You are going to have to excuse me while I find my mojo.
I am quite sure that it hasn’t gone unnoticed that I am not the same blogger that I once was. For a while now, I have been ambivalent to sorting out what has changed and what that means for studio ‘g’ – but I am feeling the like I am about to spin out of this weird spiral I have been in (or at least I hope I am) and I need to right myself, shake of the dizzy and the dust and start being a bit more considered.
Nearly seven years ago I started this blog to serve as an organizing place, a place to act out creatively in ways that my clients were not always allowing, and it was a place where I practiced writing daily. But things have changed.
I wrote a book – and I’ll be honest – that had a way of purging my system of a bunch of ideas that I had been juggling in my head for years. Little bits and pieces of the idea for my book would fall out on the blog all the time and I constantly had this notion that I was building to something greater. Now that the greater thing is done, I don’t have that same drive.
I also started a magazine, shut down that magazine, and then started a newspaper. There are parts of that journey that have been nothing but exhilarating and deeply satisfying but there are other parts that have been bumpy and painful and I haven’t felt comfortable sharing it all. I’m a bit of a heart-on-my-sleeve sort of person, so purposefully not talking about the bumps and bruises along the way is not only not ‘me’ – but it is also (I have found) a first class ticket to not talking – period. And that isn’t good. I’m just not particularly fantastic at saying only partially what I think, so I have been opting to not say anything at all…
So, while I still don’t think it is a great idea to dredge through a bunch of junk (that is over and done with) in this forum, I think I am finally arriving at a place where I can draw the proverbial (or literal) line under it all and move on.
But, now what?
Yeah, that is the million dollar question.
I wrote a book and started a newspaper – that’s what! But, is it odd that I don’t feel like the have a clearest idea what is next?
I’ve been taking classes (most recently, the very inspiring blog boss), getting out of my comfort zone (I’m starting to give more talks, meet people through book signings and am generally emerging from my house-cave), reading (lots and lots of things that are simply fantastic and, bit by bit, are helping me find my steady), shedding (you should see the piles of things going to Goodwill!) and setting new goals and directions. I am not done and I don’t know where it will end or what it will look like, but I am finally beginning to feel like an old groove could return and feel good again.
Obviously, there is PITH + VIGOR which I am in love with, but which is also a serious undertaking. It is the kind of thing that if I am not careful, will consume me in the same way that book writing did. I loved that process and might even want to do it again, but I came out the other side feeling spent and tired and by the end, I realized it wasn’t something that I could have sustained for much longer. Perhaps (probably?) that is completely normal – but I’d like to chart a different course for P+V and the next time around. This needs to be a steadier, simpler, clearer, and calmer sort of undertaking. One which can grow organically and has a sense of balance and consistency that will feed me personally and which will build and feed this community over a long period.
I keep reminding myself to take deep breaths every time I start panicking about what needs to be done next. That quick-hurry sort of mindset is easy to fall into and I find it slightly destructive to many things I hold dear – not the least of which is my sanity. PITH + VIGOR is about digging deeper into gardening and all the people and places and things that make it fascinating. It is about connecting communities and people and building something big and interesting, and important. I don’t think that what it is striving for is something that will happen quickly and hurriedly so I need to make sure I don’t let these tendencies sneak up on me.
I’ve been out and about signing books and telling people about the newspaper over the last few weeks and one question keeps coming up. “Is it about flowers or are there vegetables too?” (Now imagine that being said with a sort of nasally-bostonian sort of accent…) This inquiry comes again and again about the book and the newspaper equally. Is it me, or is that the oddest question ever? As if flowers and vegetables are the only two things that any sort of garden publication can possibly be about. At first I found it startling to hear so repetativly…but now it reminds me that this is my goal. There are so many more stories to be told and scratching the surface with a how-to, a top ten list, a product round-up or a regurgitation of the same-old-same-lame garden stuff just isn’t interesting. I want to find stories that go way beyond the how-to and instead instill and inspire a romance and charm and cultural identity back into the practice of working the land – it is something that I think we all kind of yearn for.
So where does studio ‘g’ fit into all of this? I don’t know completely, but I think that just sitting down to write again, here, is the start of sorting it out; re-opening the conversation and seeing where that goes. This is, however, what I do know…
– I will be here more often, writing whatever is on my mind. For now, any sense of restraint, self imposed limitations for topics, and editorial planning that might once have been here needs to be stripped away until I find my groove again. I can’t wait to experiment with ideas, gardeny or whatever, and hone some new skills – this is my forum for that and I am reclaiming it.
– Rodney and Erin will keep writing their weekly posts….because who can live without all that cool plant inspiration and those motivating before & after projects? (not me!)
– PITH + VIGOR is going to tell really cool stories that take time and research (I love research!!) and people to create. Hopefully in doing that it will grow and spread.
– The rest will figure itself out.