This morning I sat down to do my journaling as I do every day, but today was special. My goals for the month, for the year and for my life felt clear for the first time in a while. You see, I have put aside a dream that I have had for forty years and I feel so good about it. Ever since I was seven years old, I’ve wanted to be an artist. To make art to make my living and run off to Paris… I’ve made art in one form or another for most of my adult life and made a good living from it. And I’ve run off to Paris more than a few times!
My handmade giftware business supported us for nearly 5 years as we traveled, and generally enjoyed our twenties. Admittedly, life was less complicated then, and by that, I mean less expensive! We were fortunate to have two small rental properties that were mostly self-supporting, we stayed with family at times and lived very simply. Then baby made three and we really had to put down some roots (at least we thought we did…) The final death blow to my first art business was the flood of cheap imports. I just couldn’t compete, making everything by hand, so I closed up shop and concentrated on painting and writing (a memoir with the working title “From there to here via Paris” and some architectural artworks which sold well).
Then I snagged my Dream Job! I was the in-house artist and later manager of a very unique company making artwork for interior design projects. I learned a lot, but mostly I learned that there’s no such thing as a dream job! While I’ve spent years making and selling my art, I have always done so under a business name. Most of the paintings I have done were sold unsigned and I’m glad about that; it was colour on walls; art to match the cushions. My dream job? How about the worst nightmare!
Flash forward two years of helping in the family business and working for a friend, and now I am finally back on my own creative path. My novel is out and…well, it’s doing okay, I just have to go an get that degree in marketing… and my artwork is going well since I dropped the plan to make a business out of it again! When I was considering backing away from the corporate art business, I was worried I would feel like a dream was dying. I thought I would completely give up painting if I couldn’t make bitty-bits for people to snap up, to match the cushions…
But what happened was, I felt a sense of freedom around my painting that I haven’t felt in years. Admittedly, we make a decent living from our business, but if I was to sell some work the money would come in handy. But that’s the funny thing about creativity. Now that I have given up the idea of making little sellable works, my heart keeps showing me the big things I could do, the beautiful paintings I could make now that I have taken my blinkers off. My focus is on my writing, however, and marketing my debut novel.
So it was in this spirit that I sat down this morning and wrote out my goals for the month. May is nearly half over so I kinda went easy on myself. I’ve started a 90-day blog challenge! This post is the second day. I am also writing over at Medium.com and I’m tackling a re-write of my memoir mentioned above. I’m taking out all the angsty stuff and putting in the funny stuff…watch this space…working title “A tourist in Paris”).
Then I wrote my goals for the year which scare the heck out of me. It involves a lot of marketing, studying and gulp, maybe even getting up and doing stand-up comedy…
I often wonder if I am still being pushed by my fear instead of pulled by my dream, to quote Michael Beckwith. I feel pulled, to be honest. I feel that I would never have step back from making decorative artwork if I was being driven by fear.
Then I wrote my goals for the next 5 years. Writing my goals for the next 5 years takes the form on Writing My Best Day as developed by Debbie Millman This is fun!!
I’ll write more on this tomorrow!!