25/31 July Challenge

25/31 July Challenge

Some of you know that I wrote a book. However, saying that I wrote a book implies that I would have something to show for it, when in fact all I have is a heap of words, half of which are now crossed out, and a blank piece of paper as I start over. I am writing a YA Fantasy novel, and it has been on my mind a lot lately. It has to do with false Gods and an ancient seed and a tree that gives life to the world. Basic stuff, you know. But in all honesty, writing a novel wasn’t what I imagined it would be like. I felt so accomplished when I hit 80,000 words, and trust me, I still celebrate that. Getting a first draft out (or whatever you’d like to call my heap of words), is quite something in and of itself. But it wasn’t a novel.

At first I was a little bit sad about it. How could I spend three years (very on and off) writing a book that isn’t really a book? How could I dedicate so much time to something so…bad? In truth, I only entertained those thoughts for a couple of minutes. I trained myself better than to think like that. In discovering I was having those thoughts and immediately banishing them, I realized I needed a new set of thoughts – a seed – to plant in their place. This is what I did.

First, I recognized my accomplishment.

Second, I became hell-bent on learning everything that I could so that I could turn my story into something worth reading.

Third, I made a plan. I organized my time to accommodate 30 minutes of reading every day (and all day on Wednesdays) so that I could learn and grow in my new craft.

Herein lies the problem I was unknowingly dealing with; I was writing something, but I wasn’t crafting it. I was going through the motions, putting words on paper (laptop), but there was no artistry in it. There was no deep thinking or second tries. There was no heart. It was simply the story I imagined written down in some logical (though not always) order.

Friends, we are so lucky to practice a craft. To create pieces of ourselves that are worth something. To show the world how meaningful our lives are simply by making what we love.

This is the pose I wanted to use, but I felt the other looked more natural with the composition.

I am not sad even slightly now about my book. I do not give up on my dreams. I do not take them lightly. I don’t just want accomplishments; if I did, my 80,000 word count might have given me that, and I could be finished. I want to be greater than I was yesterday. I want to learn more than I thought possible. I want to dominate myself – not the world, not other people, just my own preconceptions of who I should be. I want to be more.

Every day I learn, and every day I take pleasure in being a student. I am grateful beyond measure that there are things for me to learn and that I have an interest in. I cannot tell you how many people I’ve spoken to who claim to have no important interests and certainly no passions. I don’t believe those people, for the record. I think they just haven’t searched hard or long enough. I practice gratitude that I have something to love, and that it pushes back. It makes me angry, but then I love it harder. That’s how love works, right?

I don’t know when you’ll see that novel from me. I’m only moonlighting as a writer right now. I’ve got my hands full (spilling over) with this challenge, some special content I’m creating for you, a CreativeLive class coming up, and my own Promoting Passion convention that I’m hosting in September. I don’t know if it sounds like a lot, but it’s a lot. And, I don’t take pride in being busy. I take pride in being organized and conscientious enough to not be busy. My days are absolutely packed, and I look forward to when things slow down slightly and I can spend days upon days reading and writing.

Either way, busy or not, I’m loving each bit. I really am. Because I know that busy times are exciting, and slow times are peaceful, and life is always in need of balance. This image today is about rebirth, something I have been thinking of a lot lately as I school myself in a new art form. I am being reborn into someone who knows a little bit more, and who cares tremendously about her craft. Thank you, universe.

7 thoughts on “25/31 July Challenge

  1. Again, wow! Brooke, I know I said this a few days ago, but truly you are magical. I used to be a first grade teacher for 14 years before deciding to follow my passion; art/photography. As I was reading your latest blog, several things came to mind, two of which I’ll address. First, one of the things I LOVED doing as a teacher was reaching out to my students and giving wings to their gifts. I nurtured those gifts and encouraged the parents to do likewise. Many parents followed the call while others didn’t. When I read your blog, I sometimes find myself asking this question: Who was Brooke’s champion? Somewhere along your life, someone believed in you and gave wing to your gifts. I’m so thankful for them, and to you, I’m thankful you said ‘yes’ to your passions.

    The other thought I wish to share is reflected in this quote from what you wrote today: “I want to be greater than I was yesterday. I want to learn more than I thought possible. I want to dominate myself – not the world, not other people, just my own preconceptions of who I should be. I want to be more.” It totally struck a cord in me, as I just had taken a break from a piece I’m working on and thought I’d jump on over to fb where I saw your latest post. While I was reading it, my heart skipped a beat as I read and reread that which I’ve quoted. I began to reflect back on the piece I’m working on with thoughts that I need to be better than I was yesterday, while competing with myself and not the world. I need to be alive in my work, for when I am alive, I’m awake, renewed, and complete. Honestly, your posts are like a ‘self help’ book for the artist in me. A thousand thank you, Brooke.

  2. So beautiful…..
    Thought provoking image and a heartfelt message in your words.
    Being many years older than you, keeping your dreams real is important, you’re never too old to learn and grow, and we all learn something new every day even if we dont realize it.

    Thank you for showing positivity in a world that seems to be endlessly negative sometimes x

  3. You got your entire story written down, and that is a very big deal! I have been trying to do that for well over a year, and I haven’t gotten very far. Now you can rewrite it, and improve, which will be much easier now that you know where you are going with the story.
    It doesn’t sound like you have a lot going on, you have an insane amount going on! Glad you are planning to slow down soon.
    Beautiful photo of rebirth!

  4. That is you! And that is passion! And that’s what you always transmit: a humann being full of light and energy.
    Thanks for having your feet on the ground and make us fly, Brooke. All the best wit your new book!
    PD Have you any “receipt” you can share to be organized?

  5. Oh Brooke – your photoshop skills I know you say are simple but boy you have it nailed so in awe every day this month – thank you! xox

  6. I have no idea why your pictures seem to be absolutely synchronised to my life at the moment. It mystifies me how every day your picture tells a story of exactly what I am working on that day. I have this life-long dream of becoming a Fine Art Photographer, I am getting there. I am also still a soft sculpture artist with 20 years of experience under my belt. Yesterday evening I had one of those life changing aha moments which makes me feel just like your picture….as if I am reborn. I have said it before on IG, but your work has touched me profoundly over the past few weeks and I am a bit sad that July will soon be over, even though this will give you a bit of a breather I am sure. Thank you for being you and for being brave enough to be different and autonomous. I find this very inspiring

  7. The way you inspire creativity and the way you constantly challenge yourself is amazing – also for those of us who are not photographers. I am a musician, but over the three years I´ve been following your blog, I´ve found so much inspiration in your work and the way you approach it. I feel connected to you, in the sense that what I try to achieve through sound is often similar to what you create in visual art – if that makes any sense at all… (Moods, themes, the surreal and dreamlike quality). The creative process and the hurdles and struggles within it are often the same. Working on your own means having all the freedom in the world to shape your art the way you want, but it also means bouncing back and forth between the joy and fulfillment of creating on one side, and frustration and insecurities on the other.
    I love your July challenge, and especially the rebirth theme. Thank you so much for sharing your work and your processes, your achievements and struggles. It means so much to me! 🙂

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