This July I will have been writing a blog for over 5 years and during that time there's been a fair amount of unpublished blog posts: posts that I didn't publish in time to remain relevant, things I didn't love once written down or some that just felt too raw. I've always been pretty protective of what personal information is shared about myself and my family and have worked hard to shape 'A Playful Day' into a space in which I can feel good each time I log back in. A post that felt difficult to write sits on the page, waiting to greet me when I return here and that changes my safe space, making it feel less fun to be around.
It happened that a few weeks ago I wrote something that felt really good to pour my heart and soul into. Writing is such a strong release for me and there it was, black and white, punctuated (some of which was correct) and ready to share.
I chose not to hit publish.
It was about when my page views hit the upper 20 thousands per week that I noticed I stopped writing personal blog posts. If I'd been reluctant to use this space in that way before, I was more so with a sense of audience watching. I had created A Playful Day to remind me to find a playful moment in every day and that was my mission. I felt like I needed to focus there and avoid too much mess with an audience that continued to grow each day.
I noticed it spilling over into social media too. There were conversations I read but rarely commented on. I sat in a neutral zone, determined to only encourage positive conversations and to continue to support women in their making and business. I say women because this is predominantly the audience and people I work with but of course, not exclusively. I also feel very committed to women creating and defining their own terms either in business or their creative expression. It has always been the undercurrent of what I do.
That unpublished post irked me though. I started to feel as if the words in this blog are no longer my own. The whole point was for this to be a place I entirely owned and shaped for no one else but me.
So I'm returning home again with this one.
There is always a story behind every post. Sometimes it's as simple as 'my camera is at this angle to hide the mess in the corner that I didn't tidy'. Other times, like today, it's a deliberate refocusing on my original purpose of creating this website: to find a playful moment in every day. Just like 5 years ago, I have found myself in great need of something playful recently and so here I am once more, putting the playful before the storm.
So this month I will be really pushing myself to make and really show what creativity means to me. I would love to hear from you all as I look inside of myself and attempt to answer the question 'What does a Creative Identity feel like to me?'
My creative identity is entwined in the sessions I lead with other business women. We create together, pondering the best way to convey how a yarn creates the most enticing texture when knitted into a fabric. We play with words and images to best share that with an audience in a way that is loving, intelligent and appealing. I talk with them about their passions and dreams and we help shape goals that allow them to keep developing their own Creative Identity.
My Creative Identity is also joining up with others to bring a beautiful project to life (stay tuned for some news, there's some magical things ahead I can assure you) in way that I can feel proud of when people ask me what I do for a living.
However, the Creative Identity that resonates the deepest for me on a daily basis is the side of my crafting that happens in the intimacy of my own home. It binds itself with motherhood, friendships, my home and well being. It's in the moments I withdraw into near silence, the only outward show of my thoughts are as I pause to examine the way a stitch just caught a fleck of colour to stunning effect. I become absorbed, letting hours of stress and to-do lists melt away as I just lose myself in an activity I cherish and adore.
It's also watching my daughter as she runs towards me full of exuberance, her little hand clenched around a bunch of new wild flowers. She deposits them happily in front of me and obligingly, I sit naming them all, delighted that she too now celebrates the changing wildlife around us from season to season. Just as I do, she roots herself in the changes mother nature brings, drawing in all that colour and texture into her happy moments each day. She learned that from me and I am so glad to have given it to her.
My creative identity is everything I hoped I could be and more.
What does creativity mean to you? If you are making and sharing your creative endeavours this month please do let me know (@aplayfulday on Twitter and Instagram) and as always, it's wonderful to read your blog posts joining in the conversation. I'd love to hear your thoughts.