reverb 10, days 6 & 7
December 6th: What was the last thing you made? What materials did you use? Is there something you want to make, but you need to clear some time for it?
I make mp3 mixes throughout the year. I’ve made six so far this year – two mixes of my current favorite songs, and four mixes to go along with different people’s stories in a fanfic challenge. There is a certain skill in making mixes; if your mix has a particular theme, choosing the right songs is something of an art. Making sure the songs are in an order that flows right is not necessarily my specialty, but I try! Mostly, I just love making mp3 mixes in order to introduce people to the music I love. I get such a thrill when someone tells me they’ve discovered a new artist/album/song because of me!
A few months back, I made a map for a fantasy story I was writing. I can’t really draw all that well, so it was a lot of crayon-colored blobs with dots to indicate cities and blue squiggles to indicate water. It wasn’t much, but it helped me picture a continent that doesn’t exist, and I had fun besides!
I helped make my costume for CONvergence this year. That was something of a disaster; I had never sewn before, so I had to rely on my friends, who were busy with their own costumes. The whole process stressed me out – and then, when I tried on the costume two days before the con, I HATED it. It didn’t work on my body at all the way we’d planned it in the beginning, and I felt like it looked so sloppy and amateurish next to all my friends’ awesome costumes. We rescued it enough with accessories that I didn’t feel totally awful when we dressed up, but in the end, I don’t think that sewing is necessarily my hobby calling. To quote Leigh, I really just need to get better at buying things. ;)
That’s sort of a problem with making physical things, for me. I have ridiculous perfectionist tendencies, and I often can’t forgive myself for mistakes. Put me in a group of people, and suddenly my competitive instinct makes everything worse. The lesson learned this year, I think, is that if I try to make something new, I should maybe start smaller, and not with something that will be on public display. Making mistakes is good! If only I could convince myself of that.
December 7th: Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011?
The thing is, I spent more time pulling back from existing communities than I did seeking out new ones. I freaked out a little bit this summer; I felt overwhelmed and unable to keep up with all the online activity that kept flashing through my web browser. So I cut out some communities, and I kept a somewhat even level of participation in my other communities. I don’t necessarily think that a person needs to constantly discover new and different communities – yes, you always need to seek out new experiences, but sometimes it’s worth it to make sure your roots are stable before you head out into the unknown again!
In the coming year, however, I would like to connect more deeply with my community of writing friends – and perhaps meet new writing friends! I have developed a pretty steady writing habit, but now I need more encouragement and support to keep myself moving forward creatively. Being around other writers is inspiring!
I am also thinking about connecting more with the CONvergence community, perhaps by volunteering for one of the committees before the con. The only think that has kept me from doing it thus far is my own social insecurity – I’ve volunteered by myself before, and I’ve always felt awkward about it. I don’t know if I can talk any of my friends into volunteering with me, though, so if I want to do it, I may just have to bite the bullet and go it alone again!