2014: a year of fulfillment

I’m back, after a long break, and a few epiphanies. Back to a hot, sultry summer, without the hoped for rain that, this time last year and the year before, saw this lovely region so saturated the rivers were flooding.

First, I want to say how reassuring it is to find that, although I haven’t posted a proper blog since before Christmas, my visitors keep coming, and those nice bars on my stats graph have stayed modestly high. Thank you to all who read my posts, and follow my blog.

My vision for this year is to live this life to the full. Part of that is embracing my writing and my painting, and continuing my editing practice. This last is easy for me — I do it well, I have many satisfied clients, and a lot of them return to me. It is safe and secure and I feel good when I’m doing it, it keeps me in food and the good things of life, and I miss it when I don’t have work on my desk. It keeps my marbles polished, and I am happy that I can help people get their work published, complete their degrees, and express themselves in the best possible words.

The riskier side of me is my own writing and my painting. I came to writing in earnest about 15 years ago, when I went back to uni and started to write my life story, and found a way of understanding it that made sense. I had a romance with writing for a few years, especially with the journey of understanding the deeper forces that had shaped my life, and it was transforming for me. I completed two higher degrees, and started my editing practice. But I wanted to be a published writer too; that was part of the romance. I have published several essays and memoirs, and I am an editor for a life writing journal. But I’ve had some near misses at getting my book-length memoir published, and became quite disaffected with the commercial publishing scene.

Last year, though, towards the end of the year, I formed a small writing group with a couple of friends, and have resurrected my memoir of childhood, and started to interweave it with my mother’s story (fictionalised, drawing in part on her (unfinished) hand-written memoir, and mostly from my memory and imagination.  My friends have encouraged me to continue with this, and I will.

The other breakthrough for me has been discovering the joy of pastel painting. My year of wildlife painting with a local teacher taught me a tremendous amount, but I felt very dependent on my teacher’s help and judgement. Finally, the cord was cut, when I felt he went too far in instructing, criticising and forcing me to revise my work. Shades of my mother! So I quit, and have completed two paintings since then, both admired, and the last one my best yet. So I am now going solo, and will join a community arts group for support and inspiration. and I will start selling prints of my work online, and work up to an exhibition.

Yesterday, I had an epiphany about my purpose in life; it is to express myself, my gifts, to the full, to seek outlets for my creative work, and to live, not to other people’s expectations, but to the full of my own self, the gifts I was born with and the wisdom I have gained.

Today I celebrated by making an offering to the creative spirit that is in me and that informs the whole universe, and bought an indoor plant, a pot to house it, and a small table to put it on. It will be the first of a few new inhabitants of my house of creativity.

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18 Comments

Filed under Art can change your life, artist, life writing

18 responses to “2014: a year of fulfillment

  1. Fabulous post, Christina, beautifully written and full of the fire of new life. I’m really pleased you have had an epiphany and plan to follow your dreams.
    As one of the people who has come to you for wisdom and encouragement, I want to say thank you.

  2. Thanks for sharing. I am glad you are in a good place and moving forward.

  3. It’s wonderful to see you continue to flourish so heartily, Christina, to branch out into new areas and to persevere with old ones. I keep intending to touch base with you but as ever life swallows me up. You’ve been one of my inspirations, too. I look to you as an example of someone who keeps in keeping on. And isn’t that how Drusilla Modjeska once quoted Grace Cossington Smith’s view of art?
    ‘ “A continual try”, she said. It’s true of painting, it’s true of writing and it’s true of life. The process of staying with that continual try can produce long low loops and sudden illuminations, which we see in retrospect as springing open and banging closed. But in the tug and pull of time it is another day lived, another piece of board on the easel, another squeeze from the tube.’

    • Thank you, Lis! Lovely to hear from you. At least blogging crosses our paths! I hope that you are swallowing life as much as it is swallowing you. And I adore Grace Cossington Smith, and admire Modjeska. Both inspiring women, as you are. I’ve been in a long slow loop,now coming through a springing open. Keep living, squeezing, and trying. Love
      Christina

  4. Marina Lommerse

    thanks Christina…for the wisdom of your writing over the years, and a fresh look at the new year. Last night I proposed to Jack that we make this year our dream year…

  5. I love the occasions when your blog pops up in my email inbox.. A pleasure to read. Thank you.

    Question: I would like to know what degree prepared you for your editing work?

    Thanks
    Casey

  6. Hi Casey; how lovely to hear from you.
    I did two higher degrees at Curtin University: a master of creative arts, and PhD in life writing. I didn’t do these for the purpose of learning how to edit; that was a spin-off from a deeper purpose, which was to write my life and understand it. I haven’t done a course in editing, and I don’t think it’s necessary for the sort of editing I do, though I think my research practice and time post-degree working as project officer for a group of academics gave me a good understanding of the whole research and publishing machine. But for general non-academic editing, just a love of writing, a respect for words and a desire to find the best possible way of saying things is enough. If you want to know more about how I work, you might like to look at my website: http://www.perfectwordsediting.com

    • Thank you Christina! Very helpful. I will take a look at your site. My husband and I often dream of running away (with our baby!) to a quiet place where there are lots of tall trees and a comfy little cabin or a weatherboard home. There we would spend our days writing/reflecting/discussing, all in an effort to learn more about what it means to be human. Our dilemma is.. Well yes that sounds great, but how do we earn money?! The art of editing perhaps??
      Thanks again for your response

  7. Dear Casey
    What a lovely dream. I share your dream. Life gets complicated though doesn’t it? We all have a struggle to balance right brain with left, creativity and wisdom with earning money. I’ve found a middle way which unites the two, but it’s not perfect and it’s taken me a few years to feel secure in it. I wish you joy and fulfilment.

  8. Oh yes, this is lovely. Nurturing your creative spirit by buying a living thing, a plant, is something I can relate to, along with all the other things you mention. Yes, it’s time. And I look forward to sharing with you.

  9. Hello Rashida; lovely to hear from you again. We need to nurture each other as well as ourselves. Blogging can reach across barriers and distances and unite us in common dreams. Let us keep sharing. Yes, it’s time.

  10. Lovely blog Christina, you may have inspired me to do my own … well once I have finished this small book project of mine! I am glad you are in a good space at the moment and thanks for your friendship and support.

  11. Pingback: Big Books, writer’s block, Kindle and e-books 2014 | Writing Lives

  12. Good for your Christina … and love the pot plant. Wish I could keep one alive!

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