Updated: May 13, 2020
I've never been big on New Year's resolutions. I always figured the chances were that I would never see them through, so why set myself up for failure? Best to set the bar low for the year with zero expectations.
This year I'm changing the way I think about resolutions.
Instead of creating definitive, quantifiable goals that can either be accomplished or failed, I'm setting goals that are more about nurturing creative progress and cultivating positive thinking. They are a means of marking creative growth.
So I've decided to join the crowd and make some resolutions, but I'm approaching them with the mindset that I can't fail. Whatever work I put into each item below is positive because that is more time than I would have spent if I hadn't set these goals. That makes sense, right? Well, there's only one way to find out!
So, without further ado, here are my resolutions for 2020:
#1. Celebrate being a renaissance woman
Jack of all trades, master of none. That certainly doesn't sound like a good thing, does it? Today, there is such a stress on speciality that this old adage cuts even deeper. If you're not the best at one thing, why bother with anything?
It's something I've struggled with for a long time. I have so many interests and if I'm being totally honest, it's probably one of the qualities I love the most about myself. I'm a writer, a journalist, an editor, a musician, a teacher, an ethnomusicologist, and a comedian. And those are just my professional hobbies! In my spare time I read, I draw, I knit, I play tennis... the list goes on.
But I don't specialise in any one of these creative outlets. I've tried it in the past, like going to music school, and each time I became restless. I would suddenly convinced myself that I chose poorly and some new passion would eclipse my vision. I've lived a life moving from one shiny passion to the next like a hobby-obsessed magpie.
I'm working on a longer blog about this, so stay tuned, but for now, suffice to say that I'm going to stop beating myself up about it. Jack of all trades is no longer an insult. I can do all of these cool things – isn't that wonderful? So what if I'm not the best? It's not about being the best. It's about feeling fulfilled.
#2. Create more content
This one grows nicely out of my first resolution. By accepting that I've got all these wonderful talents, I want to put them to use. Of course, I want to do more writing and make more music. That goes without saying. This resolution is more about sharing my new-found appreciation of a multifaceted creative life. I'm sure there are other people like me out there, who have what feels like a million passions and each one makes life shine a little bit brighter, so how could you possibly give any up in order to specialise? I want to be a voice that tells them it's OK. Go get 'em tiger!
To do this, I hope to spend the year writing more blogs. I write all the time, but I find a blog hard work. How do you reach an audience and connect with them in a conversational manner? Like anything else, practice makes perfect, so part one of this resolution is to write more blog posts, learning as I go.
Part two of this resolution is to try something totally new – making companion vlogs! I am starting a YouTube channel that will marry my various skills and interests together. It will be a place where I can be all the things I want to be and build a community that finds this useful, encouraging or simply entertaining. I had hoped to have this up and running by the time I published this post, but no such luck. It's coming soon and anyway, this leads me nicely to my next resolution...
#3. Be kinder to myself when I don't hit self-imposed deadlines
I love a deadline. Due date? Mmm, yes please! I pride myself that I have never missed a professional deadline. But this is because I am the queen of self-imposed deadlines. I give myself so many deadlines: fake deadlines ahead of real deadlines, deadlines for things that have no definitive timeline, and deadlines for things that never should have a deadline in the first place. So here's to a year of being kinder to myself about missing a self-imposed due date. Who cares?
#4. Work towards finishing a first draft of my novel
Of course, that said, I will still set deadlines. I can't help it. I've got a deadline addiction, what can I say? So why not try to get the first draft of my novel on paper by December? With 25,000 words down already, that shouldn't be too outrageous a feat, so let's go for it! I know I said that these resolutions wouldn't be quantifiable, so I have tweaked this resolution from 'Finish a first draft of my novel' to the above. Whatever words I get down are a win. As a side note, I've recently discovered this is my best working method for writing – no stress, just get a few words whenever you can. I've got another blog in the works that discusses this in more detail, so again, stay tuned.
So that's what 2020 is going to be for me, a year full of creativity and a lot of self love (ew, gag me, I know...).
Now it's your turn! What are your resolutions? How are you going to be kinder to yourself creatively? I'd love to hear! Comment below or tweet me!