I is for Interests

The A to Z blogging challenge brings us to I. The letter I begins many of my favorite words, Interests, Identity, Impossible….and I. It is incredibly important to respect the “I” that is me….and the “I” that is you.  


One of my favorite writing exercises of all time was one I gleaned from absorbing Julia Cameron’s Artist Way teachings. She is one of many people who pushed me over the cliff into the free-falling freelance life I have today. Her idea of writing a list of 100 things that you love intrigued me. It seemed incredibly daunting at first, at the time having my very own opinion was foreign to me. I lived off of what others thought and said, believed and taught. I didn’t have the confidence to say I liked something in the presence of someone who had a different opinion. Sad but true.

My students ranged in age from 5 to 18. Teaching creative writing was a fun way to play with imagination and story telling. We constructed silly poems, wrote letters to book characters and laughed a lot. For the most part they liked my lesson plans. But I forced this “list of 100 favorites” on them. It was important to me.
Every so often I revisit my list, add a line or two, cross out something that no longer interests me and just figure out who this person I refer to as I is.  

     There is magic in this exercise. 

Write your list of 100. Mine include big ticket items like rivers, forests and shoes…and more specific things like red cowgirl boots, strong black coffee in a tall white ceramic mug and blue hydrangeas.

While faithfully writing out your list, items may pop into your head that you do NOT like….
start an alternate list of those things, just to clear the noggin and be clear.
While I love art, I do not like still life paintings.
I may love shoes, but Crocs make me cringe.
To know what you prefer instead of humbly saying Amen to what the world tells you you ought to prefer, is to have kept your soul alive. ~ Robert Louis Stevenson
A little more background, or spilling secrets…another exercise in the book involved declaring what you would do if you had an alternate life; my big three were, be an artist, writer and teacher. At that moment in time I was far from any of those things….strangely though, all three became my reality.

“What we need is more people who specialize in the impossible.” ~ Theodore Roethke

Now, what would you try IF you didn’t have to do it perfectly?  What are you willing to do badly?  I have several things in this list. Things I am pretty sure I will not do well, may even fail wildly…but want to try.

Now that I have been there, tried that..I can report it’s not so bad. Teaching was a big one for me. When I was asked to teach those creative writing classes, I could feel my heart trying to escape my chest. Talking in front of a group of people…even if the people in question were only 4 foot tall, petrified me. I committed to giving it a shot though…and loved it.  Roller derby was on that list several years ago…and now, my skater name is Skaty Cakes. ;)  Welding was another….I like metal art and wanted to give it a try. The artist showing me how commented on how fearless I was with the torch…then proceeded to tell me all the things I didn’t consider. Turns out I wasn’t fearless, just too clueless to realize the danger involved.

 “Do one thing every day that scares you” ~Eleanor Roosevelt 
 that’s me in the pink helmet and crazy smile

Posted in art

14 thoughts on “I is for Interests

  1. Fantastic post! I really like the idea of writing down 100 things I love. That sounds like a job to do with a large cup of coffee and a cake! (And those are two of the things I love!)

  2. Nice ideas. I'm definitely going to try the 100 things.And teaching subjects 4 ft tall are far scarier than full-grown ones – kids usually have the, er, 'honesty' to let you know if they're not enjoying your stuff…I came here via the #AtoZchallenge on Twitter. I'm loving this – finding so many blogs I wouldn't have done otherwise.

  3. I love this post! I've never gone through all the exercises in The Artist's Way (my basic takeaways were the morning pages and artist's dates). I should pull the book out again and check out the exercises. In the meantime, I'm behind in my A to Z posts, so I might borrow your Interests idea for my post later this week :)

  4. thanks everyone! I love this a to z challenge, met so many cool chicks (and bloggy fellas) Get busy on your list of 100, teacher says. :) and definitely, if you have even an inkling of playing roller derby, check it out….moms play, teachers, nurses and we even have an FBI agent! – off to check out all your blogs now…

  5. Oh "I" just love this, thanks! Another thing I really loved that you mentioned briefly was the idea of writing a letter to a book character.How cool!Kez:)

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