February 16th, 2012
Below is the latest contribution from STAR Company’s Sue Merakian to her blog exploring how to manage a creative life…..
To my mind, winter is just about the worst time to start a new year. How about May 1st, when everything is fresh hope and renewal? Or my personal favourite, September 1st – when the cool air and bright colours of autumn return, that’s when I’m really firing on all cylinders!
But after December’s revelries, with tummy well-stuffed and the days short and cold, I so wish the dark months of January and February could be allocated to human hibernation. I’m jealous of the toads sleeping in their ice-crystal lairs, the moles piled up warm and safe in their wee cubbies, and the bears snug in their dens, oblivious to the wind howling outside.
So barring a four month-long nap, I’ve been thinking about how to make the best of winter. Is there anything about this time of year that might actually be a boon to creativity? Well, for one thing it’s quieter at this time of year. Most of my family and friends have had enough socializing for a bit and are more than happy to cocoon this period, giving everyone a little more time and space for their muses. From an inspirational standpoint, winter with it’s high-contrast, monochromatic palette is reflected as a cleaner, more graphic edge in my creative endeavors. And finally, I’ve discovered that the winter is a great time for Planning. At this time of year, it’s kind of hard to avoid thinking about the successes and failures of the previous year, or ways to improve in the coming year.
In my last post, I mentioned that applying business skills to my creativity is fairly counter-intuitive for me. But even I can see a big crossover opportunity when it comes to planning. Years ago, I learned the S.M.A.R.T. method of setting business objectives: an effective goal statement is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-phased. Using this standard to define my creative objectives is helping me to not only clearly identify what I want to achieve, but to pinpoint and schedule the resources I’ll need to reach those targets.
Most importantly, good planning frees me from worrying about yesterdays and tomorrows, and lets me focus on making the most of each day – my resolution for this year.
A joyful and fulfilling winter to you!Tweet