I created the hashtag #ALCGC2017 for ARHtistic License Creative Goals Challenge for 2017. Feel free to use it to tweet about your goals and your progress.
Another month down. How are you doing on your creative goals?
I didn’t write any poetry during July, but I did make a little watercolor every day for two challenges I’m participating in, Index-Card-a-Day and World Watercolor Month. Here are some of my favorite cards from July (and last week’s cards are in a separate post).
I’ve submitted a second picture book manuscript to agents. No nibbles yet. Sigh.
I’m still getting feedback about The Unicornologist from my trusted beta-readers, and it’s clear from their responses it still needs some work. Sigh.
Since I’ve been spending so much time rewriting lately, I wanted to write a blog post on how to rewrite, revise, and edit your novel. It’s turning into a series. Look for it this month on ARHtistic License. I’m only about two weeks ahead on my blog posts, half my comfort level.
I’m making progress on guitar. My fingers are beginning to form chords on their own with less effort from my feeble brain. I’m up to page 52 in Essential Elements for Guitar. I’m also coming along on recorder. I’m working hard on the last pages of Sweet Pipes Recorder Book 1. I still have a project in mind for the duets at the end of the book.
Photo by David Beale.
And I’m singing in a chorus! It’s just a short-term thing. It’s actually a series of master classes for choral conducting students, but there will be a concert. I feel like I’ve been transported back to college days. Rehearsals started last week, and I’m stoked. I haven’t been in a chorus or choir for about twenty years.
Now it’s your turn. How are you doing with your goals? Don’t be shy! If you’re keeping accountable on your blog, paste a link into the comments below. Or if you don’t have a blog, just tell us your successes and your challenges this past month. And remember to check in on September 1, 2017 to share your progress during August.
Last year I thought I did a good job of setting goals. I started the year with seven.
By mid-year I had fourteen.
Saturday I’ll tell you how many I actually accomplished in 2016.
Next year I’m going to take some advice I read in this article and also this one.
I especially like strategy #3 in the second article, which involves taking the step of planning how you will achieve your goals. Genius!
If you would like an accountability partner for achieving your creative goals in 2017, take the ARHtistic License Creative Goal Challenge. This year, I will be setting monthly goals for myself, and posting my progress monthly. You can, too.
Start thinking about your goals now—New Year is next week! I hope you read the articles linked above and are considering how you’ll set priorities and schedule your efforts. On Saturday I’m posting my final update for 2016, and Sunday I’ll launch the Challenge for 2017, so be sure check back. (You’re welcome to visit ARHtistic License every day—new content about the arts and the creative process is posted daily.)
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!
I have a love/hate relationship with New Year’s resolutions.
That being said, I see the value of articulating professional benchmarks that can be achieved in a calendar year. I challenge you to join me. So, here are my creative goals for 2016:
- Continue work on my three major works-in-progress, The Unicornologist, The God of Paradox, and The Night Runner, and begin the submission process with at least one of them.
- Write a poem a day. In December, I took Writing: 101 A Poem A Day through WordPress’ Blogging U and was tickled to discover that I can actually write poems! I am so looking forward to Writing 201.
- Make visual art. I’m taking an online drawing class on Craftsy.com. I want to finish the class and integrate creating art into my week, maybe even take a class at the local community college.
- Practice calligraphy. More on that next week.
- “Win” NaNoWriMo in November. For the last two years, I’ve participated in National Novel Writing Month, and they’ve been productive experiences, though I’ve never hit the official goal of 50,000 words (I wrote 43,866 in 2015, up from 28,212 in 2014).
- Work humor into my writing. I love it when something I read makes me laugh out loud. I wish I could write like that. How do you do it? Any suggestions? Anyone know a book on writing humor?
- File the dozen or so boxes of papers stacked in my office so I can move in my sewing machine from the laundry room and hopefully get back into quilting. (You can tell how much I dread dealing with all those papers by how low on the list this objective is.)
Here is the challenge:
- If you haven’t already, determine your creative goals for 2016.
- Post your goals on your blog, and leave a link in the comments below. Or if you don’t have a blog, list your goals in the comments. Now, the entire world can see them and hold you accountable. (No pressure. Really. Everyone who reads my blog is really supportive.)
- Put a copy of your goals in your workspace where they can be a reminder of what you want to accomplish.
- Let’s agree to meet back here on July 1 to reevaluate our goals and our progress. It’s already on my calendar.
Image 2016 New Year (christmasstockimages.com) / CC BY 3.0