Maybe I am the only one who appreciates this, but I’ve made it a guiding principle of my business that I do the tough work of making alongside my Atelier clients.
Every year, I choose a main project to work on. The first year in the Original Impulse Atelier was devoted to writing my book, The Busy Woman’s Guide to Writing a World-Changing Book. The Atelier members got to see how I carved out time to write, how I grappled with organizing the content of the book and how I stuck with it even when all the other stuff of life was happening.
This year, the project was publishing and promoting the book. Members saw me struggle with all the decisions that go into self-publishing. The cover design, the editing, proofreading, indexing and finalizing. Oh, the pain of those final phases!
But when that ended, the work of getting the book out there was just starting. Here’s what’s true about me historically: Once I finish a project and put it ‘out there’, I have a hard time doing the work to stay with it to promote it. It’s kind of like building a boat and putting it in the water and not putting up the sails or starting the engine.
This year, I committed to staying with the promotion all through the year. It wasn’t easy. Right after I launched the book, I started on my new project, my podcast Stumbling Toward Genius. The new project was so much more fun than writing pitch letters and reaching out! But because I had the support and commitment of the Atelier, I stuck with promoting the book. And it paid off.
My definition of a master
A traditional Atelier has a master of the craft leading and teaching the members in that craft. The craft we are studying in the Original Impulse Atelier is our own creative process. We learn how to be the masters of our creativity so we can make all the things we want.
But I have a different definition of a master: I believe a master is someone who is so engrossed in their craft that they become not perfect or enlightened. Instead, a master is a perpetual student of their craft. I am constantly learning about the creative process – my creative process. I have made a lot of things. That doesn’t make me a master. What makes me a master – in my own definition – is that I keep learning and growing.
Working my craft alongside my Atelier members is a privilege and an honor. It’s not always easy to share my challenges every week. But I ask them to be bold, and so I meet them with my own boldness. We spur each other on.
Oh, and my project for 2020? I’m so excited. I will be returning to art making! I’ve given two full years to my book, The Busy Woman’s Guide to Writing a World-Changing Book.
Now it’s time to bring the paints back. I’ll be working on surface pattern design. In 2018, I did 100 days of patterns. I loved it and am eager to return to see what I make and how I sculpt my year around surface pattern design. This is a passion project. I confess, it’s been easier to stay on track with a work project, my book. But sticking with a passion project isn’t easy.
Ready to master your own creative process? The Original Impulse Atelier could be for you. Seats are filling; claim yours soon. Check out all the details here.