Be Who You Are

{“July” drawing from my 2012 Dots and Lines mini calendar, available in my shop}

This morning I’ve been writing. I discovered a couple of months ago that one of my favorite ways to write is to just open up a computer document and type on about random things for however long I feel like it, what you might call free-writing. This is not really a new discovery, I’ve been writing every morning like this in an actual paper journal for about five years, and I’ve always found that just the act of sitting and writing soothes me. Many of my biggest mental challenges have been solved this way—it’s a form of meditation for me.

But a couple of months ago, I felt this want to make a new book—something more expansive than I had made before. And in considering how to start, and while re-reading one of my favorite books on writing (Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg), it occurred to me—why don’t I start free-writing more deliberately, and in the direction of some ideas I have been having for said book idea? I’ve also long loved the act of typing on the computer—it feels so fun and therapeutic to me to just start tapping away on the keys. And so a new writing practice was born for me.

Now I have generally finished that new book project (more on that soon—I’m waiting to receive my first copy from the printer!), and I am feeling another want to write something new. Yesterday, I started free-writing again to see where it takes me.

While I write, all of the demon thoughts come out again, things like: no one is going to care about or “get” the weird little books you make and you need to find a topic and write a “real” book this time. As my free-writing generally becomes a chorus of all the voices in my head, a different voice came back with more inspiring thoughts like: just make what sounds fun to you and what is a “real” book anyway?

Isn’t it funny how we’re always trying to fit ourselves and what we do into a defined box that already exists? I have dreams of myself in some alternate perfect universe writing neat books that would fit on the shelves of Barnes and Noble, or better yet, being a neat person who goes to work every morning and brings home the bacon and gets promotions and has neat finances and dresses nicely.

Instead, I am a messy person who is sitting at the computer in clothes that very closely resemble pajamas. A person who prefers to make crazy little flights of books that fit nowhere, and may be obscure to most people, and may take other people on wild adventures. A person who would much prefer sitting here in the quiet house typing about nothing and watch ridiculous TV shows during lunch and then work evenings as a baker (as I am now), really mostly for the fun of it and also to make extra money.

This is who I am. This is my messy life. It is mostly wonderful. And the most wonderful thing is letting myself be who I am. Sometimes that means letting myself freak out and again run through why I’m doing what I’m doing and not trying to live that alternate life. Other days that means just making my wild little books and not looking back.

In writing this I’d like to ask you: what boxes are you trying to fit yourself in? What guilt are you creating for yourself around being someone you’re not? What would you do if you just let yourself be who you are as much of the time as possible?

Let’s break the cycle together and let ourselves be weird and wildly who we are, even if it doesn’t make sense to anyone else or fit neatly in a mold.

I hope you have a wonder-filled day!


8 Responses to “Be Who You Are”

  1. 1 linda December 2, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    Such thought provoking questions, because I think sometimes, I don’t even realize I’m boxing myself in… sometimes it’s like we go through the motions and don’t stop to think it through – if that makes sense?

    I definitely want to change things in my life. Probably the best first step to be wholly me… thanks for the reminder!

    • 2 Nicole | Blue Bicicletta December 5, 2011 at 2:10 pm

      Linda, I totally know what you mean about going through the motions without thinking. Even with art this happens—you just keep making the same thing because it’s what you’ve always made. I think the most fun way to be anything (but also sometimes the scariest way) is to always be asking yourself what you really really want to do. Thanks so much for your comment!

  2. 3 Toadflax December 2, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    What a happy thing to think about. I can come up with a few ideas. Most of them involve being disorganized and free, like random creations of public art. Inspiring is a good byproduct.

    Love to see some of your books, too.

    • 4 Nicole | Blue Bicicletta December 5, 2011 at 2:08 pm

      Thanks so much for your comment Toadflax! I really like the idea of random creations of public art! Have you heard of Guerrilla Art? I saw a great book about it by Keri Smith. Such fun! I love the potential for sharing inspiration with innocent bystanders!

      • 5 Toadflax December 7, 2011 at 5:44 pm

        I remember the Guerilla Girls in, I think, NYC. Awesome! I’ll have to check out Keri Smith’s book.

  3. 7 Cheryl December 3, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    Nicole, I just love your blog. Your posts are so inspiring, and so eloquently written. Thank you for putting your thoughts out there to help those of us who might have the same trains running through our own heads.

    I love your “Everyday Creativity Kit” book, and I love the stuff I’m putting inside it! I can’t wait to see your new book. Here’s to everyone making their own “wild little art,” whatever that may be.

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Hello there! My name is Nicole K. Docimo, and I am an artist and writer from the U.S.A. but currently residing in Zurich, Switzerand. Thank you for visiting my blog!

Some Thoughts

"Be thirsty for the ultimate water,
and then be ready for what will
come pouring from the spring."

{from "Joy at Sudden Disappointment"
translated by C. Barks.}

~This Work ~

Unless otherwise noted, all images and writings on this blog were created by me, Nicole K. Docimo aka Blue Bicicletta. If you would like to share anything you see here for inspirational purposes online, I just ask that you kindly let folks know where you found it. If you are wanting to share/reproduce any of my work in any other way, or have any questions about how you will be sharing the work in relation to copyright, please contact me directly at nkdocimo {at} gmail {dot} com. Thanks!

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