Blogging and Real Life

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In Melbourne we are in the middle of a beautiful spring and everything is being renewed including myself. I know other bloggers have been wondering why I have disappeared from the Blogiverse for over six months. Thank you for the concerned emails. I had been pushing myself to keep busy after my mother’s death last year and eventually things become too much, especially while my sister and I sorted out our late mother’s affairs. Her death made me take stock of my priorities.

Blogging enabled me to stay creative, contribute something to the wider world and keep my sanity while mum was ill, but eventually I was putting too much pressure on myself trying to post regularly and to keep up with everyone else’s blogs. Don’t get me wrong. So many of you have wonderful blogs. I have enjoyed reading them and I am thankful for all those who have followed my blog, but there are only so many hours in a day and I was not having enough time for my own creative pursuits. Let’s face it life is just too short and you can’t do everything.

Getting out and engaging with others in the real world plus working on your own projects should take precedence. In the last months I have been doing more with the ukulele group I help to run, performing at open mikes and we recently played at a local community festival, which was a great success.  All our practice is paying off and we are sounding more professional. There are so many fantastic and creative things to do when you get away from screens.

There is that true saying that you must do something for 10,000 hours before you become highly proficient.  I guess I am one of those who need to concentrate on one thing at a time to do it justice. It is impossible to do all creative pursuits exceptionally well and it can take a lot of discipline and self-examination to make a choice.

For some of us it is better to be an occasional blogger. I’m not primarily a writer so being on the computer all the time keeps me away from playing my ukulele and working on my own songs or my artwork.  I will try to blog when I have something to share about creativity that would be of interest to others but I can’t promise to post to a schedule.  Don’t expect me to take part in any blogging activities. While I appreciate the honor of being asked, I find it too time-consuming and stressful. Blogging should enhance your life, not get in the way so that it becomes a trap.

Never be afraid to take a break from blogging or to cut back on the number of your posts and go out and experience the real world. You should always do what you think is best for your creativity and wellbeing. It might be just what you need to become more energised.

The same can be said about our reinvigorated spring garden after a long cold winter. Now the garden has some spring color and green foliage. Here are some photos displaying the new plants that replaced those which did not survive the dry conditions plaguing Melbourne over recent months.

Kat

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In Blogger Limbo

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I’m sure many of you know the feeling. You start writing for your blog and everything you do just doesn’t seem to work. You start again, write a few paragraphs and then scrap the idea. Then pick some photos from your library or download some from Pixabay only to dump them in the trash. I’ve had one of those weeks in blogger limbo. Often it is something unrelated to your creative work that is causing the problem and you need to deal with this before it becomes a major creative block.

In my case I realized what was wrong. I’ve been pushing myself lately with creative papermaking and other things and have not let myself have enough chill out time since our mother died. You should never underestimate the impact of a death of a close family member. It is said that the death of a parent is one of the most traumatic events in anyone’s life. In my case I suddenly feel anxious, really tired and lose the ability to focus on one thing.

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The weather has not helped because it has been hot and windy and there have been some terrible bushfires in our state, which are very unsettling. On Saturday night we could smell the smoke of the fires, which is always unpleasant as it makes you think of all those at risk. Yesterday extreme winds shook our house and there were gusts of up to 96 kilometres per hour, the kind that brings trees down. The side fence was violently rocking and in danger of blowing over. There is still a vacant block next door (who knows what’s happening there) with no structures to slow the wind. Ellie braced the fence with some old metal pipes to prevent it from collapsing. It seemed to work.

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All this has added to my feelings of unease and have been finding it difficult to think creatively. It is depressing to get bogged down with a creative work and just go through the motions when you are not really sparking. Not wanting to wallow in gloom, as this is not productive or uplifting, I have started reading fiction books and watching some decent television series and films. My song writing has also suffered lately so I’ve been playing some favourite songs on my ukulele and learning new ones until I get some inspiration. Music can elevate your mood and allows you to let go of your emotions.

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Probably the most important thing is to talk to people when you are feeling down and not bottle everything up. By this I don’t mean unleashing all your troubles on your friends, but just talking about things that matter to each other. You often find that they also want a sympathetic ear as well and usually you end up laughing with them. Through all the difficulties of losing mum, Ellie and I have kept getting together with our local ukulele group and this has kept us sane.

It is great to socialize and get out with others but you also need moments of solitude and relaxation to recharge the batteries. I find that pulling up weeds and doing a something in the garden makes me feel better. There is also nothing like a good cup of tea or coffee and a comfy chair while you read a book to escape from your worries.

Animals can make a world of difference as well. My dog always knows when I’m feeling sad and will get on my lap and lick me. Dogs will also tell you that it is time for some action and won’t let you wallow. It is hard not to smile when a Fox Terrier is pulling at you pant legs and trying to get you to play with him. My sister’s dog will jump on you lap and start barking at you until you give her what she wants.

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There are times when you need to look after yourself, especially when you’ve experienced a traumatic event. If you don’t feel like being creative all the time, it is ok and perfectly normal to want a break. I know that my ideas will flow freely again so I’m not going to put all kinds of pressure on myself.

Last night after the wind had died there was the sound of a cricket from somewhere in the kitchen. It was soothing after so much noise from the wind. When life becomes difficult we all need some restorative peace and time to heal.

Kat

(Unless specified theartistschild.com, photos are from pixabay.com)

Here’s a beautiful and classic song from the sixties, Catch the Wind,  by Donovan, performed as a duet with Crystal Gayle in 1981. Perfect as we go into Autumn in Australia.

Truly Inspired by A Guy Called Bloke

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My blog had the privilege of being featured on fellow blogger A Guy Called Bloke‘s Truly Inspired series.

Here is the link: Truly Inspired: The Artist’s Child

Check out his wonderful poems and writings while you are there.

The Blogiverse and Synchronicity

 

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Out in the blogiverse there are some very inspiring blogs.  One fantastic blogger I follow, Inkbiotic , has posted a series of questions for other bloggers to answer about their motivation and interests to get to know fellow bloggers.  I had been planning to do a post about blogging and synchronicity, so I thought that it would be fun to combine this with answers to Inkbiotic’s questions. (I haven’t answered each question sequentially but these answers are within my prose)

The main reason I started this blog last October with my sister, Ellie, was for creative motivation and to share things that might help and inspire others in the same boat.  For over a year I have been helping to run and write posts on another website for a small community group that has nothing to do with my private site.  As I enjoy writing I thought I would give personal blogging a go because I was having trouble trying to balance daily life, art, music and songwriting.  At the moment I am doing most of the posts, but that is ok.  Ellie has a lot of things on her plate and finds writing more difficult than I do.  I would have to say that blogging on a personal site is harder than doing one for a special interest group, where you have a ready-made audience and can get your site linked on free subject related directories.

I think that if your main focus is writing, when doing this all the time blogging becomes easier as you get more experience. The only downside for me is that my visual art and guitar/ ukulele practice have been taking second place to writing, so I still need to work on my time management.  Talking to a fellow artist on the weekend, she said that she also has creative bursts then down turns with her visual art so I am not worried.  The most important thing with any type of creative work is stay relaxed because worry makes it harder to produce anything.

But I must say that reading so many fantastic blogs is very inspirational.  I like reading stories, both real life and fictional, poetry, viewing artwork and photos, anything in the creative field.  I don’t want to single out a favorite post or blog because there are so many wonderful ones out there.

For myself, I enjoy writing about my own creative processes, the problems as well as the successes and really relate to others struggles and triumphs.  I like taking photos of my artwork and environment and find this very helpful to organize and illustrate my thoughts.  A picture is definitely worth a thousand words.  This blog is also a safe place to put up some of my poems that I tend to keep hidden away, unlike my songs, which are easier to share in the real world.  My favorite post on my own site is always the one I am working on, as it is good to live in the moment.

I work from home so have the luxury of being able to view others posts on the laptop in breaks of my own choosing.  When viewing other blogs, I try to keep an open mind and respect different opinions from my own, but I have found that a lot of us creative bloggers are on the same wavelength anyway and rarely view anything distasteful.

Now this is where the synchronicity comes in.  Carl Jung coined this term when explaining “meaningful coincidences” with no causal relationship.  The most commonly given examples of such coincidences are when you are thinking about a friend and they ring you on the phone, or a song comes into your head and you turn on the radio and it is playing.  I have found that often when I am thinking about writing or have written a post on a particular subject, then I look at WordPress reader and another blogger has done something similar at the same time.

It is not as if I am reading masses of posts.  These coincidences occur in the small circle of people who I follow or read and on the posts of the subject tags that I like to view.  You could say that this is because creative bloggers are interested in the same things.  You know that great minds think alike and all that.  But “there are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy” to quote Shakespeare.

Over the years I have heard some scientists poo poo these types of coincidences by quoting statistical data and claiming that because you are thinking about an idea then this will increase your awareness and anything related will have greater significance.  But there could be a scientific explanation for meaningful coincidences after all.  A recent study in the field of Quantum Physics has offered an explanation of synchronicity with the concept of Quantum Entanglement.  Not being a scientist I will not attempt to explain this myself but here is a link to an article on the subject (quantum physics explains coincidences? ). The authors of the study suggest that coincidence can occur on a collective and global level through the Quantum Entanglement of mind and matter on an atomic level.  (Please read the article for further clarification).  If this theory is correct it could mean that our thoughts are in some way bouncing around out there in the world.  Mind boggling idea.

I think that it is wonderful to imagine the blogiverse as a great font of collective, as well as individual wisdom, that we are all tapping into.  It makes everyone that much more connected.  To quote The Police’s Song Synchronicity, which is where I first heard of this concept:

“A Star Fall,

A Phone Call

It Joins all

Synchronicity”

So fellow bloggers and any other interested readers, although our thoughts might be influenced by the strange laws of Quantum physics, we each have our own individual ways of expressing universal ideas so no blog will ever be the same as another.  I look forward to reading and viewing your posts.

Kat

(And thank you Inkbiotic for starting this dialogue)