We’re halfway through 2016—time to take stock of how well we’re working toward our creative goals.
I started out with seven goals which I printed out and taped on the wall, and then added seven more on Post-it® notes.
I discovered that having that many goals, even though they’re all good objectives, just isn’t realistic. I know I’ll never make progress on all of these before the end of the year, and I’ll try to pare them down to realistic expectations for next year.
- Continue work on my three major works-in-progress and begin the submission process with at least one of them. I’m focusing on the oldest of my WIPs, The Unicornologist. It’s not ready to submit yet, but it’s getting closer. I’m using K.M. Weiland’s Outlining Your Novel Workbook after the fact to find the story holes and fix them, and also to add more depth to my scenes and my characters. After that, I’m going to go back through and apply what I’m learning from Margie Lawson’s Deep Editing, Rhetorical Devices, and More lecture note packet.
- Write a poem a day. Take Writing 201: A Poem a Day. I haven’t written a poem a day, but I have written some new poems. I’m working through the exercises in Susan Goldsmith Wooldridge’s poemcrazy. I haven’t seen WordPress offer Writing 201: A Poem a Day yet this year.
- Make visual art. Finish online drawing class on Craftsy.com… Well, I never went back to the Craftsy course, but I still want to. As far as making visual art, I’m currently participating in the Index-Card-a-Day Challenge, and most of my cards have been drawings, paintings, or Zentangles (see #8).
- Practice calligraphy. Since I bought my new calligraphy set, an entire ink cartridge dried up waiting for me to return to it. I still want to do this.
- “Win” NaNoWriMo in November. I still have time to prepare for this. I plan to begin my pre-writing in September this year, using Weiland’s aforementioned book. Pretty soon, I’ll be writing and pre-scheduling lots of blog posts so that I won’t have to write any in November and can concentrate on my new novel.
- Work humor into my writing. I’m reading a book my friend Betty Arthurs (one of the funniest people I know) recommended, How to Write Funny, edited by John B. Kachuba. I still haven’t written an actual humor piece. Hmmm. I’ll try to do that soon.
- File the papers stacked in my office so I can move in my sewing machine from the laundry room and start quilting again. I actually have sorted out and recycled or filed tons of paper. However, the boxes labelled with “stuff to find places for” keep multiplying as we tackle the mess in the garage of doom and in our over-stuffed closets. We are finding lots of treasures that we’re enjoying after not seeing in decades, or are giving away to someone who can use them. And I have started quilting again.
- Practice zentangle. That’s a topic for a whole other post–come back to ARHtistic License on July 9, 2016 to learn more.
- Write for the devotional markets. I wrote a lot of devotionals in the 1990s, but never sold any. I’m a much better writer now. I should try again.
- Write a piece for the Huffington Post. You know what? This is probably my lowest priority.
- Color. Is it a bad thing that I have so many other things I could be doing other than coloring? Probably not. I’m holding coloring in reserve for a day I’m too brain dead to write.
- Practice guitar. I have been a beginning guitar player for forty years. I have a gorgeous Ovation Celebrity languishing in a case. Greg bought me an amplifier for it. I want to practice. I can’t seem to get around to it. I am practicing piano almost every day, though.
- Practice recorder. During the last eight years I taught, I became a pretty serviceable recorder player. In the two years since I resigned my teaching job, I’ve hardly played at all. I want to get back to it. How do people who play multiple instruments practice them all? Any suggestions?
- Rewrite and submit some of the unsold writing in my files to new markets. In order to make room in my file cabinets for all the stuff that’s cluttering up my office, I went through many files. Some of my old pieces, written in the 1980s, were admittedly horrible and got relegated to the recycling bin. But others aren’t half bad, and if I gave them a facelift, could be marketed. I want to do this, but I think I should finish The Unicornologist first. I think next year I’ll commit to dolling up one old piece every month.
So, how are you doing on your creative goals? I challenge you to post an update on your blog. (Put a link to your post in the comments below.) Or if you don’t have a blog, simply share your progress in the comments below. And let’s meet back here on October 1, 2016, and update again.
And if you haven’t set any creative goals yet, it’s not too late! Think about what you’d like to accomplish in 2016–but you probably should aim for a few manageable objectives, unlike me!