Drive your day with your vision and goals.
I can’t recall where I first read that sentence, but I came across it again recently, scribbled on the back of an old screenplay scene notecard, and it struck a chord with me.
I was on a jog the other morning and noticed an ant interstate cutting through the desert scrub in an empty lot a block from my house. Endless rows of large red ants scurried to and fro on a path they created, driven by their own ant needs, and they moved with such determination that I was mesmerized and watched them for about ten minutes before going on about my merry, sweaty way.
I realized that they possessed that which I had been missing in my life for a long time: Purpose.
I needed to create clear goals and meaningful purpose for my creative life again. Strike that. I don’t think I’ve ever sat down and created a solid plan for my creative endeavors. I’ve formulated plans and checklists for moving a thousand miles away, finding jobs, losing weight, and traveling, but I’ve been more of a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants sort of person when it comes to creative projects. You can see how well that’s worked for me.
I’m not quite sure why I’ve had an aversion toward creative planning. I adore planning in general, so one would think I would be naturally inclined to sit down and create checklists for writing projects. Nope. Not even close. Perhaps somewhere deep down I connected creativity with spontaneity. Maybe in my younger years the creative process flowed effortlessly, thus I assumed planning would block the stream. I honestly don’t know.
However, I do now know this: creative life planning is fun. I am giddy all over the place as I sketch out mind maps for ideas. I can’t wipe the smile off my face as I sit down to create my outlines and checklists for creative projects. I don’t know exactly why and how it finally clicked for me. I’m taking an online screenwriting course, so perhaps it was a random suggestion by the brilliant Aaron Sorkin. I started writing in my Dreambook and Planner and I’ve been jotting stuff into my journal again, so I could be unearthing and releasing mental junk that’s been holding me back. I found (and subsequently read) pdf files of the books The 8-Minute Writing Habit and Write Better, Faster by Monica Leonelle stored in a writing file on my laptop, free gifts for signing up at Goodriter quite some time ago. Excellent suggestions in both. I came across Rachel Aaron’s blog, which has a ton of great writing ideas as well. I have a writing desk and a new chair set up in my home and I love how it feels. It’s so comfortable and cozy, and I now enjoy sitting and writing.
I also decided to actually do something with my Beachbody coaching instead of just using it for my discount (which is awesome, I will admit) because health, fitness, and mental and emotional well-being are a vital part of my life. When I feel healthier, I feel happier. Stronger. I have greater drive and determination. I decided that I will start sharing my own health/fitness/well-being journey because everyone can relate to the ups and downs, especially writers who tend to isolate themselves and sit on their tushes for far too long every day.
I’m creating a vision of what I want for my creative life and I’m actively planning to make the vision my reality. Everything that could possibly help me on my journey is materializing before my eyes. Of course, most of the guides have been there all along; it’s only now I’m truly open and ready to work for the creative life, thus I see the direction. I see the paths I can take to make my dream come alive, and instead of permanently freezing due to the fear of taking the wrong path (thus doing nothing at all), I’m forging ahead. I’ll adjust my trajectory and create new plans as needed. There is always a way.
I don’t know why it’s taken half of my life for this to click for me, but the puzzle pieces are finally falling into place. I feel inspired, but most importantly I feel inspired to put a plan into place for the days when the muse fails to whisper in my ear. I’m excited to share this journey.
Let the creative life finally begin.
There is a truth and it’s on our side
Dawn is coming
Open your eyes
Look into the sun as the new days rise
Do you “wing it” with your creative goals or are you a creative planner?