To start this New Year, the reboot year as I baptized it, I have decided to inaugurate a new page on mentorless: Meta-Me.
Meta-Me is my way to commit on a Year in Creativity, to be accountable, to keep track of my evolution, my victories and failures, and to make sure this year doesn’t end up being another year where I should have and I wish that but a year where I did.
I first hesitated sharing what is to come publicly because:
-it tastes like personal blogging, and this is not the reasons why I started mentorless.
But then I stumbled upon Sean Bonner‘s A Year in Less project, and as I was reading his intentions to write a weekly share about his progress in buying and owning less, I realized that sharing with the outside world would be the best way to make sure I wouldn’t flake and indulge myself. It does sound selfish, but hopefully this will create a healthy dialog with others and only be the starting point to something much more interesting than just me and my old self rambling.
-as I mentioned in what I consider the very first article about my Year in Creativity (I’m not sure I like this title, it feels pompous, but it will do for now), I already have some projects in the making. The only problem is that I can’t talk about those projects.
Some for legal reasons and others because talking about projects instead of doing them is one of the classic mistakes I made in the not-so-long-ago past, and I do not want to jinx them by revealing too much and losing my mojo.
So what is this meta-me going to be about? The answer is not very exciting but is honest: I am not sure.
I have been thinking of what I want for this year, what I fear the most and how I can try to control what will happen without closing the door to freedom and spontaneity, and here is what I came up with so far:
Goals: to keep moving forward I need to have a little bit of everything in my life so I came up with three types of way to be creative, and I will divide my time between them:
1- Marathons: I have three big projects (big like a lot of work big, not big like I will be rich and famous big) at several stages that will likely take the whole year (they all started months before this post and might need more than twelve months to get done) and I am planning to spend several dozens of hours on them per week. My goal is to define one clear step at the beginning of each week and achieve it by its end for each of them. These projects will likely be the ones that make me miserable and want to whine, so it is actually a good thing that I can’t talk about them. The official first week for them is set to start 01.09.12
2- Relay Races: Because it can be daunting to work on big projects, especially the solo ones, I am also planning on developing several small projects with friends (some of them don’t know it yet, ha.) to work on different media I am interested into exploring, without having the pressure of them being professional and serious.
3- Sprints: Finally, I want to leave room to spontaneous bursts of creativity. Usually with me it means being inspired by a situation and make something for someone. In other words: hand-made gifts. It is not always the case, but I realized that making something to offer to someone is one of the most rewarding way of being creative. I already had my first burst while in Istanbul and will share the result as soon as the recipients will get it. In the same spirit, I am taking pictures and planning to select one for each day, drawing little stories etc. I still have to decide how to organize all this and share it. More to come in the coming weeks.
1-Time: one of my biggest fear is to be dragged by life and let the year pass without actually doing anything that justified the radical changes I made. I have a very conflicted relationship with Time (especially time passing) and I know I have to learn to be more balanced about it if I don’t want to burn out and drop everything in a very westerner dramatic move. (hence me writing all this and making sure I will feel very very very bad if I ever think of dropping everything)
On the side of what I just mentioned above, I also have previous commitments that I need to maintain and are not related to being creative. Handling them all the while doing the rest will be challenging. As for mentorless, I am planning on going for 3 to 4 articles per week instead of 6 to 8, which should free some precious time to work on the other projects.
2-Money: if it is clear that all these things won’t happen with a full time office job -which is something I gave up long ago anyway- I still need to find a way to make money, and I have avoided to think about that with great success so far.
I will be rent-free for a year and will only have one fix expense: a phone. I already have small monthly income with freelance jobs I am doing, but traveling, eating, being a guest and being creative all come with expense of their own, and money is and will always be a concern. I gave, sold and trashed 80% of what I accumulated in the last four years, my life now fitting in two luggage. Having less stuff is also a big part of this year (hence my positive reaction to Bonner’s project), my weak point being books, which, believe or not, come as very costly addiction and takes a lot of space (I have about a 1000 books stored at my parents’, to their delight). So I need to work on that.
I will also likely need to invest on equipment (my computer is on the verge of dying, just to name one, and I need a computer more than I need a kidney right now), so I will have to find a way to make money, one way or another.
3- Family and Friends: it might sound a bit weird to put them in the ‘fear’ category, but after having been far from any social duties for four years I got used to use my time the way I needed and wanted to to reach my goals.
I actually enjoyed having no Christmas, Birthdays, Weddings, baptisms, random events duties (cave woman, me?) and even though I did decide to go back to Europe to be closer to the ones I love and miss, I also fear to get dragged into social duties much more than I should. Staying focus and not saying yes to every temptation coming my way will be my way out.
This was a very long post. The next ones will likely be very brief and facts based but I felt I had to outline an incipit and organize my thoughts before sharing more.
This week I am planning to organize a working schedule for marathon projects, contact one friend for a relay race, make one sprint race and do tons of lists.
To Be Continued…