Gathering Your Creations


My son, admiring my “published writing portfolio”

Ever since I started writing with the intent to publish novels, I’ve had this constant feeling I’m not getting any writing done. Whatsoever. Even on the serendipitous days when I log thousands of words on my Work-in-Progress, the finished product seems so impossibly far away, I am temped to put my so-called “writing career” out of its misery.

I still feel this way when I’ve wrangled together a first – or even a second, or third – draft of a novel. In fact, the distance to the true finish line (a publishable book) just seems to move farther and farther away the closer I’m supposedly getting.

This never-done feeling is probably one of the reasons I enjoy writing short stories, articles, blog posts, and picture books. To me, they are more manageable. It’s easier (not easy, but easier) to get to the end, and to DONE.

And yet…

To date, I’ve had about six short stories and articles published. And that’s great. But even with this modest progress, that nagging feeling persists:

I haven’t accomplished anything. I’m not getting anything done.

Maybe part of the problem is that almost everything I’ve written is tucked away in weightless files and folders in my computer. And even though the magazines that published my stories and articles are physical objects, most of the time my “writing products” are out of sight. Out of sight, and out of mind.

What am I getting at with this?

Recently, I gathered all my published pieces in one place, making a portfolio like an artist would.

And you know what? It makes a difference. I now have a body of work. A small body, but still a body. Even when the portfolio is out of sight, it’s still present in a way that the scattered magazines weren’t. Maybe because of its size, or formality, the portfolio gives me a physical reminder: I have accomplished something. I have gotten something done. Maybe not much, but something.

That said, if I’d put together my published writing portfolio two years ago, it would have made me depressed: I just didn’t have enough to put in there. A portfolio doesn’t only have to be for published pieces, though, nor do you have to be a writer or artist to make one for your particular creations, whatever form they take.

So, this is what I’m getting at: If you, like me, feel like you haven’t accomplished anything, or gotten anything done…consider gathering your creations.

It may make a difference to you, too.

Please share with us: how do gather and celebrate your creations?


  1. letwhylead says:

    That’s awesome, girl! I did portfolios in college. None of the material is really relevant anymore, but I can really feel what you mean about there being something VERY different about having something tangible in hand.

    • angelicahagman says:

      I’m sure your college portfolio is still relevant! But I’d still like to see a Let Why Lead blog book or something on your writing desk, just for tangibility’s sake. :) Or maybe you could wallpaper your place with what you’ve written this far!?!

  2. Just found your blog through Google. I love photography and writing. This was a really inspiring post. Thanks!

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