Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Playing small, playing big

In the personal transformation work I did about a decade ago, we used to talk a lot about whether we were playing big enough. Were our dreams, our goals, our desires small (modest, ordinary) or were they huge and challenging and calling us to be our best and most outrageous selves?

I think about those conversations this time of year as I reflect on what happened to last year's goals and I set new ones. On retreat last New Year's I set what I thought were outrageous creative goals: among them, to write 100 poems, get back into painting with 10 acrylics and 10 pastels, to finish novel #2 and shop it, to start a third novel, to go on writing retreats, to teach. I put down everything I wanted. And all but one of them was completed (I don't have a good painting yet for the cover of my first novel if I self-publish; I've done a couple of drawings but they're not quite right). Several things really helped me complete this list.

I placed a copy of it in the front of my creative journal/notebook so that it was the first thing I opened to each time I used the journal and I read it through it at least once a month. Second, some of the items were things I could schedule (retreats, painting dates, classes) and for which I could get support and so I did those things early in the year. Third, they were all things I wanted to do. Not a single one was a should. And while around some of them I felt a bit unsure if I had the skill or talent, they were all things I looked forward to doing. Lastly, the only measures were quantity, not quality. 100 poems, not 100 great poems. 10 pastels, not 10 sellable pastels.

The intention behind this was relatively simple to state. I wanted to step more fully into my life as a creative. So I wrote down a whole bunch of things to do that might get me there. I had no requirement on myself that I do them all. I just hoped to do a lot of them. And in having so many, I got motivated to get started early and keep going.

What are your creative goals for the year? What support and scheduling could you manifest to make that happen?

Here's to a wonderful new year of outrageous creativity for us all!