Last week, I announced that I will be putting out writing prompts for artists and makers every two weeks from now until April. I’ve done all the prompts myself and I thought I would share my reflections.
I have been wanting to get into a rhythm with writing for some years now, but was feeling both self-conscious to post my writing publicly while also not really knowing where to start. The thing is that I am not crazy about social media. I never have been. Before starting AyC, I was so opposed to any social media platforms and didn’t have personal accounts for many years. I had a flip phone that didn’t have any texting capabilities and I was notorious for being difficult to get a hold of.
When I moved to Spain, I did decide to have a blog as a way to stay in touch with my family without having to do mass emails. I loved it. It forced me to get out and have unique experiences and search for ways of enjoying the town I was living in. I lived alone in Spain so I could’ve easily fallen into the trap of never leaving my apartment but instead I was constantly saying yes to everything and looking for adventure. For the most part, I do like to go out and do things on my own but I also was trying to create moments to share with my family.
In a sense, I’ve always wanted to return to having a blog but my life has been so different since I’ve moved back. I also haven’t been eager to talk about my personal life online since my husband and I were in the process of applying for a marriage visa. There was this question looming over my head of what if we don’t get approved? And I couldn’t share that publicly because I wasn’t even sharing that feeling with him. I wanted to stay positive even though it was a big unknown.
Then there was the question of, what does a jewelry blog even look like? I instead found it easier to speak about jewelry on social media. I caved and opened an account to show my new work and to show process. When Instagram Stories was first introduced, it completely shifted how I shared my process. It finally opened the doors to where I could bring you right into my studio every day and explain how what I create my jewelry.
It had been working for years, albeit the pace at times felt demanding. I think because I taught English in Spain, I’m too trained in ‘teaching’ my process and felt like if I missed certain steps there would be gaps in the process story. I'm meticulous when it comes to explaining process and I could see it come to light when I was actually hired to teach a Jewelry I course at my local community college. It would become too much for me if I had commissions/deadlines; it became too much when I was working on multiple pieces at once. Sometimes I just couldn’t keep up with the influx of comments, but I genuinely wanted my audience to know that I appreciated their interest so I would spend hours outside of the studio replying to messages.
Now with my baby girl in the studio, my attention has to shift. I tried to get back into showing IG Stories but I could feel that I wasn’t as into it like before. I think I could show process here and there in the future, but definitely not every day or every week, or even every month. It would have to be spontaneous and out of the blue.
I was also noticing that I wasn’t getting the same amount of engagement like before. I couldn’t tell if the quality of my process storytelling was hitting a slump, or if I was fighting an algorithm which was leading to me feeling very frustrated. The truth is that I’m not in the clear when it comes to postpartum anxiety or depression, you can get either of those suddenly within the first year of giving birth, and if anything is causing stress I have to be super mindful as to where I place my energy. It sucks to have these waves of feelings that will come on out of nowhere and I now have to figure out how to manage my stress. I’m hyper aware of what is going on which I think is my saving grace, but I also have to make swift changes to my lifestyle when I feel it coming over me.
After releasing this latest body of work, I have been trying to figure out how to put myself out there in a way that will work for me right now. The idea to write came to me again and I did a quick search to see if there were writing prompts for artists and there aren’t many. You’ll find tons of journal prompts, drawing prompts, etc but nothing on how to talk about yourself as an artist on your website’s blog. Any of the prompts that I did come across sounded mostly sales-y, or were encouraging artists to make those list-type blog posts. Those have their purpose but aren’t what I was looking for.
I decided to experiment on myself with these prompts to see if they work, and it was wild how much I had to say. I surprised myself big time. And they’ve been very helpful when it comes to getting in to a flow with writing. I haven’t felt this way in about a decade since I first moved to Spain. In the process, I see now that I’ve been holding back simply because social media isn’t the place for me to say all these things. It’s too quick, fast-paced, and ever-changing whereas the writing I want to do is reflective, slow, meditative, and meant to inspire concentration. I feel like I’m finally in tune with my creative voice and that the writing is written how I speak rather than it feeling disjointed or chunky, if that makes sense haha. Can writing feel chunky?
Anyway, I’m very excited to share these prompts with you and if you wish to participate, I hope that you find them useful. If you’re a reader, thank you for taking the time to read what I’ve written. I’ve poured a lot of myself into each post and I would love to continue doing so in the future. I don’t have a comments section to avoid spam, but you can always send me a DM or email.
Thanks so much.
Stay tuned and stay well,