One of my favorite podcasts is Real Talk Radio with Nicole Antoinette. She releases her episodes in seasons, rather than once a week or every other week like most other podcasts. Each season comes out every other month and all eight episodes download at once. I’m completely behind on her episodes (I’m still working through season 9!), but one of the things I love is the “Community Questions” that she asks at the end of every episode. It’s a handful of random questions, but they’re not your typical kinds of questions! They are actually really insightful and interesting, and I’ve always wanted to answer them myself.
So I am!
This won’t be something I do every Friday, but maybe once or twice a month, I’m going to pick out five “Community Questions” from her podcast and answer them. I’d love for you to play along – either on your blog or in the comments! The questions below are the ones she posed to guests in season one of the show. I hope you enjoy!
1) Are there any practices or habits that you do to honor your creativity?
I try to write as much as I can. I publish two posts a week on this blog and I’m trying to write a novel. My day job also involves a lot of writing and editing, so you’d think I’d want to spend my weeknights and weekends doing anything but writing. Instead, I write all the time. There’s something less at stake when it comes to my blog and my novel. I’m writing both just for me and I don’t have to worry about it sounding perfect. I don’t heavily edit my blog posts (I just do one read-through to try and catch any typos!) and right now, as I’m in the “shitty first draft” phase of my novel, I also don’t worry about that sounding perfect. I just write as it comes to me, and I’ll worry about how it all comes together later.
Also, reading. I spend at least an hour a day reading, usually more. There’s nothing that fires my creativity more than reading.
2) What is one burning question that you have no idea how to answer, but that you think about a lot?
I’ve been thinking about my answer to this question (isn’t that a great question, though?) and I think it comes down to this: can I be happy if I never found a lifelong partner? Do I need romantic love to have a happy and satisfied life?
One of the things I always come back to is thinking about what sparks jealousy in me. People running marathons or starting their own business or taking on crazy health challenges doesn’t spark jealousy in me. But seeing cute couple photos or hearing about an engagement or pregnancy? Yeah, that sparks jealousy in me. The kind of jealousy that tells me that I can lie to myself all I want about how I don’t need romantic love to be satisfied, but the truth of the matter is that I deeply desire a family of my own. I want to find that lifelong partner. I want to find that person to share all of my life with.
And what do I even do about that? I’m on the dating apps. I’m putting myself out there. And nothing is really happening. I’m just in this pattern of swiping and messaging and first dates that usually never evolve to a second date. Is it me? Is it them? Is it just not my time right now?
All I know is that I don’t think I could be wholly satisfied with my life if I never found that person I’m meant to be with. And that scares the shit out of me.
3) What’s a challenge you’re facing right now, and what are you doing to work on it?
My biggest challenge is trying to figure out how to balance freelance work and free time. I’ve learned that while my budget survives without a freelancing income, I don’t feel as comfortable with my finances without it. I only use freelancing income as a way to throw more money into my savings or at my debt, but I got into a rocky spot in May with my finances and was very glad when two different clients reached out to me for work a few weeks ago. But trying to figure out how to still enjoy my weekends and free time, while also spending 10+ hours on freelance work, has been a challenge.
The only thing I know to do is intersperse weekends where I don’t do any freelancing with weekends where I do a ton of freelancing. I’ve spent the last three weekends busy with freelance stuff, and this weekend is free of commitments, so I feel less crazed about it all and more able to focus on myself and some of my personal projects.
4) Which book have you reread the most?
This is a tough one for me because I don’t reread books a ton. I probably reread The Baby-Sitter’s Club books all the time as a child. I’ve also reread Suzanne Brockmann’s Troubleshooters series two or three times (and thinking it might be time for another reread soon!)
5) What do you consider to be your most important self-care practice?
Gosh, I can’t really decide between reading or sleeping. I honestly need both. I need a good 8-9 hours every night and taking a nap on a weekend afternoon is one of my favorite things to do. But I also can’t go a day without reading. I have to end every day curled up in bed, reading my current book.
I want to know – are there any burning questions YOU have?