It’s Never Too Late

It is never to late to be what you might have been.

This quote by George Eliot that appeared in an ad for the University of Alaska Anchorage low-residence MFA program has been tattooing in my head every since I came across it in the Jan/Feb 2013 issue of Poets & Writers magazine. In fact, I tore it out of the magazine with the idea of gluing it on my 2013 Vision Board.

Nicole and Michele at our Vision-boarding workshop

Nicole and Michele vision-boarding at the “Create Your New Year” workshop

Then the latest blog from Jonathan Fields arrived in my inbox with the subject line: “Go public with your bad self?” The message started like this:

“You know that thing you’ve been saying you want to do but haven’t been doing because you’re not good enough to do it in public and you’re terrified of being judged?” The message went on to ask what would happen if you announced to the world that you were going to learn something new and do it publicly. Publicly!

To illustrate his point, Fields related the story of artist, illustrator and author Lisa Congdon who, in 2010 told the world she was going to create, photograph and one collection a day. (She curates collections of “stuff.”), which she did and posted daily on her blog. You can see Fields’ interview with Lisa on Good Life Project.

For many years, I’ve had a mad yearning to create book art, to work in art journals and I’ve taken tiny steps toward this, but very tiny and very, very  quietly. So, with the steady beat of “It’s never too late…” and Jonathan Fields’ invitation (challenge?) to Go public… I wondered if I might be ready to …

journal cover

Cover of my current daily journal

Throughout the year, I’ll continue to occasionally post images of my messy, unprofessional and just plain bad attempts to learn book art and art journaling. Maybe by going public, the work will become less precious and more fun. Like writing practice.

What about you? Are you ready to learn something new with the world watching? Writing a quick free-write every day and publishing it on your blog? Creating some messy art and posting it weekly on your Facebook page? Jotting down your best sentence of the day and sending it out as a tweet?

The new year is a clean slate and each day is a new beginning.

9 thoughts on “It’s Never Too Late

  1. Oh Judy, run do not walk – to a bookstore to take a look at Quinn McDonald’s book : RAW ART JOURNALING; Making Meaning, Making Art. Here is your book art Muse – with a gentle hand and your writer’s, artist’s heart deeply understood. Also, your interest in any of the “book arts” is a natural for any writer, lover of words, language. Words are only one “color” of paint (medium), and it appears you are eager to widen your palette! Just think of it as shifting to a different “type of paper” or “pen”. Not so different really, you are just trying to “get out” your meaning. Do it because you love the materials – the color, the paper, the icky,sticky mess of it all. Don’t worry – you can always learn the Japanese stab binding – first just enjoy your new expression. I imagine your writing and your life will blossom with your new expression! Just enjoy, take your interest and know that lovely interest itself – is the dress of your Muse, dancing in front of your imagination! Best wishes! Another Book Lover

    • Hi Elizabeth, Thanks so much for telling me about this book. It’s one I haven’t seen before and will add to my collection. I never have trouble with the words part; I’ve been keeping a journal since I was a kid, and it’s my first thing in the morning thing (with coffee & candle), but the art part… that’s where I think quinn McDonald’s book can be my new best friend. Thanks again.

  2. Judy I just reread what you said about learning to do book art. Why would you learn that when you could just do it instead. Your way.

    • Good morning, Linda. Thanks for the comment. Yes, “just do it.” But like writing, bookart has techniques I want to learn how to do…that cool Japanese stitch, for example. Where do I punch the holes and how do I pull the binding thru? And the 8-panel folded mini-book: which way do you make the folds and where do you make the cut so the whole thing folds together in order?

  3. That is one of my favorite quotes, I actually wrote a blog post based on it. I agree…you need to let yourself be messy, sloppy and not perfect in order for you to live life on your terms. I have found the more I put myself ‘out there’ and don’t worry about what people think, the better my writing is going and the closer and faster I am working towards my goals.

    • Thanks for your comment, Susanne. Being messy and clumsy and a beginner in public not only helps us reach our goals… it can be a lot of fun. Oh, sometimes I take myself way to seriously.

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