Sunday Check-In: Small steps

I've recently started the Sunday Check-in as part of my creative practice.  Each week, I check in with myself and review what I'm working on, what's exciting me, what I'm struggling with, and what I'm looking forward to in the next week.

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Too often I've gotten the Sunday Dreads (TM Gretchen Rubin - check out her podcast).  Feeling the impending arrival of Monday and my day job was a heavy weight on my chest.  My day would be filled with thoughts of what I failed to accomplish, and how little time I had left, instead of being present in the moment and using my time in a satisfying way.

Sunday check-ins are a good way to reassess, to give yourself credit for what you've done all week, and to prepare yourself to do what will make you feel good about the upcoming week.  (Credit goes to Michelle Ward for giving me both the idea and the motivation to follow through.)

I'll be sharing my Sunday check-ins with the hope that you might do the same.  If you do, please let me know!  Leave a comment here, or if you'd rather, you can always email me at christen@curiousjournals.com.  I'll also be sharing my favorite links from the previous week, so check those out down below.

This Week's Projects

The Vacation Dream Book

I don't know if I'm sticking with that name for the custom guide book/journal/memory book/planner Frankenstein's monster of a journal that I'm working on.  But I made some significant progress on it this week after leaving it sit for a while.  A Getting Started Guide is in progress right now, and I'll be posting that as a free gift for signing up for my newsletter as soon as it's complete. 

What's working: Taking one step at a time.  This week I didn't let myself think past the very next step I needed to do to move forward with this project.  I committed to completing one step each day and that was all.  Thinking about the smallest possible step I could take next helped break through the overwhelm I feel when I'm working on anything that will take more than a few hours.
 

My First Novel

Writing is hard. It's so hard.  Getting back into fiction has been a daunting process, but I've worked on and off on the planning of this novel since January 2016 and that's something to feel proud of.  This week, I wrote a summary of the first chapter and then wrote two whole paragraphs of honest to god prose.  It felt pretty great. 

What I learned: Do you have a project like this?  Something that's not a priority, but a slow, long-term side project that stretches your skills? I think it's important for multipassionate creatives to embrace this kind of project.  It's not at the top of my list, I'm not putting any pressure on myself to turn this into a source of revenue, but it is important to me.  it's a huge learning experience, especially about my own creative processes.  Difficult creative projects outside our comfort zones can help us learn more about what helps us spark ideas, what gets us in the chair working even when it's hard, and how we can stay connected to a project even when it's hard.

Acrylic Painting

I have a painting that's waiting to be started.  It's still an idea, incubating.  I bought a canvas, so I know what size it's going to be, and I know the general composition and techniques I'm going to use.  But I'm waiting for the idea to truly be ready. It's like a word on the tip of your tongue.  What really gets me started on a painting is the mood and colors. Without those, I know the whole process will be difficult and it's a lot less likely that the painting will come together in a way that I'm happy with.

Struggles: Sometimes it's hard to know whether to wait on an idea that's still developing or if it's time to push it a little.  If I sat down with some magazines or browsed Pinterest, if I took the canvas out and looked through my paints, it might all start to come together.  Or, I might just get frustrated and uncertain. Getting to know your creative process is important because these are the things you slowly get better at knowing. 

This Week's Links

Creative Exploration:

I finished Jamie Ridler's 7 Soul Symbols class a couple weeks ago, but the process of exploring my own personal symbols continued as I reflected particularly on animals that appeared to me during the last week of the course.  Writing a testimonial is on my to-do list today.  Highly, highly recommended for anyone who wants to be more expressive in their creativity, or wants to dig deep into the symbols that resonate in your life.

Music:

Dear Reader, I love Kesha so much! 

Reading:

Poems of Hope and Resilience - a collection by the Poetry Foundation.

"Hope" is the thing with feathers - (314) by Emily Dickinson

“Hope” is the thing with feathers -

That perches in the soul -

And sings the tune without the words -

And never stops - at all -