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So here I am,
A big question - how to do this?
I can do this,
It's easiest in the morning.
What do you see when
Blog two. Silence for a year. And then I start again. Hard to keep the creative projects going, with so much else happening. This time, the creative spark catches fire.
AUGUST 17, 2005
I know that once this is up and running, things will move smoothly. I have lots of memories of getting over being bogged down at the start – getting over all the technical stuff, which is dragging on all the more as I'm at the country, stuck on slow-speed
drag drag drag
like, how to upload pictures, when I'm on a mac and the stuff on the big blogger site is all for pc's.
JUNE 7, 2006
And that was it for almost a year - just like I would, many years ago, intend to keep a personal journal, and then stop after a couple of pages and find them perhaps two years later.
Life has been full - loads of work. But it is still full.
What has changed? One, there is more breathing room - a year ago, Philippe and I were in the worst financial crunch I've ever experienced as an adult. Two, I've learned masses and masses about making websites - how to design, how to get them visible. I've also had a year of practice in making decisions quickly, instead of getting stuck trying to decide. The pressure came from business. The learning applies everywhere.
Probably there are other factors as well. The fire to get my work out is more intense than it's ever been.
I also, months ago - some time in October, I think - did a little exercise visualizing the future. In it, I visualized Zee's Cafe Cafe having a big launch at our country place - the barn turned into a studio space, with everything set for recording and filming for the web and maybe other media. The date: September 7, 2007.
I visualized myself going from then - September 7, 2007 - back to my present, October 2005. A lot had to get done, and a lot had to change. For starters, I had to complete the website for vacation rental places we were just setting up.
I also had a lot else to do - like my teaching term.
And then, over and over, I had to move forward on the creative things.
December 15th or so. The vacation rental website - very creative - was completed and sent out.
January onward - a new teaching term.
January onward - learning how to make a site visible on the web, using Sitesell, an amazingly complete resource - designed and operated by people who want motivated people have their sites succeed on the web. One doesn't learn tricks, one doesn't learn magic. One learns what I might call rules - like one learns vocabulary and grammar to speak a new language. At some point, just as when one is learning a new language, things start to make sense - but even then one still makes masses of errors. But in the Sitesell system, webpage after webpage is analyzed by an automated analyzer, so one can fix the many things one is still not doing right.
Every webpage I had designed - and that people were praising - started out rating absolutely zero. Nothing was right, according to the rules of the web.
The first time around, there were two things beyond my grasp, but I redid everything else, page after page. Not the design, not the layout, not the colors, hardly the descriptions. A human coming to the site might not even notice the changes.
But a web spider would see two entirely different sites. The initial site, in fact, would hardly be visible to the spiders. ("Web spiders" - non-living creepy crawlers sent by search engines like Google and Yahoo to rate web pages, to determine if the site will display on the first or the fiftieth page when someone does a search.)
Back to ... going from zero to pretty damn good. It was a long and frustrating process. I wanted to give up.
Over and over, when I had done my best to comply, I was told one thing, or many things, were still not right.
But finally, for all but the two things most difficult for me to understand, I had each and every page conforming to their specifications. The date: early May.
May 8, 2006. My last class. It had been a good term. I have many memories of connections with students, and of students telling me of all they'd learned. (Not all students, of course.)
And then I was suddenly able to grasp how to give the web spiders the last two things they wanted.
So I started all over again.
Ecstasy. For the first time, a page was rated GOOD in each and every web-savvy way. Then another page and yet another earned the same GOOD GOOD GOOD GOOD GOOD GOOD rating.
May 29, 2006 - marking completed, grades turned in, and much of the site revised a second time around.
But already something else was happening. It would have been easy for me to miss the grade submission deadline because everything in me wanted to work on this site, Elsa's word, story, image, idea, all round creative space.
May 24, 2006. 5:45 p.m. Created: index.html. The first draft of an opening page for this site. Also on that day, I came to the decision that the site would be, not just for one project or another, but for all my creative projects, and also for many creative works by other people.
I kept adding project after project. What would appear first? What last? That kept changing.
May 25, 2006. 11:12 a.m. That page was last modified and put aside.
Another page became the opening page.
But the initial getting-down-to-business had been done - like the first turning of the soil when one wants to create a garden. Hard, the earth. Not like when it has been worked year after year.
The best thing: so much was around. In a way, I had the plants, just needed to transplant them into the right soil, so they could thrive. And unlike a year earlier, I knew how to work the soil.
There is one big thanks I need to give to myself. I chose to go with Sitesell, to listen to my inner voice, over the objections of Philippe, who wanted to learn about scripting (doing the behind the scenes web stuff) himself, and thought Sitesell too expensive and not right - and who, on top of that, was adamantly against going with Sitesell.
I often find it hard to listen to myself when there is a loud voice outside me - an angry one, on top of that - saying that what I believe is the right decision is the wrong one, a bad one.
But I had heard of Sitesell from Chris, a colleague who is involved with it in a big way. I had heard Chris, in a meeting with Philippe and Mark (involved in a number of the creative projects), describe Sitesell. Everything in me said: Go with it. This is exactly the right thing.
So I went with it.
Listening to oneself. Listening to what's coming from the outside world. Hard to find the right balance. We don't all see the outside world - what's coming in from it - in the same way.
It doesn't make sense not to listen outward. In fact, I only thought Sitesell was good because of what I heard from Chris. So my inner voice was basing itself on information from the outside world.
Philippe heard the same information otherwise.
Sometimes we don't hear right. Watch out, people say - he or she isn't a good choice. Often they are right.
But they can also be disastrously wrong.
All my creative projects come from self-listening. I heard the first lines of Caro's Quest in my head: "Geela Gribbs was known as more than a little weird. She looked ordinary enough ..."
I cut the first line at some point, started the book with "Geela Gribbs looked ordinary enough ..." Once again, I was listening to myself, to another part of myself.
But then I came upon the scrap of paper where I had scribbled the initial opening lines, and went back to what I first heard inside me.
Most often my inner voice at some point falls silent, leaves me to get along without it, to do the best I can. Or I get all kinds of inner voices that don't agree with each other. Often things turn into a muddle. Or come to a stop.
It has been quite a task, getting my inner voice to stay clear enough so I get things done.
So I am pleased to have stayed steady with my inner voice when someone outside me was forceful against my vision of things.
An aside. I am not wishy-washy, droopy and delicate. It has often been hard for others (as well as me) to recognize how tough it is for me to keep connected with my knowing.
It has been quite something, having these eruptions into creativity - and then having such a hard time going further, sometimes blocked on the inside from completing the project, almost always unable to get the projects out into the world.
But that was then. This is now.
And now I will leap forward, to this year.
As always, welcome into my world.
JUNE 7, 2006
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Blog two. Silence for a year. And
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