Over the holiday I spotted a brilliant quote from Maria Popova's Brain Pickings feed and I liked it so much, I decided to pin it over my desk for the coming year. The source of the quote is a collection of Kenyon's writing titled, A Hundred White Daffodils. Popova's full review of that book is here.
My 2015 felt so incredibly busy. Even with the inertia of Hawaiian culture -- the way everything from street traffic to checkout lines to friendly neighbors seems determined to slow Y o u r L I F E D O W N -- I somehow managed to pile too many projects into nearly every month. This caused a sort of panic set in, almost like a ritual. How would I meet my deadline? How could I possibly find time to do the things I need (like sleep and exercise) in order to stay healthy? How could I clear the space in my consciousness to simply think about what was going on, to process the meaning and, perhaps, gather new ideas?
The answer was: I couldn't. And while I certainly learned a lot about the craft of writing last year, it was mostly in a trial-by-fire way. which isn't what I prefer. I need to clear more space to concentrate on what I really care about. I need to forget about time, about the rush to get things done according to an arbitrary calendar by which I'm often tempted to judge my accomplishments. Far better to do a small number of GREAT things in a period of 12 months than to do the alternative, which might benefit my bank account, but certainly won't benefit my inner life.
So, I'm going to try taking Kenyon's advice. I have one big project that I started last autumn, which is continuing through this coming spring. I have two other small projects that I'll keep mostly because I like those clients so much. (Also, the work is fairly interesting.) Other than that, I'm going to focus on quiet projects, the sort of work that happens in private. I'll be volunteering with the after-school science club at my children's elementary school.
I'll also be working on experimental writing projects with the small writing group I've formed with three other friends on Oahu, Last year we tried to meet once a month, to share samples of book chapters or short stories, the sort of writing that no one pays us to do. I had to back out of those meetings several times in 2015, mostly because I didn't have anything to share. This year I won't let that happen.
Photo and text copyright held by Brittany Moya del Pino, all rights reserved. (2021)
I write about curious phenomena around us. I also write about people who are passionate about their careers, hobbies, or life experiences related to science. This blog chronicles my journey.
©Brittany Moya del Pino 2021. All rights reserved.