Yearly Review and Friday Question Conversations

It is that time again. December is my month to think about what went well this past year and what did not go well. I wrote about this last year in the article, Why do an Annual Review? This review and planning time is like a combination of a spa and brainstorming session smashed together. Everyone needs to feel relaxed to come up with good creative ideas. So I’m going to be figuring out that balance over the next month of December.

Four days of the Clouds series

Another question I’ve been asking myself is how do I want to spend my time? One of my favorite creative business guys Paul Jarvis posed this question in one of his newsletters. His idea is to figure out this question and work backwards as to the kind of things you want to do to fill your day. Play to your strengths and focus on those type of activities. You will do them better anyway than forcing yourself to do something you do not really even want to do. These guiding questions will help me figure out my 2018 focuses.

This time of self reflection takes a lot of mental energy. But I do this first to figure out my lessons learned and then to carry them into my planning for the upcoming year. In 2018, I plan to modify my approach to the Every Day Project and subject matter focus. I’m still working out the details but I feel ready for a new focus.

One good thing this year has been the addition of the Friday Question. The most recent Friday Question I asked on Instagram was, "How many hours do you spend a week creating?" The responses were eye-opening for a totally different reason than I thought. Sometimes I can be quite the literalist and I thought people would give me a number of hours and a brief explanation. Something even better happened. We started talking about how time spent thinking about creativity is just as valuable as studio time and it counts too!

One commenter said that even when she is not creating in her studio, she is still creating in her head and it is as "natural as breathing." It got me thinking about negative thinking and how it can sometimes be like a loop going around again and agin. But think about the possibilities if you have a positive creative idea and think about that instead.

Imagine our lives if our background “noise” was about creativity.

We could be thinking of a creative solution to a situation like what to eat for dinner or how to avoid burnout at the end of the day. When you see that these “problems” can be a way to use your creativity, finding the solution becomes a bit more fun.

One commenter said she does not have enough time in the studio but when we open up the idea to creative thinking time, she very wisely said that if thinking counts then it can encompass your whole life in a way. We expanded from counting hours to living a creative life. I love learning from other people in these Friday Questions.

Other commenters said they just try to create something every day with many different options because they have many interests or they spend a certain amount of time in the studio every day. Another commenter said she is focusing on finishing up projects she had started but looking forward to a new approach to her quilting art as she sees all the progress she has made.

Interesting how people said they were always thinking about creating even when they were not creating. It is like your creativity can be a constant companion.

Because of my yearly review I’m going to be posting some past articles in December. For my new subscribers, this will be new material for you but for my long-term subscribers you might find reading it again brings up some new ideas for you. 

As an aside, I’ve had some new subscribers recently who misspelled their email. What this means is that the email bounced and I can no longer send you my article by email. If this sounds like you, please re-subscribe. The link is below.

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