Monday, July 26, 2010

Goals, revisited


A sample of the chaos of me making art. So, so many piles, and projects. :)

     I've been thinking about goals a lot in the last few weeks. I came across a notebook I had written down a bunch of goals in earlier this year. I only had a few that I really wanted to accomplish this year. My theory was that if I wrote down too many I would be overwhelmed and then stop working at reaching any of them.

     That's kind of what I do, if too many things demand my attention I have a really hard time focusing on getting any of it done. Kind of get that deer locked in the headlights look on my face. So I only wrote down some that I really wanted to reach. And these are just creative, personal type goals.

  • finish my novel and submit it to agent/publisher
  • run a half marathon
  • earn more income than I have in the past with my art
     It's kind of interesting because I wrote down this list and then I don't think I've looked at it again until just this last week. But I am really happy to say that I completed two of these goals! How awesome is that? Don't you just love that feeling of setting a goal and then actually meeting it? That's why I *heart* goals :)

      Run a half marathon: check. Earn more income than I have in the past with my art: check (I set this one kind of low on purpose, I wanted to be able to reach it and feel good about myself). Finish my novel and submit it to agent/publisher: no check.

      When I started this year I thought I'd zip right through this little book I've been dreaming about writing for the last three years, look through it once or twice for grammar and typos and then send that baby off to get published. Yeah. . . it's not really happening like that. I work on it almost every day, but I'm still not finished with it. And I don't think this year I'll be ready to look for an agent. I want this book to be the absolutely best that I can make it and for me that takes a lot of time.

       So I'm changing that goal, and adding some other ones. I find goals and deadlines to be VERY motivating, I think I need some right now. But to make goals that 'count' I need to know what I want. Let me tell you what that is.

      I want to be a published author. Oh, how I want this. You just don't even know. I feel kind of silly to admit that, it seems so shallow and superficial to say it. But that's not how I FEEL about it. It's been my dream for so long and I've never really let myself actually believe that it could happen, until this year. I'm committed to this dream, I'm going to do whatever it takes (I mean, aside from super villainry) to make it happen. I'm not giving up. It'll happen one day, if I just don't give up.

       So my new writing goal is: Finish my novel (first draft) by September 1st. There I've said it, now you can all hold me to it :)

      And I'm adding a new writing goal too, because I feel like this will help me be a better writer: write one short story every two weeks. Why every two weeks? Because once a month sounded like a long time, and every week started to make me panic. So middle of the road, two weeks it is.

       Artist people I hope you stuck around for that :) Because here is what I want with my artwork.

      I want to earn a steady income with my work (it's not all about money, I promise). I want to move people with my art, I want them to feel something when they look at one of my pieces, something so strong that they need to have it in their home, so that when they walk past it they feel happy, thankful, inspired, or just peace.

      I have a few paintings hanging in my house that I feel that exact way about. And they aren't my work. It's another artist that I admire so much. Every time I look at those paintings I think to myself, that's what I want to do with my work.

      But how do you make a goal out of that? I'm not really sure, but I think it means painting regularly, and painting subjects or themes that I react strongly to. Images that stay at the front of my mind and won't let go of me. And getting my art out where people can see it. So here are the goals I've come up with: Paint a piece specifically for entry to the American Watercolor Society's national show and enter that show, November 1st.

Paint two spiritually themed paintings for two art competitions that are specifically for religous art. One is in October, the other one is about 9 months away.

Paint one or two small "daily" type paintings a week. To improve my skills and just for fun.

     So, yeah. Those are some of my goals. I think I better conclude this epic post now :) But I hope you'll tell me what your goals are, I'm challenging you to go make some. Ready? . . . Go!


  1. These are great goals and I am sure you will have wonderful sucess and acheive them all. I think I will make some new goals as well. I will let you know so we can both be accountable :)

  2. You are a writer too! Will your talents never cease?

  3. I like the goal of writing a short story every two weeks....who knows, you could always take some of the best ones you write and put those together in a book and get a short story collection published! (I love short stories!) Have you heard of First Line Fiction? They hold a monthly contest of short stories, they give you the first line and you write from there....that can sometimes help me come up with something different and get me thinking(plus there is a deadline, which always helps me).

  4. My dream was also to write and publish a book. I did write the first few chapters a few years ago, which I enjoyed doing so much! It was a comical story and I only showed my parents and my sister. They loved the book and urged me to go on. The problem was the time it took to do. I seemed to be spending so much time writing and if you add that to working too it left little time for my family. Eventually the guilt took over and the part written book now sits somewhere in my loft. It's a shame really.
    Honestly Crystal, I don't know where you find the time for everything you do! I am FULL of admiration for you. For me, my goal is to make more time to paint, and build my confidence. My other goal is to get a qualification in art and I am part way through a course now. Here's hoping! And I wish you all of the luck in the world with your book - And I will be the first to order a copy too!

  5. I have every faith that you will achieve this third goal on your list! Writing has long been an interest of mine also but I have not had the discipline to keep at it in any meaningful way - I chose to concentrate on visual arts and have not been sorry, but I often dream of seeing myself as a published author! Vanity perhaps but I am fascinated by writers...and lo and behold, my son is a writer! Not published yet but has won some awards and is working toward becoming a professor of English. Seeing my son's name on a book cover would be more exciting than seeing my own. And let us all know when your first book is published...I'll be in line to order a copy (could you autograph it please?:-)

  6. So my question is when are you going to sleep?:) I have to say I got a little anxious reading your post. I have similar goals, with the exception of your novel. I know that you will achieve your goals. A little advice on the publishing front, which you may already be doing. My friend is trying to get her children's book published, never be afraid to pick up the phone and call. Trisha actually talked to several big wigs at publishing companies this way. She actually became friends with several and they offered to read and give feedback on her book. One guy even passed her book onto friends from other publishing companies that he felt suited her style book better. My friend had an extremely unwavering optimistic outlook. She really made me realize that anything is possible. The sky is the limit! I believe in you!!!!!!

  7. I think one of those short stories needs to be in the form of a children's book and those daily paintings for fun can be the illustrations. Then you can submit that for publication. I'm sensing a winner here........You would be awesome at illustrating a children's book, I have no doubt. Have you ever tried children's fiction writing? I do know a bit about it myself having written many years ago. Lost all my writings in the breakup of my first marriage (er, first mistake) but I have it all in my head. Think about it!

  8. good luck on the goals, Crystal. Sounds like a lot to bite off but go to it.
    Love your Grandpa painting.


Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment they really do mean so much to me! Because not all bloggers have their email enabled so I can reply directly through email I will try to reply here in the comments. If I don't please forgive me, life must have been hectic that day! :)) Huzzah!!

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