Tag Archives: Creative Goals

In the Meme Time: How to Accomplish Your Goals

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Accomplish Goals

In the Meme Time: Set Goals

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Set goals

Setting Creative Goals for 2018

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writing-helloquenceThe 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?

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How to Set Your Creative Goals for 2018:

  1. 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.
  2. 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).
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Schedule all the items from step 4 just as you did in step 3.
  6. 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?
  7. 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.

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#ALCGC2017 December Check-In

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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.

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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.

Speaking of poetry, I wrote five new poems in November. I put two of them on ARHtistic License, here and here.

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.

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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.

 

#ALCGC2017 November Check-In

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#ALCGC2017 November Check-In

I love challenges! They encourage me to try new things. During October, two very good challenges, Inktober and OctPoWriMo, helped me with my goal of creating more poems and art.

I wrote several poems during October, and the best ones are posted here and here. One turned into a Christmas poem, so be sure to visit ARHtistic License on December 25 to read it.

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:

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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.

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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.

 

#ALCGC2017 October Check-In

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#ALCGC2017 October Check-In

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:

And I entered a few  Zentangle challenges, posted herehere, and here.

I wrote four poems this month, and posted three of them, here, here, and here. (Yes, I know. I’m using the term poetry lightly. A couple of them are kind of prose poems.)

In October, I’m looking forward to participating in Inktober and OctPoWriMo. I know my limitations; I know I won’t make a drawing and write a poem every day. I’ll be happy if I do one or the other.

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.

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I’ve signed up to be a contributor for A Writer’s PathSo far I’ve submitted one post. If you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, I’ll let you know when it goes live.

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. 

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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.

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In the Meme Time: Action

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In the Meme Time: Action

Creative action

#ALCGC2017 September Check-In

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#ALCGC2017 September Check-In

How are you doing on your creative goals? Only four more months in 2017. It’s a good time to assess our progress.

In August, I completed two sketches and colored some pages in my coloring journal.

 

On the writing front, I wrote six poems. I tried a couple others, but they just didn’t gel. I shared two on ARHtistic License, Paradigm Shift and Horsey Limerick.

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I’m currently three weeks ahead on blog posts. My comfort level is four weeks ahead, so in one sense, I’m a week behind…

 

I finished rewriting a third picture book manuscript, Lottie Loses the Lottery, which I am preparing to send out to agents. No nibbles yet on the other two, Gabe’s Garage of Goodies and Mine!

I bought the Scrivener software, and I am currently transferring The Unicornologist into it while doing another rewrite. Pretty soon I want to start reworking my 2015 NaNoWriMo project, The Night Runner, and I want to be familiar with Scrivener’s features by then.

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I’ve run The God of Paradox through my critique group, and I’m getting ready to do a dry run with my bible study group starting in October.

I’ve been struggling with fatigue this month, so there were lots of days that I didn’t practice my instruments. I’m doing better lately, though. I’m still practicing the duets in the back of the Sweet Pipes Recorder Book 1 for the special secret project I’ve mentioned before. And I’m up to page 55 in Essential Elements for Guitar.

I performed in a choral concert on August 19. I’m planning to write a blog post about it soon.

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 October 1, 2017, to share your progress during September. 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.

#ALCGC2017 August Check-In

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#ALCGC2017 August Check-In

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.

frustrated-writer-2Since 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.

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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.

#ALCGC2017 July Check-In

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#ALCGC2017 July Check-In

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.Oil_painting_palette wikipedia

Another month down. How are you doing on your creative goals?

My routine tweak of reading Scripture while I eat breakfast is working out well for me. I’m also trying a new hack during my writing time of setting a timer for 45 minutes for working on projects, and then 15 minutes to look at social media. It’s important to update social media, but I can’t let it dominate my work time, or I never get around to my writing.

I still haven’t organized my study. I cleared off my desk a bit, but it’s cluttered again.

I haven’t written any poetry during June, but I only missed a few days of the Index-Card-a-Day art challenge I’m participating in.

I’m about twenty-eight days ahead on my blog posts; I want to be at least thirty-one days ahead.

I thought I was finished writing The Unicornologist, but I’ve sent it out to my beta readers, and the feedback I’m getting is directing me to another rewrite. <sigh> I was hoping it was ready to send out.7. The Unicorn in Captivity

My practicing guitar, piano, and recorder has been less consistent than I’d like. My evenings are reserved for practicing, but lately I’ve been so exhausted that I fall asleep watching a half-hour of television with Greg (he insists I spend at least that much time with him every day). I used to doze off in the evenings when I was still teaching. I don’t know why it’s happening during retirement. I certainly don’t have the same level of physical and emotional stress. Anyhow, I’ve made it to page 51 in Essential Elements for Guitar, and I’m up to the next-to-last page in Sweet Pipes Recorder Book I.

Enough of my whining. 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 August 1, 2017 to share your progress during July.

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