Saturday, January 6, 2018

New Year's Goal: Creative Joy

Happy new year, everyone!

I've made my main goal for 2018, and I think I'm going to have a lot of fun with it. For that is the goal right there: fun! Or to be more specific, creative joy.

As goals have to be measurable and quantifiable, so I can know whether or not I've achieved them, and also because it's just so much, yes, FUN to have tangible evidence of progress, I've formulated the creative-joy goal in this way: every month I am committed to finding ten hours (give or take) of creative joy, with a year's end total of 120 hours - with one extra hour thrown in, so that I can have a rhyming slogan (borrowing from a South Pacific tune): "121 hours of fun."

I'm still trying to determine exactly how much fun I have to provide for myself in any given hour of creative endeavor for it to count toward my goal, but my tentative thought is that I have to make at least some special effort - it won't be enough just to do my ordinary scribbling while lying on my ordinary couch, or ordinary tapping away at my ordinary computer. Some things that would count: writing with friends, writing at cozy cafes, or art museums, or on park benches, or mountain retreats - and DEFINITELY writing in Paris!

Writing at home can count, too, if I enhance the experience in some way: if I drink tea from a teapot (I have so many pretty ones I never use), or burn a scented candle, or eat a Pepperidge Farm apple turnover, or put a shot of Amaretto in my Swiss Miss hot chocolate - or even, maybe, just a big enough dollop of Cool Whip on top.

I had my first two hours of creative joy yesterday, when my writer friend Kate Simpson and I went together to the BookBar on Tennyson Street in Denver, a charming indie book store with a cafe with an appealing menu of munchables. Kate and I claimed a comfy couch and ordered our treats, all with literary names (I had the Melville Melt). And then we sat there and wrote, and chatted about writing, and shared dreams about writing.
So: two hours of creative fun completed, with eight more to go this month. I might go make myself a pot of tea right now and light my vanilla-scented candle (if only I had a Pepperidge Farm apple turnover to pop into the oven, too. . . .) And then I'll look at my editor's revision notes on my forthcoming chapter book and figure out how to respond to them.

With joy.

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