Writing is an Act of Discovery

Writing is an act of discovery.” – Natalie Goldberg, Writing Down the Bones

18 Things I Discovered about Business and Writing in 2022

pages of handwritten text and black pen sit atop a table

Our final Wednesday Writing Group session of 2022 contained a simple prompt: What did you discover this year… about yourself or anything else?

After a brief pause, I began to write…

I discovered growing a small business is F*NG HARD. 

That’s it. 

No, I’m kidding. 

Or am I? 

You see— I discovered lots of things in 2022— about myself, about people, about organizations, and about life. I discovered that writing is an act of discovery in itself— not just for me, but for the women who showed up each week – for themselves and for their writing/journaling community. For the final session of 2022, I wrote a personal entry about the discoveries of being a business owner, to look back a year from now and see the progress.

And… hopefully, offer a glimpse for someone who’s on a similar journey. Maybe you? Maybe you know me on socials and this gives you a peek into my world. Maybe we’ve never met, but you’re curious about business ownership or what happens when you transition out of a career you no longer love, or about writing with us.

Whatever your reason for pausing to read this list, I hope it makes you smile, think, cry, laugh… FEEL. Because that’s what it did for me as I wrote it during our weekly Quick Write Club session today.

This year, I discovered…

  1. Depression and other mental health challenges are real, but can’t be an excuse to give up. For me, the grief journey has been a winding, circuitous walk through mental mud. It’s important to include it in this list because I found grief can show up often and mostly without warning, threatening to derail us. But pushing back and “recentering” cuts through the slog.
  2. Growing a business is enlightening, challenging, eye-opening, exhausting, gratifying, soul-searching, and soul-answering.
  3. Growing a business is the biggest LEARNING project imaginable!
  4. Assuming skills will automatically translate to being a business owner is a falsehood. Holy moly! This was a HUGE mind shift!!!  
  5. Building daily systems that are robust is 100% necessary for success (and sanity).
  6. *Note to self: I need better systems in 2023 to grow. 
  7. Systems. Habits. Processes. All, essential.
  8. Encouraging more writing is how I want to continue to show up in the world every day—for others and me.
  9. Did I mention business ownership is HARD???  lol 
  10. Our identity can be slow to shift but essential to embrace a new role we want. Mine is shifting (this is good!). It’s taken 18 months to untether myself from my ‘educator identity’ of 27 years.
  11. Social media is VERY social… and exhausts me. I think I’m not alone in this feeling. Fellow introverts, I see you. Working on how to show up regularly while protecting boundaries is important. 
  12. Knowing our pillars if we are growing a business is important. What do you stand for? What matters to you that’s important enough to make a difference for others? What do you offer others? Mental health, personal growth, self-development, change mindset, and growth mindset are my pillars— Empowerment. Awareness. “Education” (in a MOST non-academic way). 
  13. Finding our work-life balance is essential. I discovered I still love making art for its cathartic benefits— for myself and others, but the process is most important to me. “Batching” is a No, but making more originals in 2023 is a Yes as I continue to make art for others and for myself. #selfcare 
  14. Online e-commerce is a continuous learning opportunity.
  15. An active e-mail list is ours (compared to ‘rented’ social media space). I struggle with sending e-mails consistently. I’m working on this, with a solution to change my mindset and process.
  16. Tech makes me both crazy and curious. Ugh!!!!!
  17. And finally… I’ve discovered (painfully) there will be days of DEEP self-doubt. I have met more of them this year than I care to think about – especially near the end of this year – but understand it’s part of the journey. It is The Dip. It is the place before the CLIMB.  
  18. Returning to what we’ve done that feels RIGHT can be important to our process. I’ve discovered I want to return to making more journals and abstract art. I miss both. But also— journal supplies, inspirational art, collage art, and monoprinting. 

Hmmmm… 18 discoveries and 18 months. That was not intentional and yet, it seems fitting.

So, what would you say to Natalie’s thoughts about writing being an act of discovery?

What did you discover this year… about yourself or anything else? Grab a pen, set a timer for 5 minutes, and jot your thoughts. You just might surprise yourself when you start remembering All The Things. Happy writing!

Need dedicated time and space to work through your own growth? Join us every Wednesday for the Quick Write Club— a writing/journaling community designed for you to grow your thoughts, clear your head, and discover what makes you smile.

white table top with coffee cup, notebook, and words to join the Quick Write Club on Wednesdays