Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Realize: The Journal

Plant It Now: My Calendar for Realizing

Okay, I'm working something out with these things.

I realized that after I made the commitment to do art every day, I didn't even take out my paints.

Maybe this word of my year, "Realize" has more to it than I thought. Perhaps I also need to Realize where I am right now and what I am doing-- or not doing, as the case may be-- to make my dreams come true.

So when I realized I wasn't painting, and I realized that I didn't really have time, with the kids, to take out all my paints and focus down. And when I realized that I've kind of lost my old habits and my old places to paint, and it makes it very hard to get in there and make messes. And when I realized that if I didn't make some positive actions to DO what I said I was going to DO, then I simply wasn't going to do them. And all those minutes/hours/days/weeks/months would pass by and I simply wouldn't reach my goals.

So, sitting in the computer/laundry/play room with my kids, I took out a piece of computer paper and the pens I had in my bag (which happened to be my makeup bag full of pens and pencils, there's a reason I keep this stuff portable) and I started drawing.

What I was drawing turned into a calendar, as I realized that I was feeling lost, confused, overwhelmed and disorganized. What I needed for myself was a plan.

What I needed for myself was to start. Even if what I started wasn't what I wanted it to look like at the end.

We make the road by walking (Antonio Machado?) Begin: My Calendar for Realizing

Sometimes when I am confused about my goals and how to get there, or if I am clear about my goals, but don't know what I need to do next in pursuit of them, I start my planning. I love lists. I love calendars. I love graphs and charts. I love seeing the steps to take. I love logs that mark the steps I have already taken.

I am a person who spends far too much time in my head. Dreaming up wishes and hopes and things I'd love to do, and someone who allows real life to get in the way of those dreams.

But I have learned over time that the way to transform that dreamer, that procrastinating, frightened dreamer into someone who can actually achieve those pie in the sky dreams, is to break those big dreams down into small steps. So here I am trying to do that in my calendar. Using my calendar to fulfill my draw everyday goal, and also to give me what I need in reaching my big goal

Hopefully, as I go on, I will see the next thing that needs to be marked down in my project, the next question that comes up, the next task that needs to be tackled, and I will find the inspiring quote to fit that need, and I will draw the pretty picture that gets my brain moving, and then I will have myself a goal tackling, dream actualizing, concrete task setting journal to keep me moving on my path.

Nurture (still no quote): My Realizing Calendar

Oh, I know there are many who write artists off as disorganized dreamers who don't have a handle on reality. Hippies who want everything to be about peace and love and magic. People without much ambition or drive, who just want to play about all day. Eternal children who aren't willing to sacrifice, or do what they must do.

All I know is that as an artist and writer, I work virtually all the time I am not sleeping. Or physically caring for my kids. I have big goals that seem almost impossible sometimes, but which I work on, and have been working on for two and a half decades.

I'm willing to pay the hard price. To sacrifice what I must to the things that are important. I may value different things than some more conventional folks, but I have the drive and the work ethic. I am very serious about my goals, often far too serious.

What I need to work on, and what I've made this year about is connecting the dreams with the reality. Researching and planning and taking the steps that I need to.

As my creative self, I need to see these plans, organize my head on paper. Write it out. Have documents. And, not coincidentally, make it pretty.

Perhaps I'll use what I need to do for realizing my goals as a kind of creative exercise, a kind of demystifying the process of goal setting and actualizing. Perhaps it will enlighten others. Perhaps someday I'll have a fine tuned version of my personal Realizing Journal and sell them in my shop. Who knows?

When you think creatively, anything can be an opportunity.

And perhaps, some day soon, I will start writing in my handy dandy goal realizing calendar, rather than just drawing nice charts for it.


Genie Sea said...

What a prolific array of realizations! It seems to me you are paving the way, setting the stage, laying out your tools, for realization and success.

Love the calendar :)

Beverley Baird said...

What a beautiful calendar for dreams!
Here's to realizing all you dream!

khairun said...

This is just the kind of thing I need to read right now. A push in the right direction for me. I've got my baby babbling and cooing in the background as I write this. Before I would have felt selfish for sitting at the computer and writing, or painting. But I think he's my biggest source of support. He would want this for me.

EVA said...

Hi Warrior Girl!

I am thoroughly enjoying your art, your thoughts and your cool new toys!

If you're interested, here's a quote for "nurture" that I like: "The time to nurture an idea is at the time of its birth. Every minute it lives gives it a better chance of living and surviving." Napoleon Hill

(He may have used "nurse" rather than "nurture" but nurture is a much more modern word in that context.)

Looking forward to following your progress as you realize!

Lynn said...

Your calendar pages are beautiful! and it's such a good idea. I hope you are able to achieve all your realizations

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