To explain the two weeks of silence, I luckily have many excuses (haha!). I came down with a nasty cold about three weeks ago and the stubborn lingering cough that developed seems to be here to stay. That combined with one too many shifts at work, absolutely ridiculously gorgeous weather (for May in Helsinki) and admittedly my general poor time management during the days off (as well as workday mornings/evenings) have resulted in heaps of ideas and numerous plans, but not much to show for them. BUT more than anything else over the past months, I have learned to forgive and be kind to myself. Choosing to feel NO GUILT whatsoever!
Three months into project Fleur Rustique, I feel in many ways it has taken on a life of its own. Sure I’m still the one writing this and mapping out the content, however, as I was contemplating back in April, more often than not, things don’t go as planned, and turns out allowing a degree of flexibility in life is of vital nature. For instance, I had a firm plan to write about books a lot before this site went up. That hasn’t really happened. In fact, I’ve been completely and utterly stuck with the first actual post on books and reading and literature I wanted to publish this week. I certainly didn’t plan to do a monthly series on gin and tonics nor spend a stupendous number of hours developing and testing recipes. Ergo, getting sidetracked and giving myself permission to pursue spontaneous creative freedom has produced a very different outcome to that expected. But you know what?!? It’s way better than I ever thought it could be!
To begin with, Fleur Rustique was born as a hobby, something for me to focus on outside the day job with the purpose of establishing a better life balance and helping manage stress. That being said, from the start I’ve put a lot of thought and effort into structure – jotting down miles and miles of ideas on Google Docs, drawing up an annual (!) content plan, setting deadlines and possibly paying a little too close attention to the details. To the point where I now realise I’ve approached the process of creating content more as an assignment, albeit the kind I enjoy, than a free-flowing stream of creativity. The need for structure may have arisen from fear or disbelief that I could actually stay committed to the project, so I needed to hold myself accountable.
Anyhow, having received incredibly heartwarming and truly encouraging feedback from friends and strangers alike, I now predict in the long run Fleur Rustique will be growing into a portfolio. I have no way of knowing yet what it’s for, but I guess all will be revealed sooner or later.
So where I’m going with all this is that I have just received a rather unexpected (yet warmly welcomed) promotion at work which will take up a lot more of my time and mental capacity, and whilst I have every intention of keeping Fleur Rustique going, realistically two posts a week most probably won’t be happening. At least not in the summer. Or maybe it will? Honestly, I have NO clue. And here it comes (the book talk finally!) – I recently picked up a copy of Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear from the library. It wasn’t accidental, but I cannot remember what prompted me to seek it out. I haven’t even finished it, yet already feel liberated. The best advice I’ve taken on board so far is that a creative life should not be bound by restrictions or conditions, and so my two posts a week plan was sound at the beginning, but creativity doesn’t quite work like this. I can’t actually plan to be creative, say, next Friday because I have time to spare. It happens when it happens, and so because for me quality always comes before quantity, I am freeing myself from this restriction. And as someone who believes that anything is possible, it might be that this is all I need to tear down the dam on the river of creativity and let it flow wild and free.
Let’s see what happens!