This time last year, I dreamed that ARHtistic License would grow from 350+ to 600 subscribers. As of this writing (Wednesday afternoon), we’re almost there. If you haven’t yet joined our subscribers and you like what you see on ARHtistic License, please help us out by hitting the “Follow” button on the sidebar. Thanks, and welcome to our artistic community!
My hope for 2019 is that ARHtistic License will pass the 1,000 follower mark. It would mean a lot to me if you’d help out by spreading the word, sharing your favorite articles on your social media.
My Top Ten Posts of 2018 tabulated by number of views. Have you seen all of these?
But an article I wrote in 2016 got even more views this year than the Gorelangton interview. Jan van Eyck’s The Crucifixion and the Last Judgment: Painted by a Committee received 543 views in 2018 and 870 views since it was published.
Other older articles that were heavily viewed in 2018:
2. Ballet Feet—what ballet dancers suffer for their art.
3. How to Practice the Piano: Doh! Dohnányi—If you’ve ever practiced these exercises, you know what I mean.
4. How to Make a Meme on a Mac—step by step instructions.
5. Yarn and Beads—about the art of the Huichol people of Mexico.
6. Escaping the Khmer Rouge: Review of Beautiful Hero by Jennifer H. Lau—This autobiographical book has won 5 awards.
7. Happy Anniversary!—wherein I celebrate the first three months of the existence of my blog.
8. Phoenix Art Museum—what my daughter Katie and I saw on a Mother’s Day excursion.
I also contribute guest posts to A Writer’s Path. Here are some of my top articles there:
1. 12 Worst Blogging Mistakes. 808 views.
2. For Bloggers: How to Post Every Day. 543 views.
3. 20 Tools Every Writer Needs. 478 views.
4. 21 Inspirational Quotes for Writers. 416 views.
As I review my creative goals for 2018, I see that I didn’t completely achieve them, but I did make general progress.
I did a run-through of my God of Paradox manuscript with my bible study group, got some excellent feedback, and discovered some real problems that needed to be corrected. I’m almost finished with the rewrite. I’m going to see if my pastor or someone with a theology degree will read through it for me, then I’ll maybe do another rewrite if necessary, or a quick polishing, and start submitting in 2019.
The Unicornologist has been on the back burner, but never far from my thoughts. I’m hoping to solve all my plot problems and do a thorough final rewrite, then seek representation in 2019.
I’ve really stalled on recorder and guitar, hardly practicing at all in the last six months. I’ve been more faithful about piano.
I’ve written some poetry; if I can write and rewrite enough poems in the next couple of weeks, I might enter another chapbook in a contest.
I had a hip replacement in July. For eight months before the surgery I suffered enough pain that I could not dance. (Heck, I could barely walk.) I am happy to say I am dancing once again and helping to teach dances in my international folk dance group.
Now it’s your turn. Tell me what you’d like to see more of on ARHtistic License. What art- and creativity-related topics would you like me to cover? Which artists, musicians, and composers would you like profiled? Which of my articles and features do you like best? Please share in the comments below. And don’t forget to subscribe to ARHtistic License, to hit the “Like” button below, and to share your favorite article (find links to my most popular articles above) on all your social media. Thank you, and have a happy New Year!
It’s time to set some goals. Want us to keep you accountable? Feel free to share your 2019 goals in the comments below.
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:
The end of 2017 is approaching at the speed of light. So, how are you doing on your creative goals for this year? Have you accomplished what you expected to? Time for the final sprint.
I’m bogged down with my blog in that I am working only six days ahead as of this writing (though I have posts scheduled here and there through next Thanksgiving). I prefer to be completely scheduled at least four weeks in advance. Sigh.
I’ve made progress on the two major writing projects I hoped to finish this year, The Unicornologist and The God of Paradox, though it’s safe to say they won’t be finished by December 31. Maybe by mid-2018. At least one of them.
I’m also getting ready to submit a bunch of my poems to a chapbook contest.
And I made a bunch of small pieces of art. Some I posted on the blog; others will make it into a post closer to Christmas.
I’m still working on the last pages of The Sweet Pipes Recorder Book 1 and I’m up to page 60 in Essential Elements for Guitar. I’m practicing piano about four times a week. In December my tradition is to spend my piano practice time playing carols.
I danced once this month. I don’t think I’ll be dancing again soon. Arthritis in my hip is giving me a lot of grief. I start new medical insurance today, so I’m planning to make appointments with a new PCP and my orthopedist to see if I need a hip replacement.
Sadly, the other two women who usually lead our folk dances are also having hip and leg issues. Jo-Ann is having hip replacement surgery on the 13th. We’re hoping some of our accomplished dancers in the club will step out of their comfort zone to lead in the meantime.
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. The final check-in of our challenge will be January 1, 2018.
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.
For Inktober, I often defaulted to concurrent Zentangle challenges, and completed fourteen drawings in all. I posted some of them on ARHtistic License, and all of them on my Instagram page. Here are some of my favorites:
On the book front, I still have no representation for the three picture books I’ve sent out to agents. I wish I were an illustrator; I think if agents could see what I’m visualizing, they’d love my books for sure. Sigh. I’ve started rewriting two of them to submit as short stories.
Starting November 15 I’m running through The God of Paradox with my Bible study group. I know the third lesson is too lengthy. I’m actually thinking of taking most of it out and writing a second Bible study guide out of it. Anyhow, after this dry run, I should be able to fine-tune it and start submitting it in early 2018.
I’m still rewriting The Unicornologist. It keeps getting shorter, but it needs to be meatier.
I’m still practicing the same last 11 pages of The Sweet Pipes Recorder Book, and I’m still up to p. 59 in Essential Elements for Guitar. My tone and facility are improving, even if it looks like I’m not getting anywhere. I’ve been pretty good about practicing on piano, recorder, and guitar, but I’ve missed a few days due to lack of energy.
I’ve hardly done any dancing this month. The last Tuesday in September, I landed funny on my right foot and heard it crunch. It hurt really bad. I danced on it an hour and a half two weeks later, but that was probably a bad idea. Until recently, it ached something fierce if I spent more than half an hour on my feet. I think I’ll be able to resume dancing next week.
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 December 1, 2017, to share your progress during November. 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.
It’s undeniably autumn! The year will be over soon. How are you doing on your creative goals?
I’ve made a few drawings this month, although I didn’t do one every other day as planned. I used photos as references for these (click on the smaller images to enlarge):
And I reinterpreted some of my favorite illustrators’ pictures:
The last weekend of September I went on a writers’ retreat. (I’m coming home today!) I expect to start (in Scrivener) a project I journaled about twelve years ago.
I’m behind where I want to be on my blog. I have holes starting October 10 (though I have 90 posts scheduled between now and April 2). I keep telling myself the world won’t end just because I miss a day on ARHtistic License. I just like being dependable. I’ve posted daily for about two years.
I’m sending out queries to agents for my picture books. So far no nibbles. Sigh.
On recorder, I’m continuing to practice the last 13 pages of the Sweet Pipes Recorder Book. I’m chicken to go on to book 2, because it looks really hard. I have another book that I used with my sixth graders when I was teaching that involved improvisation, but I can’t find the CD that goes with it. And so I’m procrastinating on moving forward.
On guitar, I’m up to page 59 in Essential Elements for Guitar.
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 November 1, 2017, to share your progress during October. 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.