January 03, 2015

Weekly Digest: Of the New Year Variety

Hey, Happy New Year!

My December ended up going off the rails (then I forced it back onto the rails). I hope you were able to send off 2014 from a less tumultuous place! (Summary: don't assume the sniffles aren't a precursor to the plague; also, don't get shingles.)

I wrote up some thoughts on 2014 (spoiler: I had a very good year), and rounded up the books I read, too. I also took Miriam Felton's recommendation from our podcast chat and ordered myself a memory box of my daily #yearofmaking photos from 2014. I'm excited to have a tangible record of the project that changed my whole experience of being a maker. (Speaking of, the Year of Making ebook remains at a special launch price until Monday. It's never too late to start a year of making, so don't let the passage of January 1st defeat you!)

Which leaves me nothing to do but look ahead and decide what I want to accomplish in 2015. I think my word of the year is enough. It's both a positive and a negative word, depending on how you look at it. On the one hand, I want to build upon my 2014 theme of strength by focusing on having enough – enough work, enough cash flow, enough income, enough to keep me interested and excited, enough opportunities to keep growing, and I want my body to be strong enough. And on the other hand, I want to do some paring down – when it comes to things that drag me down, enough; when it comes to acquiring stuff, enough; when it comes purchasing decisions, I want to base them on having enough. Enough is both something to strive toward and something to relax into and appreciate. I find that tension exciting. I think it's both challenging and comforting. I think it's a good follow-up to building strength. It takes strength to accept when I have enough, and it takes strength to recognize when I don't.

Along these lines, I'm excited to have some work already lined up for 2015 – that's a far better situation than I had at the beginning of 2014. I've already had my first business phone call of the year, and I'll have another on Monday. An editing client has already set up a year's worth of projects in Basecamp. I'm already set up to do some teaching (both online [more about that soon!] and at Craftcation Conference), and I'm booked to do my first Mighty Ugly professional-development workshop (a context I've long wanted to explore; tell your HR department at work!). I'm in a far stronger financial position this January than I was at this time last year, but I have a lot more work to do to get to enough.

At the same time, Greg and I have decided we'll regret it if we don't take a five-week road trip in May, which is the last May we'll have to travel before Owen starts school in September. Better to travel in the not-crazy July/August season, right? So while I rub my hands together and prepare to dive into a rich and busy (hooray!) early 2015, I'll also be preparing to work remotely (at a dramatically slowed-down pace) from our wee camper for much of the late spring, as we meander through the American West (the last time I took a highlighter to a Rand McNally road atlas, I had to plan the whole trip by telephone!).

Which is all to say: 2015, I'm really looking forward to you. I'm eager to tackle the tasks I've already set out in you, and I'm excited to see what new adventures you'll deliver; I'm excited to have started my second #yearofmaking and literally can't imagine what unexpected discoveries may result; I'm also curious to see where my exploration of enough will lead. (And let's address the elephant in the room, shall we? Soap. Where will soap fit into this year of enough? I have no idea. The suspense is killing me.)

Do you create a theme at the new year, for yourself or your business? What's yours for this year?


Items of Note:

  • As I mentioned above, the #yearofmaking ebook (it's 35 pages of inspiration, including 9 worksheets for planning and recording!) is just $10 Canadian till Monday, when it will go up in price slightly (not as much as I'd originally planned, because I recouped my production costs faster than I expected to – thank you for that!). If you're intrigued by the idea of making something every day (the rules are yours to make!), any date is a good date to start! The ebook is intentionally undated, so there you go. Check out the #yearofmaking hashtag (especially on Instagram, for all the photos) to see what kinds of things people are up to. It's a grand adventure!
  • Here are three things people have said about #yearofmaking this week.
  • Where soap will go in 2015 is still a mystery, but if you want to learn about any sales, etc., sign up for the newsletter I started just about soap sales!
  • It's not a dramatic change, but I switched to a new website design a couple of weeks ago. Motivated by having my shop look more attractive, I did the redesign over the holidays. I'll still tweak a few things, but for now I'm quite pleased with the fresher look.
  • If I can find enough complementary colours in my stash, I'm going to start an Age Before Beauty Blanket. Such a simple, clever, fun idea!
  • Have you listened to BBC Radio's Good Omens yet? I haven't, but I want to before the episodes expire.
  • Why are artist statements so maddeningly impenetrable? WHY?!
  • This.
  • If only I had the attention span for cross-stitch.
  • How to read more.