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creatively speaking...

for the past few months, i have posted a quote on social media every Sunday.
the quotes are always about creativity, 
these words of wisdom have been helpful to me while wrestling with some facets of my own creativity...

you see, a while back, i lost my joy in creating. 

oh there was still the undertaking of projects and posting about them online, 
but really it was pretty much just a lot of going through the motions 
and hoping that my mojo would return.
nothing about my creative process was easy or flowing or remotely satisfying.
add in the pressure of keeping up with what's happening on social media,
and the result was complete overwhelm and a shutdown of the creative cycle.

something had to change.
i began to journal and read and spend time in nature, getting away from screens 
that were filled with the results of other people's imagination and creativity, 
taking time to consider what my aching heart was trying to teach me.

and then... an epiphany....
(continue reading)
i am a creative person. creating is like breathing to me - i must create, every day -
but my friends, it took me this long to finally realize - for the first time in my life! - 
that i do not need to create for consumption by others.
my creativity does not have to be a commodity.

 i don't need to produce content. as lovely as it is to be appreciated and thanked, 
i don't need approval or applause or feedback or likes or follows or mentions.
i don't need to do all these things and spend all this time 'putting it out there' for others to see,
or to promote a business, or to gain exposure, or to build a platform.
i've done that, ad infinitum, since 1999, on three blogs and countless social media posts,
with my five businesses and hundreds of collaborative projects. i've promoted myself and others.

while there are more people every day jumping on that bandwagon, 
i am making a decision to go against the flow of what is popular - and jump OFF.
because i am t.i.r.e.d. of it all. 

i can simply enjoy the process and results of creating - for myself.

never even showing it to anyone else. and that's what i intend to pursue.

and no, i am not starting something new. i am not 'reinventing' myself.
i have done that more times in my life than i can remember and frankly, i am sick of it.
i am honestly unable to describe or define just WHO i am anymore.
and that's my new purpose: find Deb. in simple, everyday life... find myself.
just live my life and discover who i am NOW... and enjoy it.
i've already changed my social media to Deb Kennedy - 
because i am done identifying myself as retail visual designer Debi Ward Kennedy, 
of DWK Design, Paint the Town Red or RETREAT or homewardFOUND decor or anything else. 
i'm just me, Deb Kennedy. and that's who i want to be now.

this is hard, and this is scary, because i have let this world online define me for 20 years now.

but just as i had to let go of my dream life and home and business and shows, 
just as i had to let go of broken relationships and people, 
just as i had to let go of my lifelong dream job at Disney,
i know that letting go of my 'online presence' is the right thing to do now.
my heart feels lighter since i made this decision, and now it is time for action.

today, i step off the merry go round. this is my last blog post.
i will no longer be posting on the hwF facebook page or IG account. 
i am not deleting anything, there just won't be any more new content.

from now on, when i go on facebook, IG, and Pinterest, it will simply be as me,
to keep up with friends across the globe.

my goal is to limit my time on the screen in order to give myself unlimited time to live.

i never set out to be 'an influencer'. 
i'm not famous or a celeb or a leader in this growing blogging/advertising/marketing industry.
i don't claim to know more than the average joe (or jo jo) and i don't make a cent off of it. 
i just wanted to join the conversation, to share what i see, to help others realize 
that they can be creative, too. (without sponsorships)
because i truly believe that we are ALL creative in some way.

but if there is one way that i could influence anyone, 

here's what i'd want it to be:

stand up right now and close your screen. get offline.
go outside into the sunshine or the rain or the fog or the starry night.
listen. look. breathe. sit or stand in nature and just BE for a minute.
don't DO. don't produce or lead or influence or anything - just BE. be you. 
be in the moment you are in, instead of planning / prepping for moments that aren't here yet.
stop staging photos and selfies and rooms. stop arranging the world - and enjoy it instead.
just LIVE. five minutes at a time, if that's what it takes. 
just get off the screen and into the world around you....
look people in the eye. smile. touch a leaf. smell a flower. taste an apple. listen to the wind. dance.
really SEE the world around you. take in the majesty of life and celebrate it. 
focus on what's important to YOU. (this is important to me...)
life is precious. life is short. i'm not going to let one more moment slip by without BEING in it.

i wish you all endless moments of profound beauty, belonging, and BEing. 
thank you from the depth of my heart 
for the many ways you have inspired me to create and share... thank you all.

to the very special people who have shared photos, stories, and content
through their submissions to publications or on their own blogs to promote me and my work, 
or by selling my products in their stores, i am grateful beyond words.
for every dear reader who has visited, who purchased a product from me, i thank you.
for those stalwart souls who have been with me through the many permutations of my career,
i am so very appreciative of your kindness and encouragement over the years...

now, go live life - creatively!

~ deb


  1. I'm not sure whether or not to add a <3 or a :( but what I do know is that I support and applaud your decision to live your life as it is meant to be lived. Love you, dear Deb Kennedy.

    1. thank you, Miss Patty, for your constant encouragement, friendship, and ALL of the physical help you provided (along with your amazing guy!) at our shows and events. you have always said exactly the right thing at exactly the right time, and my heart loves you for it <3

  2. so it's almost a year later, and i've just put a new post up on the blog.
    what am i, crazy?! nah. just inspired to share a new fun fall project.
    yeah, it's pumpkins!

    maybe i'll drop in from time to time - if the muse strikes ;) happy fall, y'all! ~ deb