Let's Make More of What We Need


(Note: the writing below is adapted from my newsletter, which I send about twice a month. You can subscribe here.)

In a time where there is so much apathy, stagnation, dishonesty, and hopelessness, it's so important to be creating more of what we long to see in this world.

Creating is radical— your unique person in action, saying “This is what I believe/care about enough to do/make.”

And I say this regardless of whether or not you are creating a home, raising a child, building a business or making a series of paintings.

It. Is. Yours.

Here we are with a new year (why yes, I do love it), which is such a great opportunity to pivot our direction, celebrate where we've been, let go of what we're done with, and rededicate ourselves to moving forward— in whatever way we need.

As I do this for myself, I remember the importance of a couple of things:

  • Working with where I am: I am not doing to wake up some shiny new version of myself on January 1 (and this is fine).
  • Working from what I need: In the past, I’ve become very sidetracked by confusing what I need with what my colleagues and friends need, which is a real recipe for dissatisfaction. 
  • Working with what I have: We each have our own past experiences, connections, skills, interests, and even learnings from the past year that we can use to springboard what we need.

I also keep remembering: To make space for what we want to grow, we have to let go of what is no longer working. 

And to let go, we first have to take the time to slow down and notice. And to be willing to notice honestly, we have to acknowledge fears we might have around making changes/space. 

In this upcoming year, how can your creative work bring you more of what you need?

This year, I really needed ease, collaboration, and the courage to make something 100% for myself (without feeling like it needed to serve any other purpose). This was a long time coming, and it took experiencing a lot of dissatisfaction to finally make me pivot my course, and stop thinking I needed to replicate what was working for my colleagues. 

As you think on the next 12 months:

  • Is there something you keep shelving that you finally want to go for?
  • Is there someone who can help you (a collaborator, connection, or mentor)?
  • Is there a small adjustment you can make today to move towards this?
  • Is there something you can let go of?
  • Do you need the courage to let you/your work be seen? Do you need more financial security, creative risk taking, personal healing, collaboration, or new skills? How can your work give you more of this?

If you’re trying to figure out what you want to do differently next year, you’ve got a whole year of data to base it on! (It's liberating to think of the successes or shortcomings of the year as just...information.)

Here’s one positive thing I think-slash-hope we’ve all gained from this wacky year:

A realization that we pretty much have nothing to lose from trying that one thing we’re so damn afraid of. The stakes are so much higher when we consider not acting.

Don’t stay still. Do the thing. Notice that it’s freaking you out, and then do it anyway. Be radical by caring deeply about something (and equally radical in choosing to let other things go).

To the old and the new! Thank you for reading. I wish you a 2018 that gives you more of what you need.

Laura Holway