It's possible I need to write here more often about what's going on in my creative life.  I have so many things going through my head, I'm not sure where to start!  Today is the kickoff of Round 1 of ROW80, but I am not feeling like that's the right place to begin.  I guess I'll get to that in a minute.

First, I'd like to introduce you to my new little friend:

Art Fairy
Art Fairy--watercolor crayon, colored pencil, marker

As I mentioned in my New Year's Day post, I want to spend regular, focused time on visual arts this year, especially drawing and painting.  It's something I am pulled to constantly, but I never give it real time and attention, so I often find myself wanting to create a painting or drawing for a post or a class, and I don't have the comfort level and technical know-how to do it.  To remedy that, I've made a list of classes and books I want to take.  The big one is Life Book 2013, which I signed up for last week.  I'm very excited but also feeling kind of anxious and in over my head.  I don't know if I can do these lessons.  I am definitely out of my comfort zone, and this is a really good thing even if it isn't comfortable.  To help myself get a little more comfortable, I decided to do a mini version of the first lesson--this little darling up above is the result.  She's a sweet, colorful little art fairy (Artist Trading Card size) which will be sitting on my desk here at work to remind me that I can do this and that it will get easier and I will get better the more I create.

I didn't even jump right into this little art fairy card.  Last night I spent some time watching TV and doodling a bunch of mini art fairies in my newly-begun little sketchbook.  I made a couple that I thought were quite cute, a few that were all right, and one or two that I really didn't care for much.  But the warming up, practicing first just in pencil and then in a small size, has led me to feel ready to do my bigger art fairy.  I can hardly wait to head home and play!

And now, finally, is the part where this connects to writing or anything else you want to get good at and do regularly:  Practice is essential.  It lets you experiment, play with words or paint or clay or whatever, without feeling the pressure of possibly "messing up" the "real thing."  (I use quotes there because there is no messing up, and it's all real, but these are pretty common perceptions and good to work with and use to our advantage.)  Practice and doing small bits of something pave the way for creating the bigger, deeper, richer works we dream of.  So build in some room to practice.  (Here's a wonderful anecdote about practice from Dragon Writing Prompts--we could all learn a lesson from this: An Art Teacher Ran an Experiment.)

So, as an overall goal for the year--PRACTICE.  Practice often on anything I want to get good at.  But now on to more specific things.

ROW80 Round 1 Goals

  • Finish Division Zero story synopses (by January 20)
  • Finish at least three Division Zero stories (completed first drafts)
  • Write fiction (this can be DZ stories or exercises from prompts) at least three days a week (M,W, Th)
  • Work on coaching/business plans & research at least one day a week (Fridays)
  • Exercise at least three days a week
  • Go someplace new at least once a month (new restaurant, shop, town, etc.)
  • Go on one photo walk at some point this round

I am so excited to be diving back in to ROW80!  I can't wait to see what we do this year.  See you Wednesday!