On Adequacy

What is adequacy? According to the dictionary, it’s “the state of being adequate.” Adequate is “as much or as good as necessary for some requirement or purpose; fully sufficient, suitable, or fit.” If we take it for that definition, then why is it that so many people, myself included, feel inadequate. Are we really all not “as good as necessary”? I don’t think so.

The other day, I felt inadequate. Truth be told, I often feel inadequate in any number of things. But on that particular day, it was my stationery business. I work very hard coming up with new designs that you can’t find anywhere else. Ones that are funny, cute, charming, something that’s not the usual. The usual is often boring or overdone. I like to think I’m neither of those things. I had just shipped off two cards to a lady in Florida when I realized both on and offline I’ve only sold cards to two people who weren’t family or friends, that lady being one of them.

Sure enough, as soon as I let that thought cross my mind, BAM! Inadequacy smacked me so hard I cried honest, frustrated, angry, I-should-give-up-now tears. I had bought business courses on how to start and run a creative business. How to use Instagram to increase your followers and in turn how many sales you make. I did it all right, at least I think so. But the followers aren’t coming. The people aren’t caring, so why do I still do it? I should give up now.

That’s what I told my dad and a friend of mine. My friend told me my cards were just a little off-center that no one understood them, that it’s not me, it’s them. Those aren’t the words you want to hear when you end a relationship, but it helped me a little then. My dad also told me that if I could just get them in front of people, and if they could just talk to me, they’d understand. It always seems to boil down to people understanding me or what I make. So why do I feel inadequate? I don’t know.

I should give up now. I should give up trying to please or impress everyone because I never will. I should give up caring about my number of followers. But I should not, and I won’t, give up on myself, my writing, or my cards. I love making them. I’m happy when I’m drawing and writing, when I’m exercising my creativity, and when I think that maybe someone out there will smile or laugh because of something I made. I don’t know everything, but I do know that I’m happier when I’m doing what I love no matter how hard it is. Even on the days I want to give up, and there are several of those, I remember that inadequacy is subjective. If I gave up, then I really would be inadequate according to myself, and I don’t want to do that.

If inadequacy comes knocking, smack IT upside the head and keep going! Happy creating!

P.S. For those of you who don’t know, I own Puckish Propensities Press. Find it here on Etsy. I’m still working on my own website!

Discipline Week 1 Results

Well, that didn’t work.

Week 1 Goals and Results:

1) Write 100 words a day of one of my novels/stories—2 of 7 days

2) Read one chapter of a book every day—0 of 7 days

3) PUT THE STUPID LAUNDRY AWAY!—got it done the first day!

4) Write a letter/email to one friend—um, no

As you can see, I’m still not disciplined, so that stinks. I did, however, manage to reseal the driveway, spray paint two chairs and a table, paint the deck twice (didn’t like the first color!), and stain two chairs, a table and a bench. That’s something, just not writing something…

With any luck, this week will be better. No, it’s not luck. It’s discipline!

On Discipline

There was a time when I was very disciplined in everything I did. I wrote until I cranked out 750 words every day. I read book after book and managed to get any other work I had to do done. But it’s been roughly four years since I’ve been able to do that. I have no good reason for it. Somewhere along the way I lost it through no one or nothing’s fault but my own.

I want that discipline back. I remember how much more productive I was, and I look at my life now and can’t see how I get anything done at all. I want to write 750+ words a day. I want to read a book a week (at least). I want to meet friends for coffee and see how their day is going. I want to write emails and letters to those far away. I want to relax with my family knowing everything I need to do has been finished.

I don’t want this lingering feeling of guilt that I haven’t written or revised a manuscript in days, weeks, months. I don’t want to doubt myself so much when I write that I never do it. I don’t want to worry about how my place is a mess because I just can’t be bothered to put the laundry away or finish the dishes.

I don’t want to be disappointed in myself.

The only way to do that is to try, so I will try. But let’s put some realistic goals here. Gotta ease my way in, you know?

Week 1 Goals:

1) Write 100 words a day of one of my novels/stories

2) Read one chapter of a book every day

3) PUT THE STUPID LAUNDRY AWAY!

4) Write a letter/email to one friend (If you want to be that friend, let me know!)

These are totally easy to achieve. There’s no way I can fail. Right?

Creativity Abandoned My Writing and Other Adventures

etsy-bannerAs I’ve been cleaning out boxes that have gathered dust in my basement, one thing is clear—I’ve been writing since I was about seven. That’s quite a long time. No, I won’t tell you the exact length. You shouldn’t ask a girl her age! Take it from me. It’s somewhere between ten and thirty years. Despite all of this writing, my interests have taken other paths, meandering here and there, poking their heads in holes that probably would have been better left alone. The one constant I always come back to is writing. The past two months, however, I’ve abandoned it, as I mentioned yesterday. Perhaps it’s not so much an abandonment as it is a redirection. For over a year, I’ve been toying with the idea of starting my own business.

“What business, Maya? Oh pleeease tell me so I can support you!” Woah, there, guys. Your excitement sent me flying into a wall. Let me dust myself off.

Drum roll, please. *imagine military-style*

STATIONERY! Wow, you guys are so great, but please hold the applause. The name, which came about after a brainstorming session in a Cracker Barrel with my family, is Puckish Propensities Press. And yes, I do have different email addresses named after faeries from Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. (Is anyone really surprised? I’m a huge lit nerd after all.)

My aim for Puckish Propensities Press (P^3 or P Cubed for my peeps, that’s you guys!) is to spread smiles. Sounds cheesy, right? Now, hear me out. There is a ton of hatred and anger in this world. Way too much. I rather think it’s so easy to be bogged down by it and forget about the simple things in life, and the happy things that we all end up running around screaming “foul” and never finding peace. I like peace. I like happiness. I like smiling and laughing. So, I want to remind people of that. There’s also the added benefit of bringing back the tradition of written letters/cards. In my opinion, the digital age has separated us emotionally while also making it easier to connect with others, and that’s a shame. I want people, including myself, to reach out to my loved ones with more than a text message or a “like” on Facebook. Relationships and friendships are more than that.

Without further ado, here’s Puckish Propensities Press! Take a look around and see where my creativity went when it abandoned my writing. All cards are designed and drawn by yours truly. The jokes, good or bad, are also mine. I would love your feedback, so drop me a line here in the comments or in an email. (I do see the irony in that.) I’m working on my website so for now I sell only through Etsy. I’m also trying to figure out a cheaper form of shipment overseas because right now it’s insane, y’all.

Thanks for taking a look! Happy smiling and writing!

P.S. You guys are troopers for letting me blatantly advertise my business!

P.P.S. I really do accept comments, suggestions, and questions!

5 Ways Winter Tries to Kill Your Creativity

5-ways-winter-tries-tokill-your-creativity

I’m approaching this blog post, the first after a two-month sabbatical (??!!!), a little differently. I think my two-month sabbatical is pretty informative as to why I titled this the way I did.

1) Holidays

Holidays. We love them, usually. We see family we haven’t seen in a while, and OHMYGOSHPRESENTS!, but after the copious amounts of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and alcohol (should you partake), we all would rather drop into a nice, long hibernation a la brown bears. Do you know what that does for your creativity? Sucks itdry like a grape exposed to the heat from Mordor’s fire.* “There’s always tomorrow,” you say. “Well, I do have to wake up early,” you refute. It all turns into never if you’re not careful. I wasn’t careful.

2) The Blood Curdling Cold

Should you be blessed with warm weather 24/7, 365 days a year, kindly skip on to number 3. There’s no room for you here. You wouldn’t appreciate it. Anyone else wake up with their feet cold to the touch despite two pairs of socks and two comforters? When that happens, I prefer slipping into my dad’s house slippers, which I appropriated a year ago for that sole purpose, and drinking a piping hot mug of green tea as I binge-watch Friends. Under a blanket, of course. Creativity is in fact not found that day or any of those days the weather isn’t above 32 Fahrenheit. I’m not asking for much. Just enough, you know, to keep water liquid.

3) The Dark

I mean what is that?? It gets dark, pitch-black sort of dark, by 4:30 here. Second that sun goes down if you’re not already at it, you’re not going to be. If you’re anyhing like me, the sun goes down and you’re heading for bed. OR at the very least, yawning and commenting about how tired you are. I’m in my early thirties, and I’m convinced some octogenarians have way more stamina than me in the winter.

I bet you thought I’d actually give 5 reasons, but I can’t. Winter killed my creativity a long time ago. I’m hoping to get my mojo back by May. May sounds like a good time to be creative. Let me know how you keep winter from killing your creativity in the comments!

*I’m working hard on my descriptions today! That’s my creativity focus for the winter. How am I doin’?

Surviving Election Day

It’s late in the day. Actually, it’s November 9th already. The election isn’t over here in the US, and I’m sure many people are still awake watching it. I’m currently wired for reasons completely unrelated. So, I thought I’d share with you a story through memes. Let’s lighten up the mood, y’all!

small-dog-struggles-meme

The puppy got to thinking about what the mailman said. “Hmm…maybe it’s not all that bad to be cute.”

funny-cat-dog-top-25-funniest-cat-and-dog-quotes

*Puppy stands in corner, making a high-pitched barking noise.*

Me thinks the puppy let the mailman’s words get to his head.

The end!

P.S. I am not at all winning NaNoWriMo. I am winning at corny jokes, though. Here’s one about a sandwich:

Peanut butter: “You’re way too sweet.”

Jam: “Are you jelly?”

See? Told you it was corny. This is where you laugh anyway.

A House of Horrors

try-not-to-screamThe hairs on the back of my neck stood up, electrified as something rustled behind me. I had to turn—you always turn in these situations—but I dreaded it. I knew I would see something I didn’t want to. Dread piled on top of fear in the bottom of my stomach, but it didn’t slow me down. Oh no. No, I turned despite my better judgment. I turned like every good horror movie heroine should. My breaths came in quick, shallow gasps, almost as fast as my heart pounded.

A creak on the stairs. A flash of light. A body being dragged by its neck up the stairs. Thump. Thump. Thump.

“AHH!”

I ran, but every door slammed in my face. There was nowhere to go. I huddled into the corner of the couch with my eyes fixed on the stairs. As long as I didn’t think about the body, I would be ok. As long as I didn’t…what was pulling it?? Who was it? Oh my God. Don’t freak out. Oh—“MY GOD!”

The door on the other side of the room groaned, low and rumbling. My gaze darted from the stairs to the door just as two white eyes glowed a foot off the floor in the black, empty space where the door had been firmly shut a moment before. My scream caught in my throat, blocked by a thick barrier of terror. I scrambled until I was crouched on the balls of my feet.

The white eyes emerged from the black, shining from the recesses of a hollowed face. The skin, a putrid brown, was shriveled like a prune. The creature lay face down on the ground, its legs thrust to each side, and long fingers spread far apart. Its nails scraped the wood floor as it jerked its limbs to inch closer. Sweat beaded my forehead. I clutched at the fabric of the couch, but it was too late. Something caressed the back of my neck. I blinked, but when my eyes opened—

My dreams stepped it up a notch just in time for Halloween. I hope you enjoyed what was my latest nightmare! I’ll let you guess what happened after I blinked. Happy ghostly dreams and haunting memories of them! (FYI, I had way too much fun making that graphic. Lucky me, I happened to have a photo of nasty murky water on my phone!)

P.S. NaNoWriMo starts tomorrow. Are you ready? I’m not.