Posted in inspiration, process

A book, a map and a conversation linked by coincidence

I’m starting to pay attention.  Here my Mom would joke, “I don’t even have enough money to pay attention.”  Oh, Mother.

Over the weekend I decided to think through, work through, map up some plans of how I would like my life to go.  Jo Roberts, mentioned in a previous post, has inspired me to map out my career.  I’ve always got a general idea of where I would like to go, but working through her worksheet of the Artist’s Journey helped me to pin down a plan, draw it, own it.  There are things to consider like your Origin, who you are now and what has encouraged you to be this way.  Beliefs, values, knowledge, etc – think about it and write it down.

I’ve thought a lot about my destination and who I want to be, but I’ve never scribbled it down onto paper.  There is an idea, a general idea of this person I want to be, the best version of me and I’ve been working really hard to find her.  I’m not looking for fame; I just want to earn a living doing what I love and even more importantly, doing what I feel I have been made for doing.  The sum of all my strengths are pointing me in a very specific direction.

And so, I worked through the list to find the Vehicle and how I shall achieve this me that I’m seeking.  What I really found useful in this worksheet was the ‘Landmarks and Route’ bit.  When you work for yourself, with you and your dog as your only company, it is sometimes difficult to know how to measure your success.  It is sometimes difficult to know if you are even on the right track and to measure your progress.  You get a sense you’re on to something, but occasionally miss the little pushes along the way.  You report to no one.  You muddle along in hope.  I like the Landmarks bit because it states that “the measures must be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time bound.”  So, with paper and pen and a thought of time to think, I made a map and a list and made my ideas more real and solid.  Some kind of magic happens when you commit your plans to paper.  Something even  more magic happens when you tell somebody about it.

I shall contact Jo and thank her very much for her project which, although completed a few years ago, is inspiring people today.

The book I am reading – this book that insists the word “self-boss” is an actually word – is inspiring me in about a thousand ways.  It has confirmed for me a few ideas I had kicking around in my head but didn’t fully believe in them.  Now I know better.  I will trust these instincts and move forward with them.  My reading last night took me to this passage, which is a quote from another book, ‘The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People’:

“To begin with the end in mind means to start with a clear undersatnding of your destination.  It means to know where you’re going so that you better understand where you are now and so that the steps you take are always in the right direction.  How different our lives are when we really know what is deeply important to us, and, keeping that picture in mind, we manage ourselves each day to be and to do what really matters most.”

Preach is brother Covey!

Earlier that day, before settling down to read, I had a conversation with my good friend Anna.  “Cassandra, I want you to go to the library and find the book ‘Seven Habits of Highly Effective People’ and read it.”  This is after she talked to me about some excellent job/life coaching she had received through her work. If something is important to you, you need to do something about it once a week.  Not whenever you can squeeze it in, cramming it in around the edges.

I just love it how all of these things, all of these separate things, tie in together.  In one day.

Your message has been heard, loud and clear.


I am an artist living and working in a rather gorgeous city. My art can be purchased in various shops throughout the city as well as from my online shop. Most of my work is for commission, private and corporate. I am the founder of Crash Course in Art History Limited.

10 thoughts on “A book, a map and a conversation linked by coincidence

  1. Being stuck in the boonies with no dog, no artistic friends, and a poor selection of coffee venues, I have been building up a small back-catalogue of books about artistic practice. I’m just going to put a few titles out here, some of which might be handy for you (although you are under no obligation to track them down and read them):

    How to be an Artist, by Michael Atavar (website)
    Creating a Life Worth Living, by Carol Lloyd (which I have been enjoying)
    The Creative Habit, by Twyla Tharp (which was ok, but not as good as the above)

    I would also rate Stephen King’s “On Writing” as being one of the best books on the creative process. Although he is, obviously, a writer, there is a lot you can take away from his book. In fact, I reckon if you take just one thing away from any of these books, then that really helps, because it’s one more method of organising than you used to have.


  2. I have The Creative Habit you can borrow if you want, just let me know. Must look into the “Making a Living without a Job” and “How to be an Artist” – what’s the betting the library *doesn’t* have them?!


    1. You can borrow my “Making a Living Without A Job.” Just don’t be put off by my scribblings and swear words. Swear words were written in a bout of frustration, possibly at her over-use of the made up word “self-boss.” (Although, I seem to be making up my own words and punctuation rules from my comment) – : ; …


  3. Planning and a set goal are good, but keep open to what chance and serendipity might bring too – amazing, undreamed of things can come this way


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