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Looking Back on the 12 Months of 2011

Today I’ve been thinking a lot about what this project has meant to me and how it has helped me to grow. In January of 2011, I was really a pretty wimpy creative person… I didn’t believe in myself. I didn’t believe any of my ideas were any good or that anyone else would think they were. I had VERY little confidence in myself as a creative person (which really sucks, considering I’m a graphic designer for a living!! Yikes). I would doubt myself and over-think things to the point of talking myself out of even trying to do them.

These monthly projects have really helped to change a lot of that for me. I feel confident now. I know I am a creative person who has valid ideas to share – who deserves to share them. I doubt myself less and I try not to over-think things or judge my ideas as “good” or “bad” (and hopefully catch myself quickly when I do). I find myself leaping into action when something first excites me now. It’s been nice learning how to not get in my own way. Ha!

“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” (Maya Angelou)

I love this quote because it is so very true! I have really noticed it this year and it has surprised me. I always used to think that when you did a creative project it left you sort of drained for a while until you recharged. Instead of feeling depleted at the end of each month though, it’s more like each of these projects has added fuel to a creative fire in me. I feel like I am noticing opportunities to be creative in places that I never did before. I suppose it is just like anything else in life – the more you practice it the better conditioned you are and the more easily you can do it. Funny, I thought for a long time that creativity was something you either had or didn’t have – a talent. Sure, some are more talented artists than others, but all of us have our own creative talents that are unique just to us. That’s really kinda beautiful to see.

“You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment.” (Henry David Thoreau)

This is one of my favorite quotes and it’s one that I’ve connected with a lot in 2011. I’ve been learning to let go and trust things more in all areas of my life. I think it has helped me to have these projects – because you aren’t really looking past a year, or even a month really. You are so intently focused on that month or that day and the project at hand. It’s been so rewarding to get lost in the process of creating things – without worrying “Will I make a good grade?”, “Will the client like it?”, or “Will I win an award or get more business because of this?” I mean what a HUGE release it has been to put aside all of those practical things and just say “Yes! I’m going to put my head in the clouds and be ridiculous, thank you! I will spend hundreds of dollars on supplies and make tons of things that will probably go no where at all! Because I want to and that’s the only reason I need!” Ahhh – even just writing that is refreshing!

The Show Must Go On!

This project has really become a part of my life this year – a big part. It’s sort of my child… and I can’t very well just give up a child! And so, I will continue on in 2012 with a whole new adventure. Instead of a wide variety of projects and themes, I am feeling like narrowing my focus this year. I am toying with the idea of sticking to a particular subject for the entire year… certainly a whole different sort of challenge than what I have ever done before. I’m sure it will be difficult but also get me thinking in new ways.

My Dearest Thanks To You All!

I just want to thank each and every person who has supported me throughout this past year. Without your help, advice, and cheering me on some months would have been pretty tough. Just knowing that there was someone out there reading this really helped to keep me serious and hold me accountable to finishing my goals (even if some of them were a few days late! Hey, no one is perfect). All my thanks to you, and I hope that I can be of support to you in your creative endeavors as well.

Goodnight Dear Friends!

3 Comments Post a comment
  1. You’ve inspired me to be more scheduled in my goals for 2012, make sure I make things happen. I’m like you were, I doubt myself creatively. I also just tend to wait around for the perfect time to come along when I can spontaneously go out and do something on my list. I would get a lot more created, a lot more adventures in, if I just planned ahead! I moved to England last September, and so far I’ve been to one castle, went to Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park in London, and cycled along the river Medway. Not much! I’m going to use your style to get out more this year! My list is long, and time is passing me by. Thanks for sharing your adventure, and inspiring me to start my own. :)

    Sunday, January 29, 2012
    • Hi there! I’m very glad it has inspired you – my hope for putting this out there on a blog was that it might do just that. It’s a great and simple framework that really seems to work great no matter what sort of thing you use it for! Looking forward to hearing of your adventures on your blog – its going to be fabulous!

      Monday, January 30, 2012
  2. Reblogged this on ukashe and commented:
    I’ve realized that I need a plan like this one if I think I’m going to accomplish all of the things on my European to-do list. Thanks to Sarah, I’ve seen how much more I can do if I set goals for myself throughout the year, rather than waiting for the perfect time to present itself 1-by-1. I am going to modify her project to fit my list, 1 adventure and 1 creative project per month in 2012. Since it’s already the evening of January 29th, I will give myself an extension, and complete 2 of each by the end of February. Wish me luck!

    Sunday, January 29, 2012

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