Sometimes I wonder if this thing called life is a series of random events or deliberate circumstances based on a vast web of energy. I may wonder if life is merely coincidental until my dying days. But I can point to many moments that suggest otherwise, including one recently.
While partaking in some fattoush and jibni one night, I vented to my old man about how I’d been feeling bummed out. I’m not used to feeling down about anything, so it was a bit concerning for me. I’d been feeling blah about my creative life–specifically, in writing.
I ventured into freelance journalism last fall, writing for the Toledo City Paper. Recently, I stepped down from the Style Sense column as it became too hard to find more people in town that fit the bill. Thankfully, I can still write other pieces for them, but the paper doesn’t publish the stuff I really want to write about: design and decor.
I currently have a great job that’s secure, pays well, and lets me work from home. But it’s not creative. The only creativity I’m afforded is when I make Excel spreadsheets and go crazy with the colors. Which I probably take more seriously than I should.
My dream is to write for a decor-related magazine or website. I already write about decorating at my other blog, The Decor Guru, and have for several years. But now, I’d love to make a living from what I’m so passionate about.
Back to the fattoush. After hearing me out, my old man asked if I couldn’t make a living off writing, would I still be happy? My answer was no. I wanted to have this for my career; I wanted to earn a wage off being creative. I even said if I couldn’t do it full-time, I’d rather not do it at all and just spend my free time laying on the couch watching movies. (Yeah, that’s definitely a funk).
He was surprised—and looking back, I am, too. But again, I was lost in my fear. He then suggested a book to me: Big Magic, by Elizabeth Gilbert. I take his advice pretty seriously (he’d probably disagree), so I jotted it down on my phone. However, in the moment, I wasn’t too interested. He didn’t tell me much about it (the nerve!); he just stated it could be helpful.
The next day, I was still bummed but was more interested in the book than the night before. Compelled, I checked to see if it was at our library and scored it that same day. I began reading the book that day and finished it rather quickly. Gilbert’s writing style was humorous and easy-going, which made for a fast read.
As it turns out, the boyfriend was right in that I needed this book. I like to make a point of telling him he’s right, because it’s such a rare occasion. Plus, a little ego boost can only help our relationship. 😛
While some of the book touched on things I already knew, I needed that reaffirmation. That funk clouded my spark, my mojo, my creative energy.
Reading this book lit it right back up. I won’t get into too much about what she talks about in the book, but just know that it’s about the magic of creativity, how to recognize it, how to find it, and how to keep it going. I highly recommend it to anyone feeling down like I was or anyone experience a creative block.
Just reading the book along moved that fearless, creative energy back into my world. A third of the way into the book, the idea came to me to change my decor blog and rebrand myself with a new name–which is no easy task! I did some brainstorming, weighed everything, and went for it. The rebranding actually led to the creation of this blog you’re on right now. I decided it was best to have the decor content separate from everything else I write about, so I created AngConley.com and transferred the other posts.
About halfway into the book, a furniture designer I previously interviewed contacted me with an idea that could end up being great for both of us. Was that coincidence? Possibly, but I don’t think so. I believe it was the Law of Attraction at work, somehow, some way. In other words: the magic.
Do you believe life is full of random circumstances or deliberate events? Or maybe a bit of both? What’s a book that’s helped you in life?