Happy New Year 2022!

It’s still New Year’s Eve where I am as I’m writing this, but fireworks are exploding already — please, it’s not even 2022 in New York yet, people! I guess we celebrate New Year’s in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean here. (grin)

I worked on getting my spreadsheet ready for the new year. I think I understand now why I’ve been so resistant to 2022; getting that spreadsheet solidified. It meant that all those goals that I set back in October and got started toward were just a preliminary, but they weren’t real yet. I faced that spreadsheet today and kept asking myself how badly I wanted it. My big, hairy, audacious goals were scary. I had to talk myself down several times.

Battleship, hit.

This last year, I had a weekly word goal and then an EXTREME!!! word goal which was kind of like my stretch just to see if I could get there. And I did… for 21 out of 52 weeks. This stretch goal was 2.35 times what my regular goal was (of course, I hadn’t done that calculation until today – maybe because I always knew it was in the realm of possibilities). So here I was today working on setting my new goals and I knew, based on my Extreme goal that I was already getting closer to where I’ve been. So, I know that my new goal is possible. But then I went to set the new Extreme goal and that’s when fear decided to strike hard. Seriously? Both goals are very possible, but the Extreme goal feels way out there. That’s when I had to ask myself how badly I wanted it because honestly, the difference in focused time needed is about an hour.

Battleship, hit.

So once I got over the time factor and told myself to just do it (plus the fact that the Extreme goal I wanted to set for next year was only 1.5 times the regular goal), I finished those entries on the spreadsheet easily. Please. I did 2.35 times last year. What’s another 1.5 on top of that?

Battleship, hit.

Then I made the mistake of asking myself what I wanted for painting goals for next year.

Battleship, hit and sunk.

I feel so twisted about the art. I want to do it, I like to do it, but nothing causes me more grief than trying to figure out what I’m doing with it. I keep telling myself that this is one of those, “Inaction breeds doubt” moments, and that, like my writing, I should set a goal so far out there that I just have to put my head down and push through all the mind weeds holding me back.

“Start with the end in mind,” always seems to be the advice given when deciding goals. That’s great advice, if you know what that end looks like. I know what that end is for my writing. That (again) is easy. But I fight with imposter syndrome on my art, so even trying to make it something equivalent to my writing just makes me feel like a fraud. And (again) I know it’s just a mind weed. Imposter syndrome is totally in my head and I know exactly where it comes from. Doesn’t stop it from being there.

So I guess the question is: what will make me stop feeling like an imposter or a hack?

Answer: do what real artists do.

Question: what do “real” artists do that I don’t?

Answer: They plan their work. You know, thumbnails, sketches, color schemes, etc.

Okay, first off, I know this isn’t true. Secondly, I’ve been looking at a lot of art videos recently and I am not shocked to see now many “easy” tutorials their are showing how to paint “original” pieces done by these “artists” and I can find multiple others of the same image. The only thing that makes them “original” is in how the painter held their brush and how long they’ve spent painting. Seriously! I was dismayed when I tracked one piece of artwork through several YouTube tutorials and then even found the true original piece. We all get inspired by one another, but this was just sad. Almost as sad as when I read about one author’s huge success writing male pregnancy stories. Seriously, that’s a sub-genre? And I feel like the imposter.

I still don’t have an answer for this. I wish I did.

What I do know is that I don’t want to spend another year in this cycle.

Well, maybe I’ll figure it out next year. See you then!