Skip to content

Growing Gills by Jessica Abel

I first found out about Jessica Abel through a link to an article she wrote that Shawn Blanc published in an email newsletter of his. I signed up to Jessica’s email list which, of late, has covered her journey to becoming self-published author.

Quickly becoming a fan of Jessica’s writing style and finding myself struggling when it comes to personal projects, be they creative or self-improvement based, this seemed like a book I could benefit from reading. I joined the launch group on Facebook and started reading the book. I’m now going to recommend it to some of my colleagues and friends who like me, want to do many things at once and struggle to make any meaningful progress, living with the guilt and anguish of inaction instead.

The problems discussed in the books introduction really resonated with me.

I have a great many personal projects that I want to work on, that I feel I need to work on. A recent one was to design a birthday invite for a joint party to celebrate my daughters birthday, she will be one in a few months, and my wife and I are both forty this year. A fairly straightforward project, I’m a developer and amateur photographer, so not a designer but I know some photoshop and like to think of myself as a little creative.

I have been putting it off, plagued with anxieties about the design not being perfect, no-one liking it, or even caring that it exists.

Then I started reading this book. I know from doing the Focus Course (Shawn Blanc) where my life goals currently lie and what my priorities are. At least I have an idea.

This celebration perfectly fits with two most important areas of my life, my wife and my daughter and my goals for my relationship with them. It also ties in with my desire to do more creative work on personal projects. So why was I hesitating? Why procrastinate so?

Reading the introduction to this book was a perfect reminder as to how inaction on the things that matter to me will leave me more unhappy than working on them and being prepared to struggle, to create, even to try and fail.

“Growing Gills is a powerful, actionable book that will take you from overwhelmed, anxious, and stuck, to consistent, clear, and in control of your creative life.” — Jessica Abel, Growing Gills

I put aside the book and I sat down at the laptop and spent the evening creating an invite. A few revisions the next day and I wrote an introduction for the event and published it and the image to a Facebook event. It’s done, it’s out there, some friends have already commented they like it (without knowing I designed it).

My wife asked me to do one for our daughters baby and parent party (a smaller party just for Elowyn earlier in the day). I bought an invitation template for that one and adjusted it. Baby steps eh?

I feel better, one less thing to be anxious about, to feel guilty and stressed about not having done. I enjoyed it, it wasn’t easy, but I’m proud of myself for pushing forward.

I am looking forward to continuing the book and seeing what I can push myself to do next thanks to its positive influence. If you ha e similar problems then I highly recommend you get this book, which at the time of writing this happens to be free on Amazon.

Get your copy (not an affiliate link) and join me in the journey by getting your creative (or otherwise) projects off the drawing board and into reality.