2017… the year I’m trying to get serious about being a poet. And about allowing myself more creative time in general.
I’ve been using the awesome (and incredibly simple) app Timesheet to track how much time I’m giving to writing and how much time is going to a given project. In January I tallied an impressive 35 minutes. Total. But in January I also gave most of my creative time to a photo book project. Many, many hours in fact. It was something I was passionate about creating and have been putting off because I’ve been terrible about allowing myself time to work on creative projects at all. I’m thrilled with the end result. And I’m learning how to give myself time for the creative projects I really want to work on, not just writing… and how to gently let go of the projects begun that became a burden instead of a joy.
I’m doing better with writing this month, and even though I haven’t clocked a lot of hours yet I have seen definite progress on my project. I’ve also taken on a commission for the first time. A small project for a friend who needed some poetry in her story. I’ve got a good start on it and am waiting for more notes from her before I launch into finishing it up. I’ve never tried to write something that isn’t a vision in my own head before, so this is good practice, even if not something I’d normally do. Continue reading
Most people use lists at least once in awhile, but they tend to use them for day-to-day goals.
For example, I may go to the store with a list that says:
When I successfully find, purchase, and bring home those things I have completed my list.
When I go to work at the office, I keep a running list for the week and a more particular list for each day. On Wednesdays I run a certain audit and call every customer on it. On Fridays I try to make sure that all customer documents generated over the past week that need mailing are, in fact, in the mail. These are very specific goals I can easily anticipate that take a finite amount of time.
If my housecleaning list says I need to dust and vacuum our main living areas, do up all of the dishes, and clean the bathroom… I know about how long those things take. I can plan the rest of my day around them. I can achieve the items on my list with a pretty high degree of certainty.
The whole point of keeping a to-do list is to maintain focus and therefore achieve goals. But what about the goals not so quickly or surely achieved? Continue reading
Happy New Year! I assume by now everyone’s parties are over and day-to-day life is meandering along again as per usual (now that we’re nearly to the end of January). I’ve finally managed to stop writing 2015 on everything, but now I find myself writing 2017 or 2019 instead. No, I haven’t the slightest clue why I’ve skipped to those years.
Did you make any resolutions? I stopped making resolutions a few years ago when I realized I was turning them into a source of stress, worry, and yet another reason to feel not good enough when I fail. Now I write a pie-in-the-sky list of everything I’d like to accomplish. Each individual item is something that can be completed by year’s end, but the entire list as a unit, realistically, cannot.
Surprisingly this does not set me up for failure. Instead it ensures that I don’t forget about any of my projects unless I willfully choose to give up on them. It’s a focus list to keep me moving in the direction I want. If I reach the end of the year with a shorter list than I began it has been a productive year. I focus on ending each year productive in general rather than qualifying how productive it may have been.
There are several things I am focusing on this year, but perhaps the most important to me is what I am calling “creative balance”. Continue reading