Thursday, January 1, 2015

new year, new goals (mostly)

In my last post, I deconstructed my goals for 2014 and decided they were a) not specific enough and b) not challenging enough. In light of what I learned, I've come up with some new goals for 2015 as well as action plans I hope will help me reach those goals. Because I love hearing about other people's goals and how they keep them, I'm posting mine here. Voilà:

#1 Write Every Day

Action plan: Since there's always some writing project in need of attention (usually a revision) I'm less interested in laying down specific projects and more interested in how to keep myself accountable to working on those projects. So I bought a super cheap, super ugly "writing" calendar that I'm keeping on my writing desk for the sole purpose of crossing off days when I've put in my quota. My quota being: just get writing done. It doesn't matter when it happens or how long (though I'm thinking of scheduling it into my mornings, since that's my most productive time) just that it happens.

#2 Draw Every Day

Action plan: I'm going to make my daily drawing part of my early morning routine - wake up, make coffee, walk Yonder, drink coffee, make my to-do list for the day, and draw. After that comes everything else. I've also broken down the first six months of 2015 into "themes" (ie. the “female form”, “architecture”, “mammals”, etc.). I'm not necessarily holding myself to those themes, they're just there so I can't make excuses. If I don't know what to draw, I have a list to fall back on. I also might try posting my sketches here once a week as a way to keep me accountable.

#3 Finish Revising Novel "Y"

Action plan: I'm still undergoing that mentorship I mentioned in my last post, so right now that is keeping me accountable. But even when it ends in a few months, I have goal #1 to keep me on track. 

#4 Re-apply to That Illustration Program

Two years ago I applied to Sheridan for Illustration and, miraculously, I got in. Then I immediately chickened out because the program is four years long, requires an hour commute there and back, and costs $10,000 a year. But when I went to HSTA this fall, I realized a few things: I could pay for art school by selling my art, commuting is survivable (hello audio books!!) and those four years are going to pass whether I'm in school or not. So I've decided to reapply and this time, if I can get in again, I'm going to GO. No chickening out. If I start the program and discover it isn't what I want, then I'll quit. But I at least want to try.

My action plan has various parts, including goal #2, but also: getting my portfolio back in shape (planning out 2-3 large pieces), redoing my drawing test from 2 years ago (that's 8 more pieces), and taking a life-drawing class. That's a lot, but I did it two years ago when I first applied and I was working two jobs then, so I'm not daunted.

#5 Make $XX,XXX With My Pottery

Action plan: I have an exact dollar amount written down that I’m not sharing with the internet, which is specific and challenging. I also have concrete ways that I plan to achieve this, some of which are highlighted in goals #6-8.

#6 Apply To At Least Three New Shows

Last year's "show" goal was a lazy one, so I want this year's to be the opposite. My action plan is thus: First of all, I have a list of shows, complete with their application costs and deadlines, to keep me on track. Second of all, at least one new show I do has to be in Toronto, because I have this irrational fear of doing shows in Toronto. Third of all, one application must be to the One of a Kind Show because it is specific, it has one of the most challenging applications, and I've always been a bit terrified of showing there (partially because they are the only venue that's ever rejected me - that one and only time I applied). I want to note, though, that the goal is not to get in to OOAK because getting in is outside of my control. Instead, the goal is to put together the best application I can - something very much within my control.

#7 Fine-Tune and Expand My Pottery Line

Action plan: I'm going to set aside one morning or evening a week to just doodle and dream up new designs. I'm lumping the actual day-to-day production of pots in with this goal too. And the way I'm going to accomplish that is by purchasing a slab roller, setting studio hours every week and holding to those hours, and imposing structure on myself when I'm working: no internet and phone, frequent breaks, daily to-do lists, and things like podcasts, audiobooks and playlists to keep me working.

#8 Get My Work Into Two New Shops

Action plan: I have specific shops written down and I'm going to make my own "application deadlines" and pencil them into my calendar.

#9 Start Walking Everywhere Again

A few years ago, before I started working at a bakery in Guelph that required me to get up at 3:30am and commute, I did not own a car. I was making ceramic jewellery and selling it full-time and when I needed a car for my business, I borrowed or rented one. And when I needed to get somewhere just for me, I walked. I walked a lot, every day, and I loved it. But once I got the car, I stopped walking everywhere. So this is my action plan: unless I absolutely need the car to get somewhere, I will leave it at home and walk or bike where I need to go instead. On top of this, I must walk downtown and back (or the equivalent) five days a week to write in a café, go to the library, or meet Joe after work.

#10 Find Ways to Get More Energy

Action plan: See goal #9. Also, pay attention to how much time I spend sitting while writing, drawing, reading or making pots and figure out ways to incorporate standing or moving while I do these things. For example, take frequent breaks, buy a mini trampoline for my writing desk, etc. Also, I'm hoping to eradicate processed sugar from my diet, so I'm making a rule of no sugar unless there is a very good reason (for example, I'm at someone's house and they've made dessert and I don't want to refuse their hospitality). And last, go to bed early. I find that when I go to bed early, I get up early, and I'm most productive earlier in the day.

#11 Call My Grandmother Once a Week

My grandmother is important to me and with my grandfather gone, I want to make her a priority in my life. Action plan: Decide on the best day and time to call and pencil that into my weekly to-do list.

Whew. That seems like a lot. Significantly more challenging than last year, which makes it significantly more exciting.

Happy 2015 everyone!

First Sketch of 2015


  1. Found you, other-canadian-kristen. Don't you love how helpful Google is? Love your ceramics!

  2. Thank you, kristen-who-spells-her-name-properly! Google is the best. :)