photograph by allison wopata
It’s March. It’s Minnesota.
Winter just keeps circling back with snow and the cold and the flu as if to say “I’m not finished with you yet”. I am. I’m FINISHED. Know what I’m not finished with? Creative GOALS for 2017.
Because even though the weather report looks like winter, it’s March. March 21, to be exact! It’s SPRING, yo!!! And because I believe in living seasonally, I naturally am drawn to reassess my goals with the advent of each new season. This means instead of setting an intention in January, gritting my teeth and saying “sure hope I stick it out for the rest of the year!”, I’m able to naturally check in and see how I’m doing with living intentionally.
I wanted to share my goals with you, dear reader, to let you know it’s not too late to make goals for 2017. In fact, it’s SPRING! It’s the season of fresh starts and new beginnings. So let’s make some goals together, shall we? And for me, naturally that means CREATIVE goals!
Professional Creative Goals and Creative Life Goals.
Because I am striving for more creativity both in my professional life and my life-life, I thought I’d break my goals down that way. And because three is the magic number, I’m narrowing down the BIG-GIANT-LIST-OF-EVERYTHING-I-WANT-TO-DO-EVER to three manageable (I hope!) goals for both categories. These are my goals for the next 6 months (March-August). Come the end of August, I’ll circle back and let you know how I did!
First up: Creative Life Goals.
Intentionally pursue creativity with my soon-to-be one year old.
This is what I have been waiting for! I love my Little Monster, but I am OK admitting I’m happy to be leaving the baby stage and entering toddlerhood! He is just so much more interactive already, and it’s such a joy to feel like we’re building a real relationship instead of just a “feed me” relationship!
I’m thrilled that he is gaining the skills to do some creative exploration. We are striving to make creativity a big part of our family culture, and so far we have done that by filling our house with music. For example, many nights after dinner Brandon will break out the guitar or banjo, he and I will sing, and Little Monster will shake his little baby instruments or squeal. He is also OBSESSED with Brandon’s guitar.
Now that Little Monster is getting older, I’m excited to pursue creativity even more intentionally. I have been doing a lot of research as to what artistic activities are appropriate for a one year old, and you can be sure that I will share with you as we explore!
Take part in at least two “Creative Community” building events
“Creative Community” simply means a group of people who practice or enjoy the arts, and inspire you to be more creative. This could be a formal setting like a writing workshop, a book club, or a band. Or it could be more casual, like a friend you see plays or concerts with. Enjoying or practicing the arts with others invites different perspectives that enable you to experience art on a different level…plus its fun!
photograph by aranxa esteve
This is kind of a cheat because I took part in one of these events this past weekend, before publishing this post 🙂 Last weekend, I went to hear my husband play with the Roots Worship Collective. It was a refreshing night of hymn singing, and a great way to observe Lent. Even our son was a little champ and stayed up two hours past his bedtime! So technically, I only “have” to do one more of these to meet my goal. Of course, I’m remaining open to more opportunities!
Enjoy at least two cultural experiences
This may seem like a modest goal. Only two cultural experiences in six months? I would love to be taking in plays, concerts, and art exhibits every weekend. But I’m acknowledging that I have some pretty hefty goals in the works (as you will see below!), and I will be stretched for time in the coming months. I also want to make sure I am leaving margin in my life for downtime with my family. Setting a goal of “at least” two cultural experiences will remind me to fill my tank with inspiration, even while I’m busy with these pursuits.
Professional Creative Goals
Finish rough draft of novel (and 1 rewrite?)
This is the goal I almost didn’t publish. I’ve been working on a novel off and on for two years. (No, I’m not going to tell you more about it…yet!) It has been moving a LOT slower than I had hoped (I guess having your first child will do that to you!), but I am hoping as I finish up some other commitments that I will be able to do a major push with this and GET IT DONE, no matter how imperfectly.
My original goal as I wrote this post was to finish my rough draft by the end of May and then spend the summer rewriting. After talking with my husband, however, we realized we have a very committed spring and that might not be realistic.
I’m putting a loose goal that IDEALLY I would like to be done with a rewrite by the end of August. I also need to have grace towards myself and realize that realistically, I might be somewhere on the continuum of finishing up my rough draft, working on the rewrite, or, in the best case scenario, done with the rewrite! As long as I keep putting one foot in front of the other, (or one word in front of the other!) I will be making progress.
Work halfway towards freelance writing salary goal
And this is why I need to have grace with myself regarding the novel! Because while I would love to spend Little Monster’s precious naptimes happily ensconced in my novel, in the real world, I have to make money. I’m working as a freelance writer while pursuing my dream of earning money writing what I want to write (as a blogger and novelist). I have a monthly earning goal I’d like to hit by the end of 2017, and I’d like to be at least halfway there by August. I’m not going to share what that is here, because this is a blog about creative living, not earning money from home, and there are a TON of other resources out there if you’re curious about that sort of thing. Horkeyhandbook.com has been a huge help to me in my work. (That’s not an affiliate link, I just wanted to share what has been helpful to me, in case there are others out there who could benefit!)
Build blog audience to 250 email subscribers
As we talked about in our very first post, I have a vision. I have a vision that ordinary men and women would stop complaining about popular culture and make some culture of their own. That we would stop letting famous people have all the creative fun, and have some creative fun ourselves. As I talk with people in real life, I feel like I’m not alone in this. I feel like we’ve reached a saturation point in our society where people are so constantly inundated with the media, with celebrities forever jumping over hoops to get more attention, and people are just weary of it. I want us, collectively, to turn that into something positive. I want us to turn our boredom into art.
photograph by aidan meyer
That’s the journey I want to see this blog take, and I hope you’re interested in taking this journey with me. You could do that without hitting “subscribe”, of course, but I would love to see you subscribe, and follow me on Facebook and Pinterest, so we can start building a community and conversation around this shared vision. Also, if you know creative souls who could use a little inspiration, please do share with your friends and family!
What about you?
Today is the first day of spring. If you’re feeling hopeless because it still seems like winter, know that you can still experience growth and renewal by making some spring/summer goals in your life. Is that a cheesy sentence? I hope so. Those are usually the best ones 🙂
This week I would love to hear, have you made any goals for the next few months? Even if it’s one simple goal, like finishing that sewing project that’s been half-finished for a year, or crossing three books of your to-read list, I’d love to hear how you are challenging yourself to think and act creatively this spring. Share in the comments below!
Until next time!