a long time, I’m saying: “Hey universe – just throwin’ it out there…”

Visualize the perfect gig.
Make some pages in creative journal – experiment with processes.
Visit that creative journal every evening after dinner.
Get back to yoga.
Embrace cooking again.
Try some new recipes.
Bring my camera with me every day.
Do something fun in my city every Saturday morning.
Visualize/draw/collage the happiest workspace.
Don’t buy coffee at work anymore.
More aimless walking.  Bring camera.
Update collage file.
Organize art supplies.
Do my dishes every night.
Pay attention to those disorganized bookshelves.
Make a list of artist dates.
Go to the AGO on a weeknight.
Go to the beach more often and write there.
Find a new place to live.
Do morning pages again.
Go to bed at 11 or earlier every night.
Write more poetically – more abstractly.
Add it to decorated pages.
Make some dolls, collaged and real.
Fix the desk chair.
Replace the fridge magnet poetry.
Find those random piles of stuff.  Eliminate them.
Make some things to hang in the windows.
Find a pretty throw for the couch.
Get off the couch.
Put clothes away.
Call my mother.
Organize paperwork.
Clean out file cabinet.
Eat fish twice a week.
Go for night walks again.
Get up earlier in mornings – take that time for me.
Sit up straight.
Get out the stair stepper.
Clean the refrigerator.
Get a pedicure twice a month.

Note:  This list is too long.  Because it’s like going to a restaurant and looking at their ten-page menu and finding yourself unable to decide what to eat.  So the first little step is to select five of the little steps for this weekend, and maybe ten for the next week.

Now you.  Take a little time and write some little steps.  Do it for yourself.

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2 Responses to “a challenge: small steps”

  1. julie Says:

    What nice writing. Reading it to your father and a small proud smile is on his face. That is reward in itself.


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