As the new year starts chugging along and the unstructured days of vacation swiftly vacate to the past, I'm sitting here with the task of coming up with a ta-dah list to help me get organized and get something done this month. Yes, I know they're called to-do lists, but I think ta-dah has a more positive connotation. Especially when it's a creative project I'm crossing off it, and not just another household chore or something that requires a schlep to the store. It's in the creative project category I speak of on this ta-dah list I must build. And to make it, I must prioritize. If my word for the year of 2011 is to be followed, it's essential. And that word is "completed".
I have a bad habit of trying to do everything at once, so no one thing gets ignored too long. Otherwise I start fearing I'll never make it back to the project to finish it. Unfortunately, this leads to three or four things at a time inching along in various stages of incompletion. Of course, if one suddenly has a deadline looming, I will drop everything to finish it/be ready on time. But usually I have to create my own deadlines. Which means focusing on something, sometimes to the detriment of work on others, or passing up an opportunity completely. This happened recently, when I had to pass up taking an acting course I was considering. It looked like fun, promised great results, and was even being taught by a friend I admire as a performer. Alas, it would mean literally never having a full day off to spend at home writing, drawing or composing...or, heaven forbid, just relaxing. Yes, I would be spending the busy time doing something I enjoy, just as my Saturdays are spent singing in the choir. But having to go do something somewhere, on time, every single day of the week for the next six months was an unnerving prospect. I knew my other loves would suffer, and I knew I would snap. So I regretfully said no.
Now, having done that, I can have no excuse for not making some headway somewhere. So here's the ta-dah list: First and foremost is an art project, which I've just been given the green light for. Second is getting at least one or two songs recorded and up on this site! And, not to get too crazy, I think I'll leave it at that for January. Of course, some work on the novel will get done here - can't help it, I miss my people! - and a long-term project not due until June will be organized and begun, but those will be secondary, to be worked on when I need a break. The two main items on the short list will both be time-consuming projects with deadlines. Deadlines are good motivators. I know - I gave myself one for doing another blog post. And here it is. Ta-dah - completed!