We are all in our own way battling fears and self doubts, about decisions made, life choices, jobs, creative endeavours, pretty much everything. Yes there are those lucky few who sail through life never second guessing anything they say or do, who have unswerving self-confidence regardless of any reasons pro or against – well good for them. But for the rest of us mere mortals, especially those of us who are pursuing a creative career, writers, illustrators, actors, singers etc., crippling self-doubt kind of comes with the territory. 😦
The fact that you have chosen an entirely subjective career path which by the nature of it, is open to a great deal of criticism, speculation and even ridicule, hardly helps. Neither does the fact that most creative people tend to be very sensitive – almost a precursor to being a writer, poet or artist of any kind.
So, apart from navigating the choppy waters of crippling self-doubt and external criticism, sometimes, just sometimes you have to man (or woman) up and face your fears.
For me, some of that is allowing myself to be bold enough to actually set goals for myself. To say that this year I am going to achieve ___________.
Setting goals is a scary business, it’s laying your cards face up on a table and saying to the world – this is what I’m going to do and risk that ridicule and criticism if you don’t manage it.
But, as a brilliant writer friend of mine has said, someone who has ambitions and rightly so (watch this space people), what’s holding you back? Face those fears, fly your flag, pin your colours to the main brace and declare “I am here, and here is what I am going to do! I WILL achieve this!”
So, I am risking the embarrassment of setting out my goals for this year – there is no try, there is only do or do not: 😀
- Completely finish writing and edit Darkling Rise (the very long awaited sequel to White Mountain that has taken me FAR too long to write!).
- Lose a minimum of two stone (hopefully three) for long-term health benefits and a major life commitment I have made to myself (before I’m too old for it to work) – I’ll be less cryptic when I’m nearer to achieving this goal.
- Continue writing short stories and my dark novel, Ravenwing (hopefully to a first draft stage).
- Continue building my illustration business. So far I haven’t had to advertise as people have been approaching me, but I need to step up my game and get more commissions going and widen my reputation.*
- Build a stronger online presence, as my mate calls it, sort out my ‘brand’, which will help grow followers, fans and help sales as well as getting more reviews and make me more visible to potential opportunities. Yes we’d all love the Game of Thrones success of George R. Martin (though I’ve never fancied the fame bit) but at the end of the day, most of us just want to be able to write and create full-time and make a living from it (enough to pay the bills at least).
- Finish my picture book ‘The Little Girl Who Lost Her Smile’ (the story is written but I need to finish drawing and painting all 24 illustrations – I had no idea just how much work is involved in making a picture book!).
- Bite the bullet and try subbing to agents, both for my picture book and Ravenwing (once it’s finished) and stop being afraid of success or trying to be successful!!!!
- Continue the daily Artmaniac Challenge, creating new art EVERY DAY for a whole year!**
- Pay more attention to my lovely little blog (yes, you guys) and blog more often – Sorry!
So there you go, 9 goals for the year. Will I achieve them all? Only time will tell, but I’m going to try my bloody hardest.
Face your fears…
So, what are YOU going to achieve this year?
* Yes, I have some exciting news to share to do with HarperCollins. I have signed a contract with them and will fill you all in very soon! 😀
** The reason for my doing portraits at the moment for the Artmaniac Challenge, is due to the wonderful inspiration that is the Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year (and yes, I am thinking about doing it next year!) 😀 xxx