write me a letter

Several weeks ago, I heard from a Make It Mighty Ugly reader named Hannah who’s started a daily photography project. In one of her first blog posts about it, she included a photo of a note she found on her morning run. We had a short exchange about that note, and imagine my surprise and delight to find it tucked into the letter she sent me (sending me a letter is the final exercise in the book). It’s the kind of thing that invites imaginary scenarios. Did it fall out of the sender’s pocket? Did the recipient roll their eyes and discard it? The first bit is in quotation marks – is it a quote from something, or is the writer just not super into proper punctuation? Is this sort of thing a daily ritual for the couple, or a super meaningful one-off love note?

Anyway, in addition to a pair of earrings she made (thank you so much, Hannah!) she included some of her creative fears in her letter, and she gave me her blessing to write about them. As someone who struggles to make sense of internal contradictions, I totally relate:

“I hate to fail, so I quit sometimes right after I begin. I hate ends, I’ve realized. I hate having to buy more shampoo or folding laundry. It’s that final completion! That’s my ugly! However, the pleasure of all tasks done is relaxing. Somehow I do get a rush out of procrastination. If I always have something left to do, I’ll always have something to do.”

Do you ever feel uncomfortable finishing a project, because then you’ll have nothing to do? I’ve always felt so excited about beginning something new, this is something I’ve never really struggled with. But I sure do understand the struggle of enjoying opposite things, like when Hannah dreads completing tasks yet also enjoys the relaxation of having done them all. I love both order and mess, spontaneity and solid planning.

What about you? Do you experience a tension between two extremes you enjoy? Do you dread finishing a project? How do you strike a balance?

We all have creative demons to battle. If you’re a small businessperson of any sort, join me for Embrace the Ugly: How to Break Through What’s Holding You Back in Business we’ll work through that one nasty thing that’s holding you back.

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