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Bullet Journal musings:
Are you so deep into Bullet Journaling yet? I am. I was late to the party, but the good news is that every arty crafty store I frequent (online or in person) now is fully stocked with the pens, brush pens, calligraphy pens, markers, watercolor pencils, journals, stamps, stencils and washi tape that one could ever want while on the playful, gorgeous bujo journey to enlightenment, meaningful chronicle, organizational bliss, and an aesthetically beautiful future plan. Never one to turn down an opportunity to cram more inspiring materials into our art room (or resist the siren song of exploring a new form of self-expression), I had a feeling I would dig it.
But I didn't get Bullet Journaling at first. I was all set to write a HuffPost piece on the "Creative Conflict of the Bullet Journal" (this may still happen, but I am becoming better informed before doing so, which usually serves one well on the public posting route). I had questions that just kept bugging me.
Most tricky about Bullet Journals was my inability to resolve the "audience question"...that is, WHOM am I doing this artistically-rich list-making and calendar-filling doodle-fest FOR, exactly? If it's exclusively for myself, am I squandering creative energy that would be better directed toward more productive pursuits? Am I, more pointedly, doing this private artistic thing because I am afraid of working on higher-impact projects that might gather both positive and negative responses (in the same way I might organize my painting supplies instead of painting, or get ensnared in old stories or articles instead of writing)? This seems troubling.
If I am, alternately, completely aware of an outside audience -- in it for the Insta fans or some such -- I sense that I would, fairly quickly, begin censoring my content for both its aesthetic and interest quotient. That doodle there? Kinda sucky. Gone! (...and the notebook gets thinner as pages keep getting ripped out.) Do I really want to post how little progress I'm making on this particular goal list? Is it embarrassing that I have so many cosmetics on my wish list? That I spent that many hours on my iPad last week? That my kids are mentioned so very rarely in this map-of-my-inner-world? Does that quote make me sound like a new-age weirdo? A holy roller? Co-dependent? Should I re-do it in a more bouncy script? And then there is the factor of precision; the measuring skillz involved could be seriously time-consuming. Shit, I ran out of dots for January's habits list. I thought I measured the dots! How did that happen? This seems problematic as well. Do I need to choose ahead of time how public I'm going to make my journal? Will anyone even give a crap about my contribution to the bujo world? Would that make me sad if they don't? Freaked if they do??
I also was uneasy about the structure of the whole thing. I have a lot of lists and ideas (and "futures," I call them) floating around my life/office/purse/car. Would this be a place to compile them? A replacement for them? A new spot to begin them? Yes. And yes and yes. Once I understood the index situation, I got much more comfortable with the concept. I have a kind of weird perfectionistic thing about writing on paper -- it's the only place I'm like this -- that's caused me to rip out the first page of many journals, not happy with the tone or look of that all-important launch page. Or I've rewritten a whole page of a letter, having discovered that I somehow didn't leave enough room at the end for a proper sign-off. It's stupid, but whatever. So as I started noticing these journals, I wondered how I would reconcile the need for new lists, more room in existing lists, pages that I thought would need voluminous listing areas but only apparently needed a postage-stamp size, etc. But it turns out you have to CHILL TF OUT on yourself in this process so you don't go nuts. It's a total thing.
So we will move forward with a Bullet Journal, and we will include an index and an icon lexicon and an aloof awareness of audience -- I may post some... I may not -- and other cool stuff and see where it leads. If this is an area where you've explored and are kicking some creative ass, please share your wisdom, pages, and frustrations. I'm excited to see what you're doing with it and what it's done for you!
And now a proper greeting...
Hello you Kick-Ass Creators! Hello you wishful, excited, know-you've-got-it-in-you types....and to you too, already-rockin'-it-and-wanting-more folks! Welcome. We're all family here. Up, down. Rollin', reeling. Flowing, slow. Thanks for coming. 'Glad you made it,' as my Dad would say.
I'm so excited that you're here. You've been telling me fascinating things in the occasional mini-workshops and keynotes where we've discovered each other. You have great ideas. You have passion and enthusiasm and thrilling energy. I'm psyched to be your friend. (I'm already planning to brag about you.)
Maybe you've come looking for some info about the book. (Cool, we've got that.) Maybe you've got questions. Or you're looking to share your responses to some of the Project Recs and Open the Flow tasks. Awesome. I can't WAIT to see what you're doing, and how you'll connect with other people doing really great things too. We have all that too. And more.
Please, join the creative conversation (let's talk to ourselves together!) and if you're inclined, help spread the word! Tweet it up! Profess that you "Like" this ("you really LIKE this!") on Facebook. Link to us, comment on blogs, share your images and victories and frustrations. It's why we're here.
Finally, I'm an artist myself, which is why I hope to have some worthwhile insights to share. If you've come by looking for my music,or with all this yukking up about it in the book, you're interested in checking it out, you'll find a music-palooza at my dedicated music site: www.marybethmusic.com.
Thank you for coming! Now let's go create something amazing.
Reviews for "Kick-Ass Creativity"
-- Julia Cameron, author of The Artist's Way
"You know that best friend you wish you had? The one who always tells you the truth and she's so funny and smart and right-on? This book is that friend. This book asks all the right questions. This book meets you right where you are. This book is a firecracker, a cheerleader, a spiritual adviser and the creativity coach every artist needs.
If you've got projects that have been just sitting on the shelf, or maybe you're a mid-career artist thinking, 'why aren't I more successful?', Mary Beth Maziarz is the tonic for you. Thought-provoking - and more importantly to us procrastinators and perfectionists - action-provoking - Kick-Ass Creativity will wake you up, shake you up and set you right!"
-- Samantha Bennett, The Organized Artist Company
Click here for more reviews of Kick-Ass Creativity
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