See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland (Isaiah 43:19 NIV).
When I set my goals for my blog for this year, I hoped I’d reach the 350-follower mark.
I’m thrilled to say I made it a few days ago. It’s silly to set a goal that’s completely out of my control (relying solely on you, dear readers, to actually click the follow button), but I am gratified nonetheless. Thank you, all of you, for your kindness to me. I will try to deserve your readership by writing more of the kind of stuff you like to read. (Your suggestions are welcome! Share in the comments.) My readership goal for 2018 is 600. You can help me make that goal by sharing (through Facebook, Twitter, Google +, email, etc.) any of my posts that you think might interest your friends. Thanks!
My Top Ten Posts of 2017 (in terms of views). Have you seen all of these?
9. #DC339: In the Holiday Spirit This post, as well and #6, #4, #3 and #2, are responses to a Zentangle challenge. I’ve written before about challenges being a good way to find new readers for your blog (as well as more blogs for you read!) The zentanglers have surpassed even the photographers in their support of ARHtistic License. (My photochallenge posts have always made the top ten before now.)
8. How to Practice the Piano: Doh! Donányi My thoughts on a particularly difficult piano exercise book.
5. The Magic of Landscape Architecture About the transformation of our yard.
4. Inktober Day 24: A Composite One drawing, entered in three different challenges.
- Serb Fest I was not expecting that my photo essay about a local ethnic festival would be my #1 post written in 2017. I thought my dance friends would be interested in the beautiful costumes the Serbian dance groups wore, so I posted it on my folkdance group’s Facebook page. My daughter forwarded a link to her Bosnian friend, and I think somehow it circulated among the Serbian-American community.
My biggest surprise is that three of my blog posts from last year had as many views in 2017 as my top three above did. They are: Jan van Eyck’s The Crucifixion and the Last Judgment: Painted by a Committee, Ballet Feet, and Go Mobile.
One step I might take next year is to chose a new WordPress “theme” (it’s like a blog template). Even though last year I upgraded to a “premium” blogsite, I kept my free theme because I like it and I’m very comfortable with it. However, it doesn’t have the functionality of the premium themes. Switching up might also mean a huge learning curve for me. Any bloggers out there have a suggestion for me?
On New Year’s Day I’ll share my progress on my other writing, art, dance, and music goals, as well as sharing my creative goals for 2018. See you then!
Closing out the year with a dozen creative articles.
- Biological illustrations.
- Gorgeous quilts.
- A little goes a long way.
- Thinking of trying embroidery?
- I’ve always wondered how the Sesame Street puppeteers make their Muppets move.
- Funny animal photographs.
- Dressing up thrift store shoes.
- I love to see the colors artists use in their palettes.
- A collector of photography shares his 64 favorite pictures of 2017.
- What happens when you cross the love of animals and knitting?
- Nature makes the best art.
- Crafter uses stamp with fabric paint to decorate an apron.
Here are some of my favorite memes from this year:
My submission for Cee’s Flower of the Day challenge. Even though it’s really kind of a shrub.
The new year starts in six days. Have you thought about what you’d like to accomplish in 2018?
Last January, Jeff Goins posted an article about writers resolutions. His ideas can help you make realistic goals.
The best thing I did last year when I set my goals was actually schedule specific days to work on specific projects. I’d highly recommend you do that. (I’ll tell you how that worked out for me when I post my creative goal update on New Year’s Day.)
There are so many things I still want to do—regain my German-speaking skills, maybe take art and/or guitar lessons—but I know I have to figure out how to make time for those things, or they won’t happen.
I also need to identify positive steps I can take next year for my writing. I believe I have a brand—the arts and the creative process—but I’ve been told my focus is too wide and I ought to narrow it down. My gut says I should continue to explore everything that interests me, even if that means I’m an expert at nothing. I’m not getting any younger—I can’t put off all my pleasures for some far-away future.
What about you? What new things do you want to try? What kind of progress do you want to make on the work you’re already doing? Do you need any help setting some new goals?
How to Set Your Creative Goals for 2018:
- Make a list of all the things you’ve been promising yourself that you’ll try someday—whether it’s exploring the antique stores in your county, making scrapbooks for your children, learning how to yodel, or writing a cookbook.
- How much time can you free up to do some of the things on your list? Use this determination to choose a reasonable number of activities (say, five, or three, or one—at least one).
- Right now, plan exactly when you are going to do these activities. Pencil them in on your 2018 calendar—i.e. yodeling on your spouse’s bowling nights, antiquing on the second Saturday morning of every month, etc.
- Now, make a list of all the creative endeavors you’re already doing, like sewing felt hand puppets, recording stamp-collecting podcasts, and crocheting infinity scarves. What can you do next year to take your art to the next level? Come up with at least one action step for each endeavor.
- Schedule all the items from step 4 just as you did in step 3.
- Come up with a motivation to actually do the work. Do you have an artistic buddy who could be your accountability partner? Do you have an agent who is waiting for a rewrite? Do you have a blog you can post your goals on?
- Visit ARHtistic License on January 1st. I’ll be sharing my progress on my 2017 goals, and my new goals for 2018. You can share your goals, too.
This December, my Zentangles all look kind of Christmasy:
I drew a few entries for Imelda Green’s Advent Calendar challenge:
And I drew two winter night scenes:
These are the first drawings of mine that I’ve ever framed and hung in my house.
In place of Monday Morning Wisdom, today I am sharing a poem I wrote in October as part of the OctPoWriMo challenge. The prompt was What is the Message? and the suggested form was nonet. I chose to write a paraphrase of Luke 2:10-14.
What the Angels Said
I bring you good tidings of great joy.
Today in the town of David
A savior is born to you.
Find the babe wrapped in cloths:
This will be your sign.
Glory to God!
Peace to men.
Poem © by ARHuelsenbeck