Monday, December 29, 2008

Manifesting the Dream, Baby

Mommy Octopus

Just some dreaming going on about what I'd like to create in the next year.

She's got her baby, there, not as if she can just forget the babies, you know. And she's got her food-- that's the caretaking portion of life, not just feeding the kids, but herself. She also has her paintbrush, because she's got creative needs, too. And then there's the laptop... for the writing that she loves. Don't forget the love... that goes for all kinds of love, romantic, familial, platonic. The giving and the relationships. Did you notice I skipped that hand full of money? I was just saving it for last, because it is the portion of life that I have usually ignored. I've often felt that my art or writing was not worth money. It was just something I loved to do, not something I could turn into a career. Whenever money connected with art or writing, I got scared and ran back to my private journals, where I could sketch and write poetry and stories without any danger of being evaluated and told I was NOT WORTH IT.

This year, I am worth it, and so is my work.

My portfolio project is slowly taking shape.

I am creating a kind of curriculum for myself, although it is still in rough format.

I've decided to share my process and my planning with you, so I can be held accountable for my work, but also so you can benefit in the work I have already done. If some of these plans work for you? Take them. Adapt them to your needs.

(This is the overarching idea of my project, a state that I am living into while I create.)

(What I want to have accomplished by the end of the 12 weeks)
To create a professional portfolio as an artist and writer with the aim of sharing my vision with the world and receiving compensation for my work.

(This is the meat of the project. What I want it to look like.)
1. Finished, presentable draft of Mythos. @ 300 pages.
2. 24 finished and saleable paintings (not journal pages!)
3. Fine tuned synopsis of Mythos
4. Polished First chapters of Mythos ready to be sent to agents/publishers
5. Etsy store up and running and making money.
extra credit 6. Website
extra credit 7. Workshop

(These are the things I need to address internally as I tackle this project, the questions I have about myself and my work, fears, mantras, etc)
How do I move forward in the face of decades of feeling unworthy of $$?
How do I push myself without burning out?
How do I remember to relax and take care of myself?
How do I put myself out there and ask for help?
mantra: I am enough

(These are the questions I already have about how to accomplish the project. Things I need to research or learn along the way.)
How do I set up a website? How much $$?
How do I find an agent/publisher?
How do I market my work on Etsy?
How do I make my novel the best it can be?
How do I balance writing/art with business (and kids)?
What should a writing portfolio really look like?
How big of a project can this be given my limited time to work on it?
Who do I ask to be a critical reader of my novel.

(these are the tools I will need over the course of the 12 weeks)
Blog community
Casio Exilim Digital Camera
epson photo printer
babysitting (mom and stepdad, brother?)
naptime/early bed time
Sesame Street/movies
Golden Acrylic Paints
6 6x6 small canvasses
pad 7x10 watercolor paper

More Acrylic paints
More Pitt artist pens
More paper and canvases
More ink/paper for printer
more babysitting (ask!)
one day a week with no childcare duties
Packaging Materials
Moo cards and/or business cards
postal scale
paper cutter

(Who I will be held accountable to in order to reach goals. Who's waiting for my product?)
Blogging community
43Things community
Critical Readers
Etsy Customers

Boy. That's a lot of work. And there's more. After I looked at what I wanted to have accomplished, I started to break it down into what I would have done every 4 weeks, and then what I would have done every week. I'm only half through with that, but I'm also thinking about a daily/weekly schedule, so I can manage all my various responsibilities and not get crazy.

And you know what else I need? I want to have a goals list for the whole year, so I can make sure my overarching goals do not conflict with the goals of the project. I do not think they do, but I like to think ahead and see how things all fit together.


Super Nova said...

I LOVE your idea of accountability. Yesterday I took time to write out my "games" and then for each one, choose at least two to three people who will be my support group, who know what I am doing and can help me keep on my path. I think that's such an important element I USUALLY leave out because I think I can do it all on my own! But no, we need each other.

Let me know how I can help!! I am proud and inspired by you, my friend.

Anonymous said...

That is frightening and inspiring. No wonder I haven't made my own list. But we're cheering for you.

debra said...

you never cease to amaze me (have i said that before?) may your 2009 be beautiful and fulfilling. i've no doubt you will do great things.

Andy said...

This is really great - good luck to you - these things are totally achievable! Best, Andy

Anonymous said...

JOB WELL DONE! It seem overwhelming but you have done such a good job of breaking everything down I've no doubt you'll succeed.

And just remember:

You are worth it!

Emme said...

That looks awesome Rowena! (and thanks for the comment on my blog too!) I'm still mired in the thoughts of meshing my family and my creative desires... answer= BABYSITTING!I needed to see that on your list, and I need to put that on my list too. We deserve the time, don't we?

Karen Mowrey said...

more later...but just wanted to let you know I linked you up on this post!

Squirrel said...

I am still stuck on the painting before I study the list with great obsessive-compulsive care, as a fellow listmaker. Your picture reminds me of Shiva, the Hindu god with many hands, considered both the terrifying destroyer as well as the auspicious transformer and "the one who wears read." Shiva has a third eye on his forehead which made me think of mothers always telling their kids "I have eyes in the back of my head." Shiva meditates or dances or does both. Interesting analogies to Octopus Mom.

Squirrel said...

This is an amazing and achievable about a year. (I give advice without following it myself and always overcommit, ending up feeling like a failure.) So, I've learned this: focus on what you've done, not what you have left to do. Like AA, take one day at a time, even within your 12 week (steps). It will take as long as it needs to take and don't beat up on yourself if it takes longer. THAT is how not to burn out. You clearly have such amazing gifts, but as you know, art can't be rushed. Unlike a school curriculum, there is no artificial deadline. This list is a work of art in itself, I know you can do it, but knowing myself -- and this may not apply to you -- if I don't reach my own deadlines, I start not taking myself seriously again. Hope this comment wasn't too bossy. It's meant with affection.

Rowena said...

Thank you all for your kind words and best thoughts.

Squirrel, I was thinking a little of Shiva when I drew Octopus Mom, although I did not know all those things... or maybe I did. And I don't take your comments as bossy. It is very important that we don't expect unrealistic things from ourselves, especially when we are being audacious in our goals.

I have been very careful to take things off the list or make them extra credit. I have reduced the amount of expected finished paintings (not 84, not 60, just two a week.) I have made sure to maintain a doable wordcount for my novel. Expecting myself to do about 3 and a half pages a day, well within my ability with only an hour of writing a day. Okay, well, I wanted the book done 2/3rds of the way through, but that's still only 5 pages a day, which I've done before. I will accept it being done at the end of the 12 weeks. I'm leaving my weekly schedule kind of loose, especially near the end of the project and I discover things that need to be done.

But I will remember to keep my expectations realistic and not beat up on myself if I don't meet them. I'm in this for the long haul. Don't wanna burn out.

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