In the US and elsewhere in the Northern Hemisphere, many people are anticipating the coming spring, some with celebrations like Groundhog Day (courtesy of Punxsutawney Phil right here in Pennsylvania). The return (or fading) of light changes the pace of things, including our creative works.
My January has been a flurry of new projects in writing, editing, even tutoring, and I will not complain for being busy. Today I turned the page on my wall calendar to reveal February’s picture: a painting of a tree growing out of a rockface, holding steady against the steep angle; can anyone relate?
If you are trying to get your bearings on 2008 projects, here are some ideas to help you get rooted:
Review your goals
If you’re feeling out of balance, carve out some time today and review your goals. For a moment, mentally push aside all your current engagements, and think about what you want to accomplish. If that’s not on track with your current work, you know it’s time for a change.
Make a little time
If you have a goal which cannot take priority over work, home, etc., try setting aside little chunks of time and give it attention. Make time for what is important: if it is important to you to pursue your art, but you have a bill-paying day job, then take a few hours out of your Friday nights, and create.
Gain some perspective
If you’re work is feeling stuck and stationary, it’s time to turn around and take a look at your accomplishments. Take stock of what you’ve achieved, how you have grown, and how your art has changed over time. Write a fresh résumé or build a small portfolio; by taking account of where you’ve been, you may gain insight for your next goals.
Shake things up
I often recommend that if you’re feeling uncreative or otherwise stuck, it’s time to try something new. This is simply another way to gain perspective and to shake up your tunnel vision; traveling to new places, revisiting familiar places with a fresh view, exploring your region, and experiencing your world are all guaranteed to assist your creativity. For best results, set aside expectations and the worry that your muse will never return: instead, open your senses, take along a notepad and a pencil, and see if something catches your attention along the way.