Little gems of inspiration show up when I’m most in need and most open to receiving them. This past year, much creative insight came from other women artists, writers and their work. Listening to their words, seeing their craft, is a glimpse into knowing them, connecting with them and their wisdom. It’s empowering to know I don’t have to travel my own creative journey alone.
As we move into the new year, I want to share a few of these women’s thoughts, hoping you discover the gifts within them too. You’ll find more great vision and motivation by checking out their writing and their artist sites.
I read Michelle Obama’s Becoming early in 2019, an admirer since her days as First Lady. In a recent social media post she speaks about the past decade of her life: “I’m thankful for the worries and the anxieties, the failures and false starts.” @michelleobama I took a writing course this year to jumpstart the novel I’d started years ago and discovered my original vision was a false start, my attempt to write one of the characters a failure. So I’m pushing myself to be thankful and not drown in thoughts of time and energy wasted. To be open to the many possible ways forward.
2019 brought a new next-door neighbor to our family and home in Echo Park. Loveis Wise is a beautiful human and amazing artist. Her colorful, creative designs and her reflection on 2019 speak to me of why I write. She says looking back at the past year as an artist is: “Reminding me to channel joy in hopes that you all will radiate it too.” @loveiswiseillu
Brené Brown, author of Dare to Lead posted an idea that may seem simple, but packs a punch: “the 2020 plan: stay awkward, kind + brave.” @brenebrown Kind is easy for me, but I’ve found awkward can be downright scary and bravery escapes me if I’m not paying attention.
In the fall I attended Together Live, an evening event of women sharing their stories of personal transformation. Beyond a doubt that night shored up my creative spirit. I met Glennon Doyle, author of Untamed, and founder of the non-profit Together Rising, who says what 2020 will bring is unknown, but her resolution is, “I will trust myself.” @glennondoyle As often as doubts cross my mind, this one is going to take work.
My perfectionist tendencies mean I’m pretty hard on myself. So I really needed to hear this from Elizabeth Gilbert, author of City of Girls, one of my favorite books of 2019. “Take it easy on yourselves, everyone. You don’t have to earn your right to be here. You are loved for just showing up.” @elizabeth_gilbert_writer
In a new historical fiction series I’m hooked on, author Jacqueline Winspear, writes one of her characters saying this: “The words and thoughts of characters borne of the author’s imagination can speak to us.” @jacquelinewinspear This author’s protagonist, Maisie Dobbs, speaks to me, as so many characters from my favorite novels have over the years. As a writer, it’s exactly what I want to do; craft characters that touch readers deeply.
In November, my friend Mary Lou Fulton’s debut of “Not Going Back” launched her songwriting career. Her creative path forward into the new year, spoken so eloquently here, gives me hope that I can do the same. “Today I’m planting more seeds for my life. I’m going to claim more time and space to think, to write… to listen to music, to admire the clouds and close my eyes in silence so that I can more clearly see and hear the world around me.” @musicbymarylou
When hard times hit and I’m feeling low, all these words of wisdom show me I’m not alone. When I’m feeling stressed, I know I’m not the only one losing sleep. When I dare to hope, I find myself connected to many wise women out there that are hopeful too. As I journey personally, professionally and artistically into the future, I’m thankful that I’ve found them. And I look forward to the ones I’ve yet to meet.
Here’s to all the women I know, all the women in my life who give inspiration and empower others. Onwards!