Advice For Anyone Starting The Year of Making.

It's crazy how fast life can totally change direction. In spring 2014 I had just moved to San Francisco and was working a full-time day job in writing + marketing.

I never would've thought that one day, especially so soon, I'd be a self-employed graphic designer, illustrator, and *this still feels so weird to say* artist.

But all this goodness didn't just fall into my lap. It all began with this, right here! The Year of Making. I really had no idea what I was in for when I signed that pact with myself to create every day.

Here are five pieces of advice I would give to anyone who's looking to change their path and/or start their own Year of Making.

  1. Let yourself shape-shift. When things change, stay flexible and flow with it. Try not to fight what is. You may have to rise up from the ashes more than once. Keep rising. Keep changing. Keep experimenting. Stay true to you and you'll find your way.
  2. Stay awake. Watch for signs. Call it naïveté, but I believe in little messages from the Universe or God or whatever you want to call it. It's all about being able to notice recurring themes, what stirs the excitement deep inside you, and following those clues with blind faith (except it isn't blind, because your intuition is boldly lighting up the path).
  3. Be really honest. When it isn't working. When it feels like you're swimming upstream for something you don't fully believe in. When it's time to let whatever it is die. You can lie to lots of people throughout life, but don't lie to yourself.
  4. Always come back to a calm, loving center. Remember what you're worth. Don't put up with anyone taking advantage or abusing you. Fight for your right to live a fulfilled and fruitful life. Tell your stories. One of my favorite quotes is from Anne Lamott "You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better."
  5. Resiliency is key. You're going to have to try and try and try again. I know this because I've had to make a zillion turns off of old trails just to get here. I'm only 25 and in the early stages of creating and I know there will be so many more twists and turns.

It doesn't need to be January 1 to start The Year of Making. I can't say fully explain what a massive shift this project has created in my life. It hasn't been easy, but it's been absolutely, without a doubt, worth it.

Amanda SandlinblogComment