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.
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!
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.