now all I want is to work in secret and emerge in years with finished art
Love the word Sonder and I totally relate to the codependency thing. I’ve called myself a recovering validation junkie for a while now because I constantly have to retrain my brain to not perform and to instead turn inward -- self validate. I’ve been working on the art for my first book and I’m trying not to show anyone until I get it as good as I can make it. Last week I felt terrified about it and it took everything in me not to send the art to friends like “validate me please!” 😂 Changing habits is hard.
Sonder is my new favourite word!
You already know I’m going to agree with you here. I was thrilled with the bird app in the beginning. I mean the silliness and fun it allowed! The connections to fabulous people we wouldn’t meet in our everyday.
But now there’s just so much NOISE everywhere, and it’s practically a treat to be able to step away from it all, find the quiet you need and really THINK. I love how you say we all have the capacity for greatness and we deserve to give ourselves the peace and quiet it needs to flourish.
I’m still thinking about what it means for me to wander away from certain online places, to refuse to be the dancing monkey that certain people say we have to be, but I do know that whatever it ends up being, I’ll be at peace with it.
(And congrats on the book!)
This was great. I spent a long time building up my 1,000 followers on my instagram-- but it all really seems meaningless now. I rarely go on there now. Years ago, I originally went on Instagram, because I deleted my facebook and wanted to see what my friends/acquaintances etc. were up to. Then I started my writing journey a few years ago-- and my niece- who is a social media manager for a living, told me to start one about my writing! I resisted at first, then got really into it, but then realized it was taking up sooooo much time! I enjoyed it, but wasn’t doing any writing! So I stopped. Then I got all these followers, so now I don’t even see the people I want to see, and it is just too much to keep up with and I feel that it is a time suck! I don’t want to sound like I am complaining, but I’d rather do something with my time that is more meaningful and engaging-- and instagram/twitter just doesn’t seem to do that. It seems too surface level and superficial. So I don’t think I’ll delete them-- but I’m certainly not using them. I’ll focus on my own substack and my website and of course my actual writing/illustrating! I appreciate the permission to get off social media and not feel guilty about it! So thank you Julie!
"If I’m not going to be so focused on sharing my outcomes on social media, and I’m keeping large parts of my process and practice to myself, then I can also have this secret cult of my own creativity. "
YES love this. and the connection between social media use and codependency is very on point. So many ways to be available to everyone! Then what is left for us, and for our art?
Congrats on the new book!
So excited for your new picture book! (I checked out the illustrations you linked to and they are indeed delightful. Eva is a talent!)
Thanks for everything you shared in this post about process, the internet, and letting go of people-pleasing. I can relate to a lot of it and feel like I'm on a very similar journey.
That copy of Lady Into Fox is mine next!
I see you!
Sonder sounds like the moment when you realize that every human is indeed, human! Isn't it strange how we can get so caught up in our own heads (or our little corners of the internet) that we forget other people are thinking, dreaming, creating, worrying, doing--going about their own lives with thoughts streaming through their heads and daily missions to accomplish?
I feel like the original promise of social media was a place where all those little daily missions, those individual thoughts, could collide and interact, but it turned into a revenue-driven cesspool where only the biggest fish in the pond could afford to pay to play.
As for holy art, I'm working on a series of essays on creativity from a Christian point of view. I've been hoping to get them published in a traditional magazine, but if that doesn't pan out, I'll post them on my new writing site (https://samwrites.online -- very embryonic right now, but I have Plans!). The basic premise is that human creativity reflects God's creativity and has a significant purpose in God's plan for the world. It's a fascinating study that opens up amazing possibilities for creative work and validates creativity as a legitimate vocation. :)
I loved this, Julie! And I have a confession: I, too, had the book Codependent No More in my possession for a long time without reading it. And I have no idea where it went, but suspect it got donated the last time I moved. Good for you for actually reading! Also, congrats on the book deal! (So lovely to discover it’s with Kendra - she was a colleague many years ago and is the greatest.)