Happy new year! Now, let's get on with it.
The brains of the outfit, Wifey, came up with a splendid idea towards the end of 2013 for encouraging new activities this year. Cheerfully summarised with the hashtag #10in2014, it's a series of 10 self-imposed challenges to meet over the course of the year. To my eyes it's a more practical and specific way of satisfying that need for self-renewal and encouragement that's best grasped at the start of the year. There's a general sneering that seems to surround the drive towards making new year resolutions, but (at the risk of invoking Alain De Botton in damn near every post I write) this piece by the man himself nails it nicely:
Why resolve things at New Year? Why tell people? Precisely for the same reason that we tend to go in for public marriage: because it can be useful to back up our own resolve with the pressure that stems from the expectation of others. It is often not bad enough to let ourselves down, so in addition, we need the fear of letting lots of people down to keep us on track. By being declared in public, a resolution gains confirmation and amplification. We can use the energy that surrounds the birth of a new year to lend our own inner change some impetus.
SO! What are my own challenges to try and complete before 23:59 on 31/12/14? The majority are related to artwork, in recognition of my a) enjoyment of drawing and b) usual laziness at actually doing any without paying money to be stuck in a room for three hours with no other distractions. But there's a bit more there as well.
- Draw/paint 10 self-portraits.
- Draw/paint 10 real landscapes.
- Draw/paint 10 imaginary landscapes.
- Write 10 short stories.
- Paint 10 pictures of animals.
- Draw 10 different storyboard sequences for imaginary films.
- Draw/paint 10 illustrations for existing books.
- Draw/paint copies of artwork by 10 different artists you admire.
- Read 10 books of over 100 pages - 5 non-fiction, 5 fiction.
- Write 10 blog posts of 500+ words that aren't about artwork.
There we go. It's not going to be easy, with spare time in my life still very much at a premium, but then I look back on how much time I spent on Twitter at home in the evenings last year when I could have been creating something instead. I do have some time, I've just given myself too many excuses in the past, moping over the excellence of other people's work rather than taking the altogether more risky step of making my own. Well, Twitterbot was deleted from the Spod earlier this morning to remove that temptation until I've got the self-control to not refresh the feed every few minutes (and yes, I'm missing it already).
I've no doubt Wifey will do a cracking job of keeping me on track to meet these challenges, and I hers. Fancy joining us? Chirp up in the comments below if you are, then get cracking.