What does our big planet spinning in the same place that it did 365.25 days ago have to do with self-improvement?
Well, nothing, of course. But I’m a big believer in goals and progress and productivity, and January 1st seems to be as good a place to start as any. Actually, I’ve been wanting to jump-start my creative stuff into a monthly project-oriented structure anyhow, as projects with a defined beginning and end, so I’ve set up a few goals.
1) Finish the second novel in the “Sum of” series. My soft deadline is actually May 1st, which will be the 2 year anniversary of the completion of the first book. And, reaching far into the future: conclusion of the series in Christmas of 2009. That second part might be kriz-azy, but finishing the 2nd by May isn’t out of the question. I’m about 20% of the way through it, and we’re just about to get into the fun, juicy bits, so writing will become more fun even as it becomes more challenging.
2) Design a font. I’m a graphic designer by trade, and although I really do enjoy my day job, I’d like to inject my designing life with some… well, life. I crave some adventure, some funkiness. I think the first step of that will be exploring some of design’s roots. Since type is such an important part of it, let’s start there. After seeing the Helvetica documentary and realizing that there really are humans designing those beautiful, wonderful tools I reach in my design pocket for on a daily basis, I think I should give it a shot. I am fully aware that the results won’t be Frutiger, but it will be a learning experience to cherish and I will get some real love for letterforms again.
3) Hop the pond. Josh and I didn’t take a honeymoon after getting married because we didn’t want to go into ridiculous debt to do it; but saving up for a trip is a different animal. I’ve been to Paris once before and loved it. It’s home of the Louvre and Art Nouveau, after all (c’est magnifique!). A couple of years ago, we picked up The Da Vinci Code on CD for an overnight emergency trip to Chicago, and Josh has been as equally enamored with the city ever since. It means passports and brushing up my poor francais (c’est tres mal!), but it will be an adventure to remember.
4) Fix the freakin’ dishwasher. This is not creative, but I’m tired of washing dishes when there is a perfectly good, if currently inoperable, machine inches away.
5) Read one young adult fantasy novel a month. Classically, I have a hard time reading while I’m writing, but I think the benefits of reading more in the genre I’m trying to get published in are too important to ignore any longer. That fact goes without saying, really, and now it’s time to really implement. Plus, I have a library card now, and I intend to milk it for all it’s worth. If I pick up a new book every time I return one, I should blow past twelve books, but let’s start small — I can always devour more later.
6) Finish Marley. I began a large-scale art piece for a character from The Sum of David almost three years ago. It’s digital, so it’ll cost some money to get it printed, but it’s time to close this project out.
7) Shadow Skull. This is an art project I’ve planned since I started the aforementioned Marley. It’s a good idea and right up my alley, style-wise, I just need to do it.
Send out 15 query letters. Or, rather, go until I am able to get representation for The Sum of David. 15 is a nice high number that should keep me sending them out.
9) Make some more hats. Mr. Baconpants is opening an independent store online in 2008 and I’ve got plans for making stuff. I like screenprinting a lot, and wouldn’t mind doing some more hats to sell to the public. Besides, it give me an excuse to do little vector drawings… and I heart Adobe Illustrator.
10) Make this site something worth looking at. Because let’s face it, she is not the prettiest girl on the bus right now. She’s not a three-eyed, multi-tentacled demon with fangs, but still: makeover! I need to get more of a handle on this web stuff anyhow - for instance, I have no idea why Goal Number Eight is a happy face wearing sunglasses. I should probably know why that is.
So there’s ten of them. I’m sure more will be added as the year progresses, but we’ll start here for now. Onward!