• Erin Zaranec

2019: My Year of No Fear

So, I'm going to be honest with you. That title is a little misleading.

My 2019 isn't going to be a year of no fear, exactly... I mean, I'm still scared of driving to a new place without a GPS, hermit crabs, and thinking about eating ham (ugh, I just got the shivers just typing that!)

Those fears aside, in 2019 I am dedicated to losing any fears or worries I have about becoming one of the creative women that I look up to. I want to be a woman whose Instagram feed I would want to stalk! And, have a life that actually matches that - not just one that looks enticing on social media.

I'm no expert and will be figuring all of this out as I go, but I wanted to create a little 'Creative Girls Survival Guide' for myself and, hopefully, others! So, here's some of the essentials I'm giving myself in 2019!

Learn from other creatives

I always want to be good at anything I dedicate time to. I'm also not that great at asking for help. That's why I love how many amazing resources there are to learn from others without having to directly ask.

I love the Second Life podcast by Hillary Kerr and have recently gotten into the Don't Quit Your Day Job podcast by Cathy Heller, where I can listen to and learn from other creatives who are truly living out their passions.

Entrepreneurship, self care, and creativity seem to be huge buzzwords right now - which is great for finding community events that support your goals! In Cleveland, the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network is starting off the year with a Fixing My Finances event to get your money right for your creative endeavors. Your Local Girl Gang Cleveland has partnered with Free Period Press to host a Habit Setting Workshop.

I've also picked up some great books to help me focus my creativity and get some inspiration, like Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert and Bad Girls Throughout History by Ann Shen.

Surround yourself with smiles

Yep, that sounds super corny - I know. And, maybe it is. But I LOVE corny stuff, so... so be it. I have dedicated both my work and home spaces to be spaces that I love. From the llama pillow on my couch to the handwritten cards that are tacked around my desk at work, I always work better when I'm simply happy in a space.

Sometimes the aesthetic isn't picture perfect or 'Instagram worthy', but it is a space worthy of my happiness and I love that.

Find your stress reliever

I'm SO bad at hobbies. Besides reading, it's really hard for me to find something that peaks my interest enough that I want to keep pursuing it. So, hobbies mostly just stress me out. At the end of 2018, I started to play around with embroidery kits after finding one on deep discount and quickly realized... wow, I found my thing!

I've used two cozyblue embroidery kits and my sister just ordered some from Eafior. I think I love it so much because I don't care if it's perfect. I love that embroidery is creative and keeps me busy but isn't super intense either. I also bought a Cozy Cacti crochet kit that Im going to try my hand at.

I also bought an electronic mini Skee Ball game that I am SO EXCITED to bust out during long work-from-home days or during a creative funk.

Be a bit selfish

No tricks or tools here. The one thing I realized in 2018 is that in order to be truly creative and truly myself, I need to be a bit selfish. Whether that means skipping a party to spend a day in a coffee shop or pushing the laundry off for a day to create a blog or finish a new book. Sometimes I feel like I need to follow these 'norms' - come home, go to the gym, do the laundry, make dinner, go to bed. And there's days where that totally works. But, there's other days when I have laundry piling up and some dishes in the sink but I'm just so dang happy browsing flea markets or reading new books... and that's ok!

Like I said, I'm no expert. I'm not a resolutions person at all. I typically jump around too much and simply forget what my resolution was to begin with. So, the best I can do this year is focus on being more creative - whether that's through the blog, other writing, crafting, or whatever other projects come my way.

Want to see how I spend my 2019? Follow the blog on Instagram at @RatherBeReadingCle.


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