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Monday Post ~ August 1, 2011

“The most productive artists I know have a plan in mind when they get down to work. They know what they want to accomplish, how to do it, and what to do if the process falls off track. But there’s a fine line between good planning and overplanning. You never want the planning to inhibit the natural evolution of your work.” ~Twyla Tharp


What are your plans for creative practice this week?
 Given the specifics of your schedule, decide on a realistic goal or a milestone to reach for. A goal as simple as “I will be creative for 10 minutes every day” or “I will gesso three canvases” is what it’s all about. Share your goal(s) as a comment to this post, and let us know how things went with your creative plans for last week, if you posted to last week’s Monday Post.

Suggestion: When you’re deciding on your creative intentions, it’s a good idea to think about WHEN you’re going to write those 2,000 words or paint that canvas. Try to schedule the time slots in your calendar (if you keep one), understanding that flexibility may be required. If things don’t happen when you wanted them to, that’s OK. Give yourself a gentle push with one hand, but pat yourself kindly on the shoulder with the other if you don’t reach your goal for a given week. Sometimes it’s easier, sometimes it’s harder. Ride whatever you’ve got.

It’s also useful to have a sense of your minimum requirements (come hell or high water I’m going to write 100 words) while keeping a lookout for sudden opportunities to do more. You know, the day that the baby takes a monster nap or your partner takes the kids out to run errands and you find yourself with an unexpected “extra” half hour. Grab that time for yourself. You can catch up on the dishes and the laundry later. If you keep something creative in the back of your mind for those sudden opportunities, you’ll be more likely to use them to your advantage — rather than squandering your precious bonus moments on Facebook or vacuuming out the sofa cushions.

14 Comments Post a comment
  1. Last week’s work was a mixed bag — some progress, but never got into the “zone.” Guests for the week, my daughter’s bumpy recovery with the wisdom teeth extraction (continues), and more running around than I’d hoped. I also had more client work than anticipated. Net result was only moderate progress on “me” stuff:
    * Assignments for Right-Brain Business Plan e-course [YES]
    * Assignments for WishStudio “This Moment” course [NO — have decided that I *must* limit myself to only one e-course at at time]
    * Coaching [YES]
    * Life Assessment Responses [YES BUT STILL BEHIND]
    * Draft Creative Times newsletter [YES]
    * Journaling [NOT DAILY — really feeling the lack]
    * Finish personal essay [NO]
    * Do art projects with kids [ONE]
    * Project Life update [PARTIAL]

    For this week, my primary goal is to finish my Right-Brain Business Plan (last week of e-course) and create a video to share with my cohorts. Anything beyond that will be gravy. This week’s goals:
    * Assignments for Right-Brain Business Plan e-course [M/T/W/Th]
    * Assignments for WishStudio “This Moment” course [catching up to do here — will wait until the RBBP is finished]
    * Coaching [AD HOC]
    * Life Assessment Responses [W/Th/F]
    * Journaling [DAILY TARGET]
    * Do art project with kids [W]
    * Project Life update [AD HOC]

    August 1, 2011
  2. Last week was not as productive. We’ve been dealing with a master bathroom remodel (not all that intentional!), so that has taken up a chunk of time. Also, my “day job” work has gone nuts and I have been very busy with that.
    So, last week:
    Torch time (Tues/Thurs) {only on Tuesday — too HOT the rest of the week}
    Hang those darn living room paintings! (Wed) {NOPE}
    Sketch/plan a piece of collage/fiber art for my eldest daughter’s room (Fri) {NOPE}
    Blogging (Mon-Wed-Fri) {Only managed to write on 2 blogs on Friday, BUT did get my intro piece to Miranda so she could post it!}

    For this week:

    Torch time – [Tues/Thurs]
    Make jewelry – [T/W/Th/F]
    Blogging – [M/W/F]
    List items in shop – [M/W/F]

    We shall see….

    August 1, 2011
    • Christine, I’m dying to hear more about your unintentional master bathroom remodel!

      Are you listing new items in your shop? I already have my eye on several and am trying to decide which I will order. Don’t make my decision-making process even more complicated! 😉

      August 3, 2011
      • Hi Miranda! I didn’t catch this comment til today!

        I’ll post some in-process pix of the bathroom soonish. It’s a mess. The master bathroom shower leaked into the ceiling of the living room and part of the ceiling fell. Yikes. So we’re (my husband is) ripping it ALL out and replacing everything. Picked out the tile already and will have the plumber and tile setter in soon to finish the job.

        Re: my shop…I’m trying to get it stocked before Christmas shopping season! It’s a tedious process that I’m not good at staying on top of, but it’s a necessary part of things right now. 🙂 I’m curious which pieces you like…

        August 9, 2011
  3. Today I’m just back from a yoga teacher training in Burlington, Vt, and packing to leave for the Berkshires today. Creative plans- visit MassMOCA, do watercolors with the kids, and draw them all. I found a book on Alice Neel drawings in Burlington that reminded me how much I love to draw people. Make a card to thank the owner of the yoga studio who organized the training and who inspired my practice. Keep it simple.

    August 1, 2011
    • Sounds like you’ll be having a fabulous time in the Berkshires, Deborah! Looking forward to hearing more about your week away….was it hard to be away from the kids? Hugely inspiring? A mix of both?

      August 3, 2011
  4. I’m in this REALLY hectic-feeling period where I can’t seem to balance work/mamahood/chores and I don’t get to ANYTHING I mean to. Like, I didn’t even manage to comment on last Monday’s post! Or respond to blog comments! GAH!!!!!

    This week my creative plans are:
    -3 blog posts (Posting on Tues, Wed, Fri)
    -bring creativity to my parenting (I’ve been stuck in a rut and NOT having fun, and Xander isn’t getting what he needs from me)
    -Check one thing off my creative to-do list (I don’t care what it is, I just want to do SOMETHING)

    If I could pick a key word for this week it would be PLAY.
    I know that 2 of those 3 goals aren’t particularly specific, but right now I’m finding that specific plans are stressing the heck out of me. So I’m going to give this a try and see how it goes…

    August 1, 2011
    • Nice, Meg. If you feel that specific goals are interfering with your focus on process (and enjoyment of same) then it’s definitely the right time to chassé over to a different approach. Focusing on “play” rather than enumerating specific goals is still an excellent source of intention, which is all that the Monday Post is meant to provide. Intention, presence, awareness.

      That second item on your list would make for an awesome blog post — will you let us know how it goes?

      August 3, 2011
    • How’s it going, Meg? 😀

      August 24, 2011
  5. last week, i tried to rush, and found out once again that that is not the most effective way for me to write. i got about the same amount of work done that i have been averaging per week for a while now, but with more stress.

    this week: decided to work at home today, doing a ‘once over’ of what i have so far, looking for any glaring repeats and other flaws and to catch me up to where i last left off in the manuscript – leading me to better work tomorrow. grandma took toots to the y this am, so it’s quiet, even with laundry and garden weeding calling. so far, not bad for a couple of hours work – about a quarter into the manuscript in the read through. i am just going to plug away as much as i can without trying so hard for the rest of the week, then it’s time to retrieve the boys and go camping again!

    August 1, 2011
    • readthrough, swimmingly good! i fixed a couple of continuity issues, etc, but mostly i found the manuscript to be much tighter now so far. i was going to hit the ground running toward the next chapter edits today, but i got sidelined with some concerning personal news today, so instead, i cleaned and cleaned. i couldn’t really sit still and concentrate. hopefully by tonight, i can calm down and do some edits after 9pm. but most of today was awash in stress and questions. thanks for listening! road of good intentions, you know….

      August 2, 2011
      • Yay, Cathy! And if you’re still not ready to concentrate, try not to stress over it. The fallow times are crucially important. Stuff is percolating in the background while you’re cleaning — and will only strengthen your ultimate return to the ms. Right?

        August 3, 2011
  6. yes, that is very true, miranda, something that i usually am good about recognizing – until i get myself into a tizzy! lol!

    August 3, 2011

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