Monday, August 6, 2012

Hustling Through 390 Blog Posts...

Hello Dear Blog Readers! Today's blog post begins the "Countdown to 400" - a countdown to reach 400 blog posts. Each countdown will include a giveaway at the end of each post so be sure to check in and help me celebrate this achievement!

Now, I'd like to start by thanking my blog buddies who left wonderful comments on my last post. I'm going to "keep on trucking", as Kat from "Art Blog by Kat" recently commented, because it has been reaping some surprising rewards, as you will learn if you keep reading...

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"Do the Hustle"

An interesting word has been coming up around me lately...and it's not the word "INSPIRE" I usually see/hear in my world...

This colorful red item adorns the wood valance over the window in my creative space

It's a different word that has some dubious connotations so it surprised me when I started to hear it coming out of the mouths of acquaintances, then good friends...and I know it wasn't a reference to dancing as some of my friends know I love doing ;)

Yes, my friends, the word is HUSTLE and people around me have been witnessing me doing a LOT of it, in order to get my self-sustaining self-employed lifestyle going.

However, I am not doing any shady hustling! Everything I have been doing is good honest hard work with the emphasis on HARD...

During the past few weeks, as I've been struggling with some disappointments, my dear blog buddy Kat (from I Saw You Dancing*) left a comforting comment for me that used the word "hustle" as a great illustration of what I'm doing these days:

"Well done on sitting with your feelings, then cultivating the courage to persist. I know it's not easy.
We should call you The Courageous Creative Beast! Though I guess that's an oxymoron, as all creativity requires some courage, no?
There's a lot of hype out there on the interwebs that suggests "if we just BELIEVE ENOUGH it will happen". What's less obvious is just how much hard work and how much hustling** is really required to get particular projects off the ground. And then there's the luck factor, particularly where timing is concerned.
So thank you for being so honest about your experience. I know it helped a lot of others to feel less alone and less like a failure.
"

Boy, did Kat say a mouthful and all of it true, especially the use of the word "hustling" to describe my efforts. The word "hustle" came up a few weeks prior to this comment and it came from an acquaintance when I was describing all the HARD work I've been doing to earn money and launch a self-employed lifestyle, but I know this acquaintance really meant that I've been working hard at making things happen...

When I read the word 'hustle' in Kat's comment, I knew she also meant that I've been working hard at making things happen in my life and I knew she was commiserating when things didn't go as I'd hoped...

And last week a good friend used the word 'hustle' because she has been witnessing first-hand everything I've been doing to launch my creative ideas and begin teaching as part of my goal toward self employment. She is seeing how much hard work is needed and she has been inspired by my efforts, which really encouraged me! She is also inspired by the fact that I have been plowing forward despite my fears and this lifts my spirits in ways I can't describe...

Working and pushing forward despite ones fears is not an easy task. Though my dear blog buddy Cathy recently commented that I'm "good at looking for the positive or learning opportunities", I have to tell you, one and all, that viewing life through this lens doesn't come easy. I have fears that nothing will work and that I will have to get another office job, but the idea of working at another office job fills me with so much more fear and dread than the idea that I won't succeed at a self employed lifestyle, I keep plugging away! But I've been working so hard at making things happen that it's been hard to see ANYTHING happening at all...you know, like not seeing the forest for the trees!

Now, I can see how blogging has been slowly contributing to my efforts since a recent gig I landed is due in some part to my blog. I mentioned in my last post receiving an email from a lady who is looking for a workshop to teach young girls some basic bookbinding techniques and it seems that my blog came up when she did a Google search! I guess she liked what she saw and made a request for me to teach her Girl Scout troop of 11 young girls. I landed the gig with my proposal and I am really excited about this opportunity! I really hope that this is the first of many creative opportunities to come...

I've been blogging for 3 years - 3 years! My blog-iversary actually happened on July 29, but I was not prepared to celebrate as I really wanted. However, when I was looking at my blog posts for a review, I realized that I am very close to 400 blog posts! I figure this is something worth celebrating and what better way to celebrate than with a giveaway! In fact, I decided to have a countdown giveaway: the "Countdown to 400"!

Here's how it will work - I will have a giveaway for each blog post leading up to my 400th blog post.  Of course, you will have to leave a comment to participate.

HOWEVER: If you win a giveaway, you can not continue to enter the remaining giveaways!

It's pretty simple. =-)

Today's giveaway will be two lovely little notebooks from my personal collection of notebooks and I do have quite a few notebooks that I have collected over the years, naturally, being the book lover that I am...

The plum floral notebook is a blank book that measures 5 1/2" by 4 1/2" and it is a blank page book...
This notebook could be great for making sketches while out and about during your day...
I just had to show off the pretty spine!
 
The other notebook is a bright colored notebook on the theme of "Summer" which I thought was appropriate for the month of August...
This notebook measures approximately 5 1/8" by 3 1/2" and comes with lined pages in a light sand color... 
It is great for keeping in your purse or back pocket and you can use it as a little gratitude journal to list the things you are thankful for. I used the "Spring" themed notebook on an abundance exercise that was rather challenging...
Two lovely notebooks to fill in as you choose

Okay - how can you win these lovely notebooks, you might be wondering? Here are the rules:

The giveaway is open to all readers from near or far
You must leave a comment to enter
Your comment will be about whether you keep a gratitude journal or not 
Comments will close at 12pm Pacific Standard Time on Friday August 10
The winner will be announced at the end of the next blog post...which will be in approximately one week

OH! And if you want a bonus surprise goodie, follow my blog and let me know you have joined the "Tribe Of Creative Kindred Spirits"!

Okay, Dear Blog Readers - Let the Countdown begin!
 
* - though I'm not generally a 'cat' fan, I do love the "cool Kats" I know through blogging ;)
** - emphasis on this word is mine =-)

2 comments:

humel said...

My dear - I've been awol for too long, I've just been catching up on your last few posts and wanted to add my support and sympathy regarding your class. It must have been disappointing, but how typical of you to find the positives and learn from the whole experience - I can just hear your uplifting laughter right now (can you believe it was a whole year ago that we met up?!) Good for you!

I don't feel it's fair for me to enter your giveaway because I've been a bit rubbish as a follower and blog friend lately, but what a lovely idea of yours :) Cute prize - good luck, everyone!

Speak soon, my friend xx

Karen Wallace said...

I am also catching up. Good luck everyone. Hugs Karen