For the past few years, I’ve followed Chris Brogan’s advice and chosen three guiding words to serve as my theme for the year, as an accompaniment to my more in-depth annual review process. “Share” was one of my theme words in the past that I found particularly useful to me.
For 2018, my guiding words are:
Each year I complete a personal annual review, but this year I’m adapting it into a format to accompany my monthly reviews and sharing it with you.
I’d like 2018 to be a year of visible accomplishments. To me, that means finishing things: completing my novel revision, writing the remainder of this year’s NaNoWriMo project, and catching up on home improvement projects. In other aspects of my life, I’d like to have visible progress to point to, something I can show (or count) that I’ve accomplished some things I’d like to. The three words I’ve chosen to guide me this year are enough, practice, and finish.
My creative focus for this year was revising my work-in-progress novel, The Second Rebellion. I felt a little burnout and decided to inject a little play into my work by participating in Inktober and writing a fun retelling of Beauty and the Beast during NaNoWriMo.
See my comprehensive creative annual review, covering both my writing and illustration.
December is a reflective month for me, between doing a personal annual review and a creative annual review. It’s also a month of recovery, after the intensity of November’s NaNoWriMo challenge.
Last month’s review.
Creatively Productive — doing pretty well
- After years of putting it off, I finally created a Society6 shop and uploaded six designs! One thing I get to cross off the creative bucket list ;) Five were adapted from previous work, and I created one new illustration.
- I re-read the draft of my Beauty and the Beast retelling that I wrote during NaNoWriMo. It’s worth finishing, phew! And I think the scene cards are working — I didn’t find any scenes that obviously needed to be removed.
- I started re-reading the draft of my work-in-progress novel. I spent a lot of time over the spring reworking the first quarter, and I think that work paid off.
- I did two outlining sessions and one actual writing session, where I wrote 2800 words over 5 pomodoros :)
- I completed a creative annual review for my writing and graphic design productivity, work and practice. I evaluated how I did in 2017, and set goals for 2018.
Creative Work I want to Accomplish In January
- Finish re-reading WIP novel draft
- Write more of Beauty and the Beast first draft
- Write scenes I’ve already created scene cards for
- Prepare additional scene cards, and finish preparing the ones I’ve started
- Goal = finish writing Act 2
process goals for Creative Work In January
I’m going to try following the creative process goals outlined in my 2017 creative annual review:
- Complete 7 Pomodoros a week
- Continue attending group writing sessions, and re-start solo writing sessions
- Draw one day a week
Each year, I complete a creative annual review to assess what I accomplished, evaluate the techniques and tools that I used, and think ahead to the next year’s creative goals. My creative review process focuses on my writing and graphic design / illustration, with an emphasis on the creative work I do outside of my day job.
My Creative Productivity in 2017
What creative work I Made in 2017
Illustration for short story “Amber: Liquid, Whispering”
My 2017 Productivity by the Numbers (from RescueTime)
- 277 hours writing
- 61 hours during NaNoWriMo
- 24 hours of hard-copy edits
- 12 hours of hard-copy outlining
- 52 hours design + drawing + photoshop
- 1.25 hours / day on creative work
- Goal was 1.5 hours / day (or 10.5 hours / week) — met goal 115 times
November is always a wild month for me, because for the last seven years I’ve participated in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). I found Chris Baily’s thoughts on “tilting” this month apropos — purposefully choosing to over-commit to one aspect of your life for a short time to complete a project.
Last month’s review.
Creatively Productive — doing great
I “won” NaNoWriMo on November 24, and met my goal of 60k for the month.
- Number of words written: 60,441
- Active writing time: 61 hours
- Time at writing sessions: 94 hours 30 minutes
- Number of writing sessions (public and by myself): 50
- Number of write-ins attended (official and informal): 18
- Number of Pomodoro writing sessions: 41