First things first. If you haven’t been listening to the Make Do Podcast, you should go fix that. It’s a fantastic, positive look at creativity and the feelings and processes around that, and it has become one of my favorite podcasts to listen to.
Make Do’s year-end episode rounded up their year, and talked a lot about the ladies’ creative goals for the new year. As I listened in the car with my wife, we got to talking about what our creative goals might be. I’ve spent a few more days chewing on the topic, and I think I’ve narrowed it down to four main goals for myself. These aren’t necessarily resolutions or overarching themes for the year, just things that I want to work towards over the course of 2019.
1) Be more consistent when blogging
I think that every single blogger has gone through this, and I’m no different. I really enjoy writing, and I need to be more considered in making time to get publishable writing done. I do plenty of journaling and writing for work, but I love the feeling of hitting publish on a new post. I need to do that more, and more consistently.
2) Work on sketching
I’ve always been jealous of people who seem to effortlessly sit down and sketch something out. In John Muir’s ”Travels in Alaska”, he often talks about sketching out mountains, glaciers, and waterways, and that idea really got to me this year. I want to be able to convey a version of what I see on paper, and not just through words. Sketching isn’t one of those things that comes naturally to me, so it’s just going to take time and practice.
3) Improve my photography skills
If I’m charitable, I’d say my photography ability is passable. I won’t blame the fact that I’m working on an iPhone as a handicap (look at what Austin Mann does year after year on phones), I just need to get more confident and improve bits of my process to get better pictures. And that’s not just blogging related, although that’s part of it. I’ve also got a kid that’s up and running now, so I need to get better at catching shots on the move and editing them just to add that little...something.
4) Learn my bass scales
For some reason, playing bass has gotten largely mechanical for me over the past few years. I still play at our church least once a month, sometimes more, and I’m more than comfortable for the level that I need to be for those sets. But a few months ago, I asked one of our guitarists what it would take to push my playing to the next level, and he responded with “do you know your scales?” I need to not just be comfortable reading through chord charts and bass tabs, but also with how the notes on the fretboard really work with each other.
So, why publish this? Partially for accountability. I’m not looking for anyone reading this to necessarily call me out if you don’t see me sketching things or something, but simply having this out in the world helps push me just a little more, and sometimes that’s all you need.
The other reason is that getting this written out helps to solidify my thoughts in my head a bit. Four bullet points on a Hobonichi page is all well and good, but 600 words typed out for clarity for a reader really makes me crystallize a point. So that’s what I’ll be working on over the year. We’ll see where I succeed or where I fail, but at least I’ve got a starting point down on paper somewhere.