For OLW this month, we were to use our camera to connect with our word.
As I have been focusing heavily on the written word of late, it’s no surprise that most of my pics this time around are of pens, ink, and paper. And that brought about an epiphany of sorts.
You see, I am a writer. I have been as long as I can remember and I always will be. Words are magic and man, I loved being a conduit with which that magic was shared with the world. I think I forgot that for a really long time. I let life and apathy and fear steal the joy I found in writing.
Well, no more, I say. The time has come to once again embrace that joy.
Now, I have untold stories within me – many, many stories that need to be unleashed upon the world and I’ll get there. But right now, my attention is on the physical act of writing. There is something so amazingly therapeutic about the disciplines of handwriting, lettering, and calligraphy. My writer’s soul – the one that’s been curled up in a little ball deep down inside – is basking in this healing power and I can feel it slowly coming back to life.
So I’ll feed it with pens and ink and paper and quotes and soon we’ll be ready to tell those untold stories – to be conduit to the magic once again.
OLW 2016 – May
April’s One Little Word prompt was a simple question – what does it really mean to [your OLW]? We were to spend the month exploring our word and what it means in our life right now.
So, what does it really mean to FOCUS?
Here’s what I discovered:
- FOCUS is having a vision and the belief that vision will become a reality. Dream big and believe, without a shadow of a doubt, that those dreams will come true.
- FOCUS is having a plan and following it. Figure out what you need to do to make your dreams reality and then DO THE WORK.
- FOCUS is setting clear guidelines about what is and what is not okay. Boundaries must be set – both with yourself and those you interact with.
- FOCUS is recognizing when you’ve seen a squirrel and pulling yourself back to task. Distractions happen, just don’t let them drag you off course.
- FOCUS is understanding that there are times when playing with the squirrel is totally needed. Sometimes distractions are a must. They relieve self imposed pressure and encourage creative thinking.
- FOCUS is allowing mistakes and learning from them. Everyone makes mistakes – EVERYONE! Rather than playing it safe, allow yourself the grace to royally jack something up and then learn from it.
- FOCUS is letting go of the constant need for perfection. No one is perfect – NOT ONE PERSON. Embrace your flaws. It’s where your creativity comes from.
- FOCUS means sometimes you just have to say NO! Say no to things you don’t want to do so you can say yes to the things that make you happy.
That’s FOCUS for me right now.
OLW 2016 – April
I was thrilled to see that the March prompt for OLW is once again creating a vision board. It’s one of my favorite things to do. I know a lot of people, Ali included, use words and images cut/torn from magazines to create physical vision boards, but that just isn’t my cup of tea.
When my word and I first get acquainted, I usually spend some time on Pinterest gathering words and images in digital form to use throughout the year for all the various prompts. This year was no different, so it was a simple thing to pull all the quotes out into the Pic Stich app and create a collage of inspiring quotes. So simple, in fact, that I again ended up with two separate images, as I have for the past couple of years. I’ll send these out to be printed as 8×10 photos, back them with white card stock, then slide them into an 8.5×11 page protector. Simple and done.
This year my images tended to be more monochromatic and I think that makes I nice contrast to my vision boards from 2014 and 2015.
Vision Board 1
Vision Board 2
For OLW this month, we’ve been invited to pick one thing to practice for the entire month.
Since I’d already decided that I am going to complete at least one crafty class a month in 2016 and had picked February to work through Studio Calico’s Love Your Lettering class, I’ve decided to practice my handwriting daily.
It seems fortuitous, then, that I found the #RockYourHandwriting challenge on Instagram. Hosted by @boho.berry, @decadethirty, @prettyprintsandpaper, and @tinyrayofsunshine, you are given 29 prompts to help you work on developing the skill that is handwriting.
As for my OLW creative prompt, I am keeping that super simple. I am still working in my original 8.5 x 11 album and decided to just pull the images over into a Word doc, make them bigger to fit a whole page, and shove them them in a page protector. I can just pull out the sheet to mark my progress and I will have plenty of room to write my reflection for the month when I’m done.
OLW 2016 – February
At the best of times, I think I have pretty decent handwriting. At the worst of times, it’s still not all that bad. My family, however, struggles to read it either way, so I am looking forward to spending this time practicing. I am hoping to learn to slow down and take my time forming letters and how better to space them on the page. To keep it simple, I’ll be adding all the prompts to Indigo (my bullet journal) as I go and I’ll be posting them to my Instagram account – I’m dayna.holm, if you’d like to follow along.
It’s hard to believe that we are already more than a month into the new year. I feel like I am just now starting to get my mojo back after the somewhat lackluster end to 2015.
Rather than jump right back into the swing of things with all my regularly scheduled projects on January 1, I decided to take a nice long look at my life – a deep dive into where I am right now, at this moment in time. It was a slow and arduous process, but I think I have finally managed to gain some clarity around just who I am and who I want to be. Now that I have a firm grasp on that, I feel I can finally make some of those goals and plans I talked about in my last post.
What it all boils down to is I really don’t want to live the same damn year over and over again for the rest of my life. There are things I’ve always wanted to do that have yet to be done and I keep letting the monotony of daily life drag me down into some twisted version of Groundhog Day. Only I don’t have Bill Murray along to make it at all entertaining.
I once had dreams and aspirations, and regardless of the choices I’ve made to get me where I am today, every single one of those dreams and aspirations is still there. They’ve just been in stasis, waiting for me to get out of my own damn way and bring them to fruition.
My One Little Word for this year is FOCUS. I need to FOCUS on what matters most – family, creative endeavors, memory keeping, and my home in order. That’s what is important to me right now in 2016 and that’s what has always been important to me.
With that in mind, I’ve come up with six intentions for 2016. Six things that I will FOCUS my time and attention on, even if it means saying no to other things. Each of those intentions has detailed plans and timelines, which I’ve noted in Indigo (my bullet journal) where I can see and revisit them everyday and begin to take the hundreds of smalls actions needed to make them happen.
I have a motto this year, as well. One that I hope helps me keep my FOCUS. It’s “Mission Over Mood.” I know what I want. I am the only one who can make it happen. “Mission Over Mood” and a lot of hard work will get me there.
OLW 2016 – January
April’s OLW task was to find or take pictures that showed your word in action in your everyday life.
Since I have been struggling with my word pretty much since the beginning, I chose to spin it as what I want being INCANDESCENT to mean right now. Simple things I can do each day to bring more incandescent-ness, if you will, into my daily life and the interactions with the things I do and those I love.
My page ended up turning into a inpromptu manifesto and something that I can pull out when I most need a little reminder that I do indeed shine even when I think I don’t.
We were tasked with creating action items for March’s OLW prompt. Ten of them to be exact.
Now, I thought this would be a hard one to complete. Ten action items for the remainder of 2015, each centered on my word INCANDESCENT. Yeah, that could be tough. I’ve been struggling with what exactly it means to be incandescent. Maybe I could settle for five and put a cool pic or quote on the back side of the sheet so it doesn’t mess with the aesthetic of my OLW binder. Yeah, that will work.
So, plan in place, I sat down to write my action items. Come to find out, I’d worried for nothing. I had no trouble at all coming up with all ten items. Sure, some of them are subtle variations of each other – shades, if you will – but I think I did a pretty good job of finding some things that will help me find the INCANDESCENT that I have hidden within me. And I’m looking forward to diving into these actions in the months to come.
Action Items 1 – 5
Action Items 6 – 10