It’s only been a week since I sent a newsletter to say I’m taking December off, and already I feel guilty. But I’m trying to practice forgiveness this year. I’m trying to forgive myself for not doing all the things my brain says I should be doing. How are any of us supposed to continue in 2020 when 2020 can’t stop putting up obstacles?
I slept a lot this weekend, and even that I feel guilty about. It was beautifully sunny on Saturday, and I didn’t leave the house. Then it was rainy on Sunday, and I felt guilty about using bad weather as an excuse to stay inside. There’s no way to win in 2020.
What should be a blog post? A newsletter? A zine? And what should just stay on paper in my notebook? This is what I’ll be thinking about a lot the next few months. My newsletter became more and more what my blog used to be, and I don’t know if that’s what I want.
My mom has moved beyond sewing masks to sewing potholders and towels, and yesterday she sent me photos of a basket she crocheted! So I think I can say at this time that we’ll definitely be back at the farmers market next year. I hadn’t exactly planned to get my parents excited about making and selling, but this could be a fun retirement project for them; and I can’t do this on my own. So when the market starts again in May 2021, the newsletter will be there to keep you updated.
But if I bring my long posts to the blog, what about the everyday life posts? Do I even need to be posting that stuff online?
Elly and I have decided to continue our daily accountability into 2021. Now that we’ve mastered daily cleaning, we’re gonna do daily writing. I used to write 750 words every day on the site, 750words.com. It’s the digital equivalent to the 3 pages long-hand that Julia Cameron prescribes for her Morning Pages. In November, I wrote 2 pages in my notebook nearly every day, and I plan to continue. It’s a habit I missed, and one I believe is good for my mental health–as well as my skills.
It’s not the kind of writing which needs to be public, which is why 750words.com is private, tracking and achievements intended only as incentive. So, over the next few weeks, I’ll be thinking a lot about what kind of writing needs to be public. I believe in the power of practicing in public, of showing your work, but I also believe there’s a line which leads to over-sharing. I worry that I put too much energy into the public face of my work, and that’s the reason I can’t finish a book.
Sometimes I wish I could be one of those writers who isn’t online, but the only people who can do that already have an audience.
Returning to Instagram this year was a good decision because it re-connected me to a lot of old friends and helped me deepen new connections. It was a really happy place for me during the worst of the pandemic isolation. But it also monopolised my creative energy. I fear I’m a person who gets to have friends or creativity–not both.
I don’t want to maintain a dozen profiles across the internet. Even now, with a blog, a shop, Instagram, Slack, and a newsletter, it feels like too much. When I think about adding YouTube or Patreon, I panic.
My plan right now is to send updates to my mailing list on the 15th and 31st. Those updates will contain links to blog posts and new products in the shop (I’m working on something for winter right now!). At the moment, that’s the promise I’m ready to make.