Artist’s block

The easy road home.

The easy road home. Drawing Luke Hockley.

The easy road home. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

It feels like there is a possibility I won’t get this letter written today. 

Its late in the day. I’ve been on the road since 6am. And I have nothing, absolutely nothing of any value to say to myself. 

Hang on.  

That can’t be true. 

How about...sometimes its ok to take the easy road home. 

Love  

Luke.  

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Day 1,295

Show your support for Dear Self by becoming a monthly supporter of my work or by buying some stamp money. Your support means I can keep doing the things I do to make the world a better place.

Frightened of buttonholes.

Frightened of buttonholes. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Frightened of buttonholes. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

I’m frightened of doing the buttonholes on the shirt I am making.

They are kind of irreversible.

Once the fabric is cut (which you do as you start making them) then there is no going back.

It feels like I could really stuff this up.

What if I get it wrong and all the hours of sewing this shirt are for nothing?

Ah, that’s interesting.

I’m worried about the outcome…which is the opposite of how I approach making a shirt.

When I make a shirt I’m most interested in the process. I encourage myself to let go of the time it takes me to do make it and how the shirt will look in the end…and just do this step, now.

I find making shirts such an interesting metaphor for my life. I avoid getting things wrong, which means I find finishing things I really care about can be difficult. It’s ok to get things wrong.

Ok, it’s time to make the buttonholes. 

If they don’t work, they don’t work.

At least I will be moving forwards.

Love

Luke

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Day 1,281

Show your support for Dear Self by becoming a monthly supporter of my work or by buying some stamp money. Your support means I can keep doing the things I do to make the world a better place.

An unhelpful conversation.

An unhelpful conversation. Drawing Luke Hockley.

An unhelpful conversation. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

I’m having a bit of an unhelpful conversation with myself at the moment.

Stopping myself from doing things because of how it might look to other people.

I have this habit of knowing what I want and then standing on the edge of it and not taking the action that needs to be taken to make it happen.

Letting all kinds of small logistical problems get in the way of me doing the thing I want to do.

I could really do without that kind of stagnation.

Is it a fear of doing something publicly that might not be quite right?

Of changing direction in public? Of having to explain myself to others?

I’m not sure.

But I would dearly love this unhealthy conversation to stop.

Love

Luke

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Day 1,191

Show your support for Dear Self by becoming a monthly supporter of my work or by buying some stamp money. Your support means I can keep doing the things I do to make the world a better place.

Lost and found.

Lost and found. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Lost and found. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

Lost and found.

Questioning things that don’t need to be questioned is a fabulously destructive habit of mine.

I avoid this rabbit hole as much as I can.

But sometimes I just see it and dive right in anyhow.

And once I do…it can be a long slow crawl back out.

Because I lose momentum.

Everything feels like a standing start.

No run up.

Finding that energy to get the engine revving from a cold start can be a bit overwhelming.

My experience is that I need some deadlines and I need to get back into things, even if it’s a bit rough to start with.

Just. Get. Moving.

Love

Luke

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Day 1,170

Show your support for Dear Self by becoming a monthly supporter of my work or by buying some stamp money. Your support means I can keep doing the things I do to make the world a better place.

My wiser self.

My wiser self. Drawing Luke Hockley.

My wiser self. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

Over the last two days Matt and I did our annual planning together.

Over the las few years as our friendship has deepened and flourished we have supported each other in an ongoing discussion about life and where we are heading and all its ups and downs.

I think this is our second year of more formally getting together and working through the big questions we have for the next year or so.

Yesterday was really powerful for me. Matt has such an intuitive sense of how to guide the conversation. In particular he helped me tap into my wisdom.

I found a bigger perspective, a place from where I could see all the things I am doing and understand that I am playing the long game.

I realised that, whilst I’m good at imagining what the long game might be, I’m not so good at keeping the long game in mind whilst I live the day to day delivery of that bigger picture.

Which means I can get frustrated and disappointed in all the things I’m doing in order to deliver on my bigger vision.

In the daily minutia of delivery, I can forget that I am choosing all of this for a very good reason. Also, that the benefits of the long game are already here, now. There is some delayed gratification that I have to wait for…but it has been 14 years now of working on the long game. The richness of my life, the community of people who surround me, the art and joy and love that I get to participate in…all of this is the result of the long game.

In our planning time together I found a voice, a wiser self, through which I was able to give myself counsel.

This is the genius, black belt, skill of a friend and support like Matt. He isn’t trying to answer things for me. He is creating the space and opportunity for me to find my own answers. Occasionally that involves observations or insights from his perspective…mostly it is asking questions for me to reflect upon and discover my truth through.

He creates the chance for me to find my own wisdom and to choose the path I want to take.

That’s why my friend Matt is a very special gift in my life.

Love

Luke

I stopped having fun.

I stopped having fun. Drawing Luke Hockley.

I stopped having fun. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

I stopped having fun with my drawings.

When I first started adding drawings to my letters more than a year ago I was having so much fun.

I was curious about how my scribbles on a page might be able to convey some meaning, add something additional to my daily letter.

But then I got all worried about creating a picture that people would think looked good on Instagram.

That's not fun.

I feel like I’m at a cross roads with this whole project. I don’t think it is time to stop…but I also don't want to keep going with it feeling like this.

I want to get some perspective on it all.

Not sure what that looks like.

Actually, I want to start having some fun with it again.

Which means I have to make it clear to myself that this is a choice, no one is making me do this every day. I’m choosing to do it…but why?

I’m choosing to do it because I can see that over time I make progress in getting to know myself and that I am generally happier. Even if, for days on end, it can feel like I’m getting nowhere.

Why am I sharing that journey? Why not just do it for myself?

I’m hoping that seeing someone else persevere, kindly, with a project like this might encourage people to do their own version of generous self-reflection.

Do I want to keep going?

Yes. Right now I’m learning how to have a sense of humour about the fact that what I am creating each day is not that interesting. Staying in there when it gets tough is a life lesson that has great value to me.

Looks like I’m in for another day.

Love

Luke

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —
Day 864