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WAY OF LIFE
Sometimes I get frustrated at my writing here, especially as so often it seems to be only a litany of what I am doing and what I have done. It's not the creative journaling that I envisioned from the beginning and which I managed to do for some years (on and off, obviously). I sometimes feel creatively stifled, but I know that I'm the only one that is judging. And, of course, the one doing the stifling, if that is really what it should be called. It's like writer's block of the creative kind. I can still write but only lists, plans, calendar fillings, dates, events, and then, afterward, what happened, what I did, what I thought, or what I experienced.

It's not that it's boring, exactly, it's just that I expect more of myself. Once upon a time, I felt like I had energy and time to be creative in so many ways, at the same time. I drew, I painted, I sang, I read, I crafted, I wrote. Now, I often seem to have only the inclination to tackle one of those areas at a time. It's like all my multi-tasking talents have gone into work (where, granted, I am also creative) or projects.

Did you know that once upon a time I did embroidery? Now, I no longer remember any of the stitches and couldn't do a French knot if you paid me. There's a large framed piece (seashells) that I did, which I haven't hung up in years.

Did you know that once upon a time I did calligraphy? I still have bottles of ink and scores of pens and nibs and several posters of beautifully lettered poetry that are shut up in old art portfolios in the closet.

Did you know that once upon a time I did quilling? I think the last piece I did was Anders' niece's name in pinks and yellows for a sign for her door for a birthday when she was quite small. She's an adult now, living in her own apartment, and I'm pretty sure that sign is long gone. I still have packs of paper and the quilling tools in my craft collection.

I used to write poetry. It's been years. I used to work on a collage book. It's been years. At one point (in high school, but still) I even tried macramé, though that was short-lived. :D I've always been creative, in some way, and I still am, but I don't seem to find the time or motivation these days to indulge any of the time-consuming, non-digital art forms that I used to.

Nowadays, I am most creative with my photography, which I share mostly on Instagram. It's "only" iPhone and iPad photos, though, nothing sophisticated. I love taking photos of flowers, of nature, of my kids.

I am creative at work, where I design marketing materials and pour my heart into Powerpoints. That's kind of sad, since it's nothing that lasts and nothing that's ultimately satisfying as an artist, but I'm proud of the work I do there, and I love my job, so there's that.

And, I guess, even though it's not consistent, I am creative here. I love writing and I continue to journal here, even though my audience has withered and my frequency has diminished; blogging has changed drastically since the glory years when I enthusiastically joined in and spent hours reading about other people's lives, commenting on their posts, making online friends far and wide and writing about my life and my thoughts. Time changes everything, so I supposed it's only natural that the ways I am creative now are different from the ways I was creative years ago.

Sometimes I think I'll have more time again to be creative in the traditional ways once I retire. After all, I'll have more time to fill, right? Either way, there will always be creativity in my life, whether I'm reading books, looking at paintings, illustration, crafts and photography or making my own, writing this journal or finding my way back to other art forms that I once had time for.
 thoughtful
mood: thoughtful
music: Calaisa—When Tide is Low


Comments

I'll be here until you turn off the lights and lock the door.

As I waft about the internet I have come across many references to the decline of the blog or journal as we know it. Many people who started out at the same time as we did have disappeared off the journal map. I think that FaceBook, Twitter, Instagram and such have fed into the instant gratification of today’s world, but, I still think there is a place for good writing, fellowship, ponderings, etc.

The comments sections of most journals in their hey day were even more entertaining than the actual post and that is what I loved the most - those conversations making it a place of "us" not just "me". I loved the chance to interact, make new friends and then over time to really build on those relationships. I am running at a lower speed these days but I still absolutely love all that blogging brings to my life. Both with the writing and reading and have made some wonderful friends some of whom I’ve been lucky enough to meet! Blogging certainly has bought something very positive into my life.

I think a lot of people started blogging because it was a new thing (now it is not) and when one writes a blog, there might be a burst of energy to start with, which probably slows down as one’s focus narrows. The reason I blog is to do something creative every day and because it’s cheaper than a shrink! So I am not too concerned that viewing stats are dropping and blogging isn’t what it used to be etc. I do understand though that the change can be disconcerting, as some days it really does feel as though I am sending out messages in bottles rather than engaging in anything meaningful.

My circle of friends, interests, and skills has actually grown since I began. I live fairly isolated from friends and my own family, and I take comfort and companionship away from my interactions with my blogging friends. The networks are one of the most important things we can achieve with our journals. It’s what community is all about. My own journal has had it’s ups and downs, but through it I have connected to a small group of virtual friends who support and brighten my life, and I hope that I do some of that for them as well.

That said, I think that one of my advantages in writing is that I can write about my personal life and everyday happenings without exposing other people’s private matters. The thing that makes your days interesting possibly involve the lives/problems/issues of your kids, husband and workplace, so it can be hard to be open and honest about that kind of stuff, in a sharing spirit, without simultaneously disrespecting their privacy. Miss Sophie doesn’t seem to mind much when she is front and center, so that gives me a lot to write about that’s very real, very ongoing, very engaging, very personal, but I am not "exploiting" other people.

I totally agree. I'm actually amazed at how long blogging's heyday was, considering that so many people don't have the time or inclination to keep up such a commitment, and that most people, like you point out, tend to hop on the bandwagon of new trendy things and then jump off, to the next new thing.

And it's true what you say in your last paragraph. I don't/can't/won't write about half the stuff that is important to me or going on in my life or that I think about and worry about because it is directly related to someone else, whose privacy I can't exploit that way.

And I also still love what blogging/writing brings even though it is definitely fewer folks involved than before. I am glad that there ARE still people out there reading, writing and commenting, and I'm doubly glad one of them is you :)

I mainly remember the comments section to be mainly full of puns about vegetables, with the two of you around! :) Such good times. I can't remember what we were talking about but I'm sure "corny" was part of it. Please tell me I'm not the only one that remembers that...

Corny? Do tell, I'm all ears :)

Ha, ha, Liz and I still do that sometimes LONG after everyone has moved on from a post. For days we swap puns in a comment section, though we've branched out from vegetables these days and include animals as well.

I remember the comment section of poor totte's journal being hijacked by us often. These days it's mostly confined to here and my journal.

Aw, shucks! I corn't imagine what you are talking about.

I know. It's quite a-maizeing. Though there could be a kernel of truth in there.

You're stalking me, aren't you?

You expect me to cornfess?

I am hopelessly outclassed in this field by you two punsters. But it's nice to know that all here is the same as ever!

I see that you are relishing this.

It beets me how she can even stand to watch the cornage.

I think we are raisin her spirits or else she is just plain cornfused.

Don't you mean arugula?

(*please romaine calm*)

Edited at 2017-01-14 05:57 pm (UTC)

Caesar and desist!

Are you kale-aborating with totte now?

If all you remember is the vegetable puns, you'd haven't been reading the comments sections enough. I suspect you don't carrot at all.

(Anonymous)

Well -I am so glad that I accidently showed up here again -I used to love reading all the puns between you two -and realize now how much I miss the chuckles and smiles from reading your back & forth puns. Love, Lizardmom

(Anonymous)

Not a blogger -but I am reading- and it definitely enhances my life -and that includes reading all your friends remarks!Love, Lizardmom

Wish you would write...it would be fun to read!

(Anonymous)

It would feel more like torture, I think! Too much being put on the spot, so my brain just shuts down! Love, Lizardmom

Lame! We all have that issue. You just write anyway. You'd be amazed at what you can find to write about.

(Anonymous)

doubt is big, but lack of desire might be more in place! Love, Lizardmom

I relate to this so much. I seem to enjoy trying new hobbies (and buying supplies for them) so much more than I do actually maintaining a hobby. My desk is full of hand lettering stuff right now. I have a room full of sewing stuff (that, I actually still use but not consistently.) And, maybe that is okay. Maybe it's not about WHAT we do, as long as we do something to keep ourselves creatively engaged. I do sometimes wish that I could be one of those people who finds one thing and sticks with it, though.

hand lettering? Do you mean calligraphy? It cramps my hand so much now I probably couldn't take it up again long-term. Thanks, keyboards!

Hand lettering is similar to calligraphy but different. I think people define the difference as being that calligraphy is writing letters/words and hand lettering is drawing letters/words. Google finds this person explaining it like this. Mainly, I think I am using it as an excuse to buy fancy pens, don't tell M.

One thing that is also nice about this as a hobby is that it doesn't come very naturally to me. I've never been one to draw (except for zentangling in the last few years), so it feels like more of a stretch. It feels good to do things that aren't as easy to pick up...occasionally. ;)

(Anonymous)

I've discussed a similar idea with fellow programmer friends of mine. I've noticed over the years that when I'm bored at work I do more side projects at home, in the evenings and on weekends. And when I'm swamped at work, or even when I'm not but the work I'm doing sufficiently feeds the creative part of my mind, I don't want to be anywhere near a computer at night.

It's actually frustrating sometimes because I come up with all kinds of projects I want to do but I just can't face them when I have the free time to do them. But that tells me that work must be filling that creative need, even if it's not for the projects on my list.

Maybe we need more boring jobs. ;-)

(Anonymous)

Oops, forgot to sign that commment.

- Russell

haha! But I want to have creative projects that are NOT in front of the computer. I have enough of those usually, both at work AND at home. I want some actual hands-on art/craft stuff, but can't seem to find the time/motivation because the rest of my life keeps me too busy.

(Anonymous)
From Megsie

I feel the same way! I crochet and knit, but I haven't done either in years. I like to paint and write and read...and still...nada. I am just putting too much time into my job. This semester I am really trying to protect my free time--so I have some! I read (almost) two books over break, and I wrote one blog post. That's a start.

The comments here are a treat today! I love all of your puns. I can't even think of one to be clever here. Sad, really. I am off to bed now. I may even read a little bit of my book! Whee!

Re: From Megsie

It's true...the day job takes a lot out of you. Back when I was doing all those things, I was going to school, and that's not the same kind of full-time as a job. Plus half my classes were art-related!

February 2017
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