The summer has been blessedly mild so far. There have been a couple of scorcher days but not as many for the time of year as I was expecting. My area in the woods is well shaded, but the nearness to the creek, and the leaves keeping in air flow means my humidity can get pretty high. Just weeding in the garden at 75 degrees can leave me drenched in sweat.

The raspberries are ripening. The potato plants are up to my knees. I had to break down and purchase established tomatoes since none of my seeds sprouted. The first year garden test is proving that there are plenty of flowers and vegetables I can grow in this new environment. Next year, I plan to change the layout to maximize light. I also plan to amend the soil.

Writing has been taking up the bulk of my time, and happily so. Scold of Jays hit the halfway mark this week, and I’m thrilled with the progress.

It’s a strange adaptation to go from a harried forty-hour week of busywork, frustrated politics, poor management, and unnecessary redundancies to being self-managed. The stress level is so much lower, and the productivity so much higher. It’s a sad realization as to how much work was actually about doing the work, versus running in circles burning energy around preventable issues. I could have worked a ten hour week and been more productive at my last job if the management had been more efficient and aware.

The gem in going solo and starting my own creative business and publishing house is understanding the power of less is more. My first paid creativity workshop was in Manzanita this month. The Tillamook Country Library hired me to teach a Creativity Boosting Session for Artists. Most of the attendees were retired women who are finally able to pursue their arts, and rhythm seems to be a common sticking point to most re-adjusting full-time artists.

I can relate. Oh, man. I can relate.

Creativity is its own engine. It doesn’t need a 9 to 5 designation. But once you’ve worked a corporate schedule long enough, you adapt your energy around those time frames, pocketing time for yourself where you can. Just like your stomach might growl at noon and five thirty because you’ve taught your body to eat at those times, your creativity might be conditioned to feel “ready” after 6pm and on weekends. It’s still a struggle for people to un-condition their energy and re-master their time.

I’m working on it, too. The beauty is that once those old frameworks are removed, the creativity can flow when and where you need and want. I’m learning to re-build my day to use my power cycles, and most effective time windows. This means I’m more productive than I’ve ever been, but I’m sitting at my desk half as long. Being able to be more creatively productive in less time allows me to work on the business management aspect of the solo adventure without feeling like I’m taking time away from the creative objective. It all fits comfortably in my day.

I’m two months into being a creative entrepreneur and the lessons are blowing my mind.

It might not seem like a big deal to most, but reclaiming the time, reclaiming the energy, and redirecting it all to a purpose I’ve dreamt about for years means I’m also enjoying more satisfaction and wholeness in general.

It truly does feel like living the dream. Now to publish more, and teach more workshops. The ends will come together, after the startup rockiness subsides.

In other news, I’ve been selling well at the Tillamook Farmer’s Market. There are no other books, so the competition is low. I’ve been considering signing up for all the local markets next year and doing the rounds every other week from Manzanita, Tillamook, Rockaway Beach, and Pacific City. Readers have been every age and demographic, and they’re all excited to talk about the books they love. It’s been a real treat to be at the market this summer.

All in all, July has been busy with business building, and creative works. I’m blessed to feel like I’m finally on the right path, and even more blessed to have the support of friends, family, and patrons. Thank you for being on this journey with me.

The July mid-month creative mission, should you choose to accept it:

Create a collage with the found materials from a walk or hike. Suggested materials may include: bottle caps, moss, pine cones, leaves, scrap paper, trash, or pebbles.

Objective: To capture the story of your walk or hike and observe your surroundings. What story are you telling with the location you chose, and the objects your noticed?

Please feel free to send pictures! I’ll post them!

Have a wonderful summer!

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