habits & goals

Over the holidays I read Twyla Tharp’s The Creative Habit. It’s a book geared towards creative individuals that encourages them to look at their work habits closely in order to create ones that serve the work they want to do. The last five years have been a whirlwind for me, and since recovering from such a long illness and being (happily) thrown into a new cyclone of work last fall, I’ve found that I had lost a lot of the creative habits I had in place before we moved to Japan in 2003.

So it’s time to create some new ones. For the New Year I’ve made a morning routine that I think may serve my work well, and plan to blog in here weekly about my projects and goals. This blog became a promotional tool last year, which I am enjoying, but I also feel it’s not really fulfilling my vision of what I’d like the blog to be, which is a document of not only the work I do, but some of the processes I go through to do the work I do.

As a template for these weekly goal-setting blogs, I’m using my own version of Carol Lloyd’s “partnering worksheet” from her wonderful book Creating A Life Worth Living, which, if you don’t feel quite ready to deal with what Tharp asks of you, has a slightly less steep learning curve on how to set up a life where creative work is of prime importance. I have used this partnering worksheet on my own and with others in the past, but for whatever reason, feel that it’s time to go public with this sort of work.

What I want out of this is a public statement of “this is what I’m working on and here’s how I’m planning on going about it”, which I hope will create a sense of realism about my goals because I am very good at setting unreasonable ones. It will also make my process public, which shifts me from doing my work in a vacuum, to me doing my work in a public forum, no matter how many hours I spend alone in my studio.

So here we go….

Goals of the Week
1. to stick with my new routine
2. to rehearse & record the music for “susurrations”
3. to register myself & J for classes
4. to make a rough edit of “susurrations”

Long-Term Goals
– to complete & market “susurrations”
– to create a New Music ensemble in Saskatoon
– to complete & publish a book (& perhaps companion CD/DVD) of the anatomy-based work I’ve been doing

Ongoing Projects
– “susurrations” — a film about the heart
– splanchnologies — a series of multi-disciplinary work about anatomy

The most important thing I want to get done this week is to record the music for “susurrations”. I have this morning, tomorrow morning, and all day Wednesday & Thursday to rehearse & have booked the recording for Friday afternoon. This is ample time, and this is what I have the most energy for. What I am struggling with at the moment is the fact that my voice feels somewhat out of shape. I had a cold for most of November/December, and though I’m pretty much over it, I haven’t really sung for a couple weeks. I must remember to do ample warmups and take vocal breaks as needed.