Write like no one is reading: “Gratitude”

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Write like no one is reading:  Gratitude

Backstory:  Recently, I began to think about the traits necessary to keep painting when feeling lethargic about exploring my creative side.  Coincidentally, I’d read an article about the importance of writing, if not for others, than for yourself.  The phrase “dance like no one is watching” popped into my head and I decided to write a blog series exploring 10 traits that I’d identified and to put this into practice…write as if no one is reading.  I find that it’s easy to feel trapped by thinking about other’s opinions more than recognizing my own wishes.  My guess is that others may do the same.  Maybe writing with the idea that no one will read my blog will be “freeing”?  Today’s trait is #6 out of 10.

Gratitude:  During the holiday of Thanksgiving, it’s natural to honor friends, coworkers and family members whom have helped bring out the best in you, encouraged you, offered advice along the way and have “had your back” throughout your years.  I feel fortunate that there have been several persons in my life who fit this description.  Over the last several years, there have been life changes that have both humbled me and yet also brought about an inner strength that I wasn’t aware of before.  The unwavering support (and humor) of others has been important in realizing those strenghs.

So this applies to my art too.  Sometimes it’s an offhand remark that results in new beginnings.  Other times it’s friends sitting me down (not literally) and directing/strongly suggesting that I continue with my efforts.  And then it’s other times such as this past year’s EAST Austin Studio Tour that I went into feeling a little ‘lost” and yet the whole experience left me energized with a clearer sense of direction that I want to take with my paintings.  So get this…this is why I am grateful for offhand remarks…an offhand suggestion to enter a painting into an art competition led to a rushed, last minute delivery to meet a deadline…which resulted in placing in a juried competition…which led to an artist’s show with the Austin Art Garage…which led to showing my work with the Austin Art Garage and recommendations to have prints made with Skyline Art Editions…which led to framed, printed canvases being made available on Anthropologie.  Now just imagine if that offhand remark hadn’t been made…  And THIS is why I am continuously grateful to other’s and their kind encouraging words…

Other reasons to be grateful:  meeting other artists in Austin that I wouldn’t ever met otherwise. A career that challenges me to step out of my comfort zone.  A career that has taught me to appreciate other’s life stories. Hurdles that have resulted in inner strength.  A career unique to myself.  The understanding that gratitude towards others keeps myself from being too self-absorbed. Recognizing the importance of offering encouragement to others.

And so for this Thanksgiving, I will be celebrating the importance of gratitude. And yourself?What are you most grateful for?

Next up on my list of important traits:  Perseverance

~Dawn Winter

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