I felt a small collective panic going around after the last post. I'll take a moment to add a couple more thoughts about creative companions. First, with only a couple exceptions, the people in my life who are friends of my work live far away, and like most of you I use blogs and flickr and email and the phone to stay in touch. Out of the three women I met with last fall, now I'm only meeting with one of them. These things change and flow.
I'm flexible--I take what I can get, and I'm not picky, in that you don't have to be "a writer" to be my creative friend. If Jen and I weren't having technical issues, we could share work via video chat, or just exchange digital images and files. I've done some really nice phone readings of my new work. But there's something particularly comforting about seeing someone in the flesh, something about being able to look her in the eyes and see she's dead serious when she says you're doing well, that I cherish. Scoop this up if you can, but don't let it trip you up. If an internet creative community is what you have, work it. Find a way to deepen a connection.
Here's a random knitting update. After completing the sweater, I made myself these (toast) and one of these (more yarn is on the way). I am honestly wearing all of them right now--even the one boot. And I feel like magic. For those of you who have been waiting patiently for a Portfolio Project button to display on your own site, I wish I could say your patience paid off with something super beautiful and artsy and fabulous. But this is the Portfolio Project, where we're keeping it fast and dirty and getting our work done without getting lost down rabbit holes, so it seemed fitting that the button turned out like this: To embed the button on your own site, copy and paste this code:
<a href="http://jenlee.net/index.php/the-portfolio-project/"><img src="http://jenlee.net/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/button.jpg" alt="" /></a>.
Many thanks to Justin for building that little cutie for us. The first issue of Voca Femina is live. Go visit! You can read my piece, A Voice, Untamed and submit some work of your own. Finally, a little gift to carry you into the weekend. Here's a piece I wrote about the journey I've been on this last month.
Photo: Scarves at the Tibetan store, Diana F+ with 55mm Wide-Angle Lens Today's podcast is a special double-issue (hooray) about working with mini deadlines and cultivating creative companions or communities. I'm off to write write write, but please give us your best tips in the comments below, or leave us links to any updates on your work you have on your own sites.
The Portfolio Project has launched me into a season that I try to avoid hanging out in too long--one that feels like winter to my spring-lovin' soul. How about you? Are you walking a leg of the creative journey that you wish you could just turn away from already? What part pushes your buttons? What part is an invitation to expand your capacity? And how, oh how are you guarding your sanity in the meantime? (If you're just joining the Portfolio Project and have no idea what I'm talking about--don't worry. Give it a month, then re-listen.)
Photo: 7th Ave. hat stand, Diana F+ with wide-angle lens
When I turned on the microphone this morning, I had no idea how hoarse I was. I edited out some coughs in an effort to prevent hearing damage for any ear bud-wearers, and it is so hard for me not to edit it all the way. I just have to remember: humility. A slow death for perfectionism. Today I'm thinking about the ways in which the Portfolio Project may be shaping up differently than we imagined, and how we can roll with it and keep going. I'm realizing that the Portfolio Project is just the latest way I'm choosing to create my life. Listen below.
Photo: Daddy Love, Diana F+
I want to thank all of you who have sent me words of encouragement or called to check in, or even sent good wishes for last night's live storytelling event. The event itself was good, just a little anti-climatic in that it's a "draw the name out of the hat" gig and my name wasn't drawn. Maybe Monday. I'm letting my community hold me this week, which is the topic of today's podcast. How do you give or receive support? What are the little acts of love that keep you going along the way?