It is the year 2017, according to the Gregorian Calendar. It may as well be Year 42AMB (After My Birth). Or Year Zero with the way the leadership of the world is going.
Reflection: 2016 was meant to be the Year of Getting Stuff Done.
Stuff didn’t get done.
Some within my control. Others outside my control.
And it was the most frustrating year regarding my creative output. I realised it’s been two years since I’ve written a complete short story. The most output I had was the rough draft of a verse novel (still incomplete) and part of a novella. I had done little pieces of writing but there was a host of reasons that kept me from putting in the work and making it happen.
It’s not trying to make excuses, although I can do that with the death of two significant people during the year. It’s an acknowledgement of what I did not do. I can use the word ‘failure’ without it becoming a label to wear.
I failed to complete projects.
I failed to write.
I failed to make time to work out what I wanted to do.
I failed to plan.
I failed to pursue my creative desires.
I did do things that kept me thinking about writing and creativity, like my zentangle poetry. More importantly, I gave myself permission to put it aside for the sake of significant priorities. And that’s ok.
But with the end of the year, taking a break over January, I needed to move beyond the sloth and slump and take on a new perspective. In speaking with some close writing friends, we try and find a single word to help guide and focus our creative work. It took me a few days to sort it out but my key word is “Intentionality.”
If I am to pursue the creative goals I have set for myself I need to be intentional about the work I have planned and the work I plan to do. Which leads me to how I want to approach the new year.
DO THE WORK.
If I am to be intentional in my creative work, I therefore need to DO THE WORK. That work might involve planning a new short story, creating a new zentangle poem, writing a new piece or editing a current story.
It needs to be planned, deliberate, month-to-month goals and outcomes. One month it might simply be planning and note making for a project. Another month it might be actually writing a short story or pushing towards the completion of the verse novel or novella. At the moment, this month is given over to completing a vignette collection.
It’s a new year and a need for a new perceptive. Therefore, I will be intentional and do the work.
How about you?