How do we think about the year ahead?
I like the idea of a manifesto.
I recently came across one that gave me pause, enough to record it into my Notes app on my phone for safe-keeping. It was penned and shared by writer/editor Cheryl Klein in her newsletter, a monthly nugget of wisdom and advice that I happily sink into when I find one in my inbox every few weeks.
Her personal manifesto is this: "I will be kind. I will be clear. I will say no to things I don't want to do. And I will ask for, and work for, what I want."
How simple, how concise, and how helpful to oneself and to those around you.
Another sort of manifesto is the somewhat fashionable 'word of the year.' (If I were to choose one for 2017, I'd pick strength. I do have the fierce mama thing down pat but I could stand to, well, stand taller when it comes to my strength in health, spirituality and creativity.)
There are also those things that we must choose to say no to—those things we must make a point to not do. Maybe these are the silent killers, really, that slowly creep into our life, without us even realizing—crowding out the room for the stuff that is most valuable, worthwhile, and meaningful. (Love, expression, connection, I’d say.) In her book 'Magic and Loss, The Internet as Art’, Virginia Heffernan discusses the idea of the 'refusal to read' in the context of digital civilization: no human can read the entirety of the internet, after all. She asks us to remember this bit from Schopenhauer (which I will commit to memory in 2017, if I can help it):
“The art of not reading is a very important one. It consists in not taking an interest in whatever may be engaging the attention of the general public at any particular time."
Now that's sound advice for living and making and being in the age of Trump, if I’ve ever heard it.
Intentions for 2017
Writing for children
- Picture book publishing: for now, this means focusing on industry education and work on my dummy of a picture book
- Getting my first pieced published for kids in a print magazine (Highlights, Teen Vogue, and Illustoria are a few of my current faves)
- Non-fiction book proposal for kids (2018, more likely)
Non-fiction craft book proposal
- Again: this means diving into education on the non-fiction craft publishing world. Then, developing a proposal for a book idea that has been simmering.
- Dear Handmade Life. I feel truly honored and lucky to be working with Nicole Stevenson (more on her here) on a monthly basis and her awesome community she has cultivated with Delilah. Having an ongoing commitment has changed the way I think about my freelance work, organize my ideas for DIY projects and business posts, and how a body of work accumulates over time. (Thank you, Nicole!)
- The occasional piece elsewhere if it's the right fit. I want to take more time getting to know editors, their wish-lists, and the style of the pieces they publish before wildly pitching or querying. Let's call this intentional, slow pitching.
- a new product line for kiddos this Spring