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.
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.
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.