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Keeping Up (Creativity Matters Podcast 453)

Amy Books | Creative Journey | Featured | Illustrated journal | Philosophical Threads | Podcast , , , ,

Episode 453 Keeping Up

Episode 453 of the CMP, a Creativity Matters Podcast — The Mental Trap of Keeping Up (with the Joneses)

It’s been several weeks since I was ready for this show. It used to be, I wrote (or prepared) the show, recorded the show, edited the show, and posted the show all in the same weekend (or span of days). Some years, I did that twice a week. So it was a surprise to me to realize that this took three weekends this time, and even now, I am scrambling to get this part done so that the show is live.

Even once recorded, it took me another entire week to make time to sit and listen through, edit, and post.

At some point, it became funny to me because it is somehow an extension of this show. I wasn’t keeping up…. I was almost deliberately letting myself just “not” push through. It is funny the tricks our minds can play on us.

So today’s show is about Keeping Up…. with the Joneses. It’s an expression, of course, but you may have experienced this phenomenon, the neverending quest and struggle to keep up with those that seem to be the movers and the shakers in whatever the space may be.

I realize, again and again, that I can’t keep up. But sometimes I sit back and look at my quiet, cozy, comfortable routines and admit that I’m not interested in keeping up. That I’m okay sitting here in my little space.

The only thing is…. it’s lonely.

And that, while a constant undercurrent of the CMP in the last 15 years, has become an anxiety-provoking beast of real magnitude. So, I keep trying to put myself in spaces where I might find overlap, and yet again and again, I look around to realize I am sitting by myself.

It’s comfortable, mostly.

But overlaps are good.

Graphic Novel Moment

The Monet graphic novel I talked about that I really enjoyed is: Monet: Itinerant of Light by Salva Rubio (Author) and EFA (Illustrator). It was a crash course in art history that I found fascinating. That many of Monet’s paintings are hinted at or shown in the book is beautifully done, too, but if you think of Monet only as the Monet you’ve seen images of at Giverny, this is a really eyeopening book! I checked it out via Hoopla (from the library). So check your library!
Monet: Itinerant of Light cover
As a reminder, links are to Amazon and are affiliate links, but most books I talk about, I check out from the library in whatever form they are avaiable to me: hard copy, e-book, or audio book. I encourage you to check your library. I use Kindle or an app like Axis360 or Hoopla for 95% of my book reading now.


  1. I finished book 8 in the Realm of the Elderlings series (by Robin Hobb). I am reading book 9 (on Kindle) now and just can’t wait to find out what’s going to happen even as I just don’t want it to end.
  2. I have been listening to the same book while I am in the car or while I draw and then rereading those same sections (again, to ensure I don’t speed through). That’s been good and has meant that I haven’t watched any television. That’s odd, but I know it’s a cycle.
  3. I also have The House in the Cerulean Sea (Kindle link) downloaded from the library to listen to (maybe) on a car ride this week. I’ve heard good things about it, and someone mentioned the sequel to me last week. So I need to catch up with the first one!
  4. I do know about Squid Games, and I’m figuring it’s one I’ll watch with my oldest son when he’s home – maybe Thanksgiving.
  5. I am keeping up with #Inktoportraits, and I am enjoying the series I planned. I did a lot of pre-picking of muses for each day (but not all of them), and that really helped me. But even so, the single portrait a day is about all I can do energy-wise and eye-wise.
  6. We are now in Week 41 of 2021… so Week 41 in my illustrated journal for #illustrateyourweek. I am barely keeping up and filling space there during Inktober, but I am trying to make sure I give it a bit of time each day. That the process is flexible is really important and comforting. It’s a “for me” thing and my “main thing,” and it accepts however much time, energy, angst, and sketchnoting I want to throw at it.
  7. I have been toying with the idea this year of NANOWRIMO (though I haven’t said it out loud, even in conversations with some of you where the November challenge came up). I am thinking about using the month to work on pulling together some of what underlies the CMP in terms of a creative mindest.
  8. I have said that I am going to switch to red ink for November, but every time I think of parting with purple, I get a little squeamish. Lol! So I don’t know. I still think I’ll shift. I have been thinking that maybe next year, I’ll do something where I really dedicate months to certain inks and roll through them in my illustrated journal spreads. I’m REALLY excited about this.
  9. I don’t wear dresses. At all. But I’m seriously considering the 100 day dress challenge.
  10. Oddly related to that, I’ve started some real life-changing things around food and eating…. and I’m making headway. It is going to be a slow process, but I’m feeling positive and determined.
  11. I’m writing some of these things because it helps make them more concrete for me.

I hope your October is going well!

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Listen to Episode 453

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Note: links provided to books, tools, and other resources on the Creativity Matters Podcast website may be affiliate links for which the podcast would make a (very) small amount of money if the item was purchased. The Creativity Matters Podcast is an affiliate. Links are provided for convenience to help you find/see/explore the books, tools, and resources I talk about. Using the library, when possible, is always my first recommendation for reviewing books firsthand.
Links are Amazon affiliate links and help support the Creativity Matters Podcast at no additional cost to you.