The Lift Up Project

If you follow me on Instagram (@Mia_Holt) — you may have noticed this post about my new project. I wanted to say a little bit more about here.


As a creative women, I’m constantly inspired and motivated by other creative women who I surround myself with, both in real life (I’m lucky to know a lot of talented women) and on social media.

Over the years, I’ve reached out to a lot of the women who have inspired me and I feel very lucky to have interviewed a lot of them on my blog, including: Emma Gannon (Girl Lost in City), Pandora Sykes (PandoraSykes.com), Olivia Purvis (What Olivia Did), Victoria (InTheFrow), Jess (The Travelista) and Megan Ellaby (Pages By Megan).

I wanted a space where I could showcase the work of other creative women, so I’ve decided to launch a newsletter called #TheLiftUpProject, where, every week I’ll send out an email introducing you to different women and their work.

The newsletter will feature women from all different kinds of creative backgrounds, and may feature some names you already know and love. But hopefully it will also help you discover someone you haven’t come across before and encourage us all to lift each other up by sharing each other’s work, because as one woman is lifted up, she pulls another woman up with her.

If you’re interested in receiving the newsletter, you can subscribe here:https://tinyletter.com/MiaHolt *

*Make sure you check your spam folder for the confirmation email.

The Right Time To Write

IMG_3993When I was younger, I would constantly be writing. I’d sit on my bed with my laptop and write post after post about what I thought about child models, why I hated the fact Kate McCann had brought a book out and about how Audrey Hepburn captured my heart. I’d sit and write and publish it to the world, without waiting for validation or a sign that it was the perfect time to create.

As I got older, I started to feel like I could only write if the time was right. I’d wait for the ideal situation where I was in an okay mood, had some quiet time and didn’t have a to do list longer than my arm. I became a perfectionist and constantly battled with my need to express myself vs my anxiety about producing the perfect piece, which had to be written under the perfect conditions.

With my insane need for control, I ended up forcing myself into the dreaded arms of writer’s block. Day after day, I’d fight it. I’d sit down with an idea, only to feel strangled by my OCD and would start to question whether it was worth sharing, or had enough substance to be published. By the time I’d managed to get it down on paper, I’d be exhausted and wracked with self-doubt.

Then I came across a wonderful quote by Ernest Hemingway that reconnected me with writing. He said, “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit at a typewriter and bleed”.

It’s taken me seven years to come to the realisation that there’s never a right time to write. There’s never an ideal situation or perfect conditions, and by telling myself there is, I was shutting off my creativity. The sun will always rise and set, and time will never suddenly stop for an hour to give me the headspace to write. I can’t sit and wait for something that probably will never come.

His words also allowed me to accept that writing is a journey. It can be painful, it can feel like when the words have left you that they’ve taken something from you on their route from your mind to your paper. But, I’ve learnt to embrace that feeling. To me, that’s just how I know they are true to me, because I’ve experienced an emotion when setting them free.

Accepting that writing will always be a struggle for me, is strangely comforting. Knowing that it’s okay to feel this and that I’m probably going to experience this every time I sit down to write, is oddly encouraging. It takes away the need for the perfect conditions and has taught me that the trick to keep writing is exactly that – continuing to write, regardless of whether I feel time is right or not. The more I write, the freer my mind feels. And the more I write the more I want to write, which actually feels pretty magical.

So next time you feel like the time isn’t right, write whatever is in your mind anyway and see where it takes you. Mine brought me here.

 

The Art of Getting Lost

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I’ve always said that the best way to discover the truth in a new place is to get lost in it. When you completely give yourself to the streets and allow your feet to take you wherever it is they want to march, you end up wandering down paths you would never have taken if you were following a map, or had decided to take the bus.

It’s a strange logic, after all the idea of getting lost connotes a negative image of disorientation and hopelessness in some people’s mind, but it’s one I cling to when I travel.

When we visited Rome, we only stumbled across the Fontana di Trevi by accident because we had decided to wander and just happened to hear the splash of the water against the stone below. We would have probably visited anyway, but when you come across such beautiful and incredible sights like this by surprise, it fills you with wonder and bliss and you feel as though you are the first one to ever set eyes on it.

Since moving to NYC for the summer, I’ve applied the same theory. The trick is to have an awareness of where exactly you want to get lost – a sort of arranged disorientation. Hopefully, it goes without saying that you have to be aware of where you are and aware of your safety and security – only choosing areas to wander down that you’ve researched beforehand, so that in the event where you truly are lost, you have the means to find civilisation (so-to-speak) again. It also pays to have a final destination in mind.

Getting lost in Brooklyn has allowed me to find some beautiful spots. When trying to find a bookstore (I knew the area I needed to go), I discovered a little cafe across the street which has now become my morning haven. I’m here right now in fact.

Manhattan actually provides the perfect space to lose yourself in. No matter where you go, or what street you wander down, there will always be someone there with you. The grid layout of the city makes it easy to find your bearings, and the landmarks act as constant beacons in the sky, guiding you to your desired final stop. When I spot the Empire State Building looming in the background, I know I’m not far from Aaron’s office.

My planned disorientation usually follows the same routine. In the morning, I wander to my favourite cafe in Brooklyn before using my compass to head in the direction that I know the subway is. I usually catch the train to lower Manhattan in the early afternoon sun and pick an avenue or village to explore. At the beginning of last week, I headed to Greenwich village where I enjoyed pizza for 3 dollars a slice and later on in the week, Noho – where I accidentally walked through a photoshoot with a very famous model and enjoyed some delicious tacos for 4 dollars.

I would never had discovered these if I’d stuck to the same path everyday, or caught the bus or subway straight to my desired end location. Going off the beaten track has allowed me to explore the city through my own eyes. And in doing so, I’m making my own impression and imprint of the city on my mind, instead of the guided one of a tour guide or subway map.

Oh, and did I mention that I’ve also been walking roughly 15k a day? Getting lost is also great for the thighs it seems. Any excuse of another doughnut…