I’ll admit it. The past year was hit-and-miss for me creatively. I was able to write a bit of fiction and finish some paintings, but not nearly as much as I planned to do. I have only myself to blame, of course. I can be easily distracted by shiny things. Life also gets in the way with responsibilities. And while I’m not much for New Year resolutions, I do plan to make this a creative 2024.
A dear friend of mine recommended Rick Rubin’s The Creative Act: A Way of Being. The reviews of it have been good and I think it’s helpful to read other perspectives on creativity. Besides, I’ve admired Rubin for many years. If you aren’t familiar with him, Rubin is the creative force behind Def Jam Recordings (co-founding with Russell Simmons) and helped to launch the careers of music acts like Beastie Boys, Run DMC, LL Cool J, and Public Enemy. He also produced major releases by acts such as Metallica, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Johnny Cash.
Someone who helped to bring speed metal and rap to the mainstream definitely knows a few things about creativity. I’m looking forward to diving into this book.
I’m also setting a writing goal for myself. Well, two writing goals. I plan to finish compiling one of my two in-progress short story collections and get it published. I’ve been working on the stories for a while now, but I need to finish them up and get them ready for print. I also plan to finally finish my first novel. It’s been through two drafts so far and a complete rewrite of the first chapter. Three times. Then I set it aside to take a break…which turned into a very long break. It’s time to dust it off and finish the journey.
My painting adventure has been going better than expected as far as feedback is concerned and I plan to do more with it this coming year. I’ve been working mostly with 12-inch x 12-inch canvas panels, but I’m going to expand and begin working with larger and smaller canvases. I think the variety of work surfaces will both challenge me and open up new opportunities. Acrylics have been my paint of choice, but I may try my hand at oils or watercolors. Or both!
I’m also going to be posting more videos on my YouTube channel. I have been dabbling in stop-motion shorts and, if I feel I’m getting the hang of the medium, I’ll begin to share my creations.
So many things to do, so little time. But it’s a nice problem to have.
I hope you have a creative year, as well. Don’t get discouraged, don’t listen to people who aren’t supportive, and don’t stop doing the creative things that make you happy.