My Goals for 2020

I’ve been thinking about my goals for 2020.

After I did some journaling and thought exercises (thanks to this 3-part video series from Marie Forleo, called Decade in Review), I realized that I accomplished a LOT in ten years.

I graduated college, got my art showcased in a gallery, published a LOT of books, got a table at SPX (my dream come true!), and SO much more.

So I’m eager to see what the 2020s will bring!

But I want to do more than just look at my goals for 2020. I want to make some goals for the next decade.

You may remember from my bullet journal post that I stated: I overestimate what I can do in a day, and underestimate what I can do in a week.

Well, the same is true for years and decades.

I overestimate what I can do in a year, but underestimate what can be done in ten years.

If you haven’t done the decade in review exercise, I HIGHLY recommend you try it. It’s a good way to tap into not only what you’ve done, but what you KNOW you can do in the near future.

With that in mind…

I’ve thought and pondered over goals, and I’ve decided on these top 3 for next year.

Why 3? Because I’ve learned from this year that setting more than 3 goals makes it hard to accomplish any of them. So 3 AT MOST.

Here’s my top 3 goals for 2020:

  • Thumbnail The Legend of Jamie Roberts in its entirety.

I’m a little ashamed to admit that The Legend isn’t entirely written out. I have an OUTLINE. The first seven chapters are written. But the second half of the story still needs to be scripted.

To achieve this goal, I’m going to draw one thumbnailed page in my sketchbook every day (except Sunday). That’s 313 pages to sketch out overall. While I don’t think The Legend of Jamie Roberts will be THAT long, it’s still a good goal to have to sketch a page a day.

  • Read 1 new comic per week

I’ll be blunt: outside of The Legend of Jamie Roberts and commissions and freelancing, I’ve been in a creative rut. Part of that is due to… just working a lot. But part of that is also due to my not reading very many comics anymore.

Also, I started Indie Comics Hub with the goal of reviewing indie comics. And I’ve been woefully lax in actually reading indie comics and enforcing deadlines on myself.

So I hope that by reading one new comic every week, I not only get the creative juices flowing – I also get to write reviews to post up on Indie Comics Hub for comics readers to enjoy.

  • Get my friend Sean’s book to print

I promised my friend Sean that I would help him get his collection of prose and poetry to print. It’s been a dream of his to see it happen, and I know more than he does about publishing books, so I offered to help.

That said, I’ve been taking my time to help him with this. (Sorry, dude. I had a lot going on).

But 2020 is going to be different, dammit! We’re going to get these stories together, and we’re going to get them to print.

(And if we can do it without using Amazon, that’s even better in my book).

What about my goals for the next decade?

Oh, I have some big goals in mind to accomplish in the next ten years. Like…

  • Paying off my student loans entirely (my pipe dream is to do this in 5 years).
  • Saving up for – and getting – an RV to live in, and
  • Learning how to sew to make my own dresses.

I will certainly be doing more than this – it’s a decade, after all – but these are my top 3 picks for Goals for the 2020s.

What are your goals for next year? How are you going to keep track of them? I’d love to know!

That’s all for now. Thank you for reading!

You. Are. Awesome.

Goals for 2017

self portrait new mexico by christian beranek
Photography by Christian Beranek

Alright, first blog post of 2017, almost a full week after the new year has started.

First, I want to catch y’all up on what’s been happening.

For the last two to three weeks of December 2016, I was not only celebrating Christmas and New Year’s with the family, but also…

  • mailing out Thoughtful Dinosaur rewards,
  • finishing a gig I started before Halloween,
  • finishing a private commission, and
  • preparing to transition to full-time freelancing for 2017.

You read right – due to some surprise circumstances from just before Christmas, I will be transitioning to full-time freelance work by the end of February 2017.

As such, when I thought of my New Year’s Resolutions, I thought about what would help me not only stay on track for work, but keep me happy and healthy while working out of a home studio.

(Not to mention that with the ACA being repealed, I would have no health insurance, meaning one of my safety nets would be gone. Gotta stay healthy so I don’t bankrupt myself on the Right-Wing Reich’s medical bills.)

With all this in mind, I came up with three goals to achieve daily: everyday I will

  • Draw one page in my sketchbook,
  • meditate, and
  • write 500 words.

These are to help build up to my big goals of the year:

  • make more art to compile into books, print series, and sketchbooks,
  • edit/rewrite 3 comic scripts to completion, and
  • de-stress more easily,

There are other goals in mind, but most are finance-related and I don’t want to go into those (unless you WANT me to talk about personal finance, in which case leave a comment below and let me know).

There is one other goal I have, but it has a bit of a varying schedule. That is to keep exercising and stay in shape.

My current day job keeps me active, but when I go freelance full-time, that day job activity is gone. I’ll need new ways to keep in shape.

This is going to sound like a sponsor but it isn’t – thankfully I have an app called 7 Minute, which times you through a 7-minute long workout. There’s the classic, abs, legs, and butt workouts to choose from, which is quite the change – back when I first had the app, the last two workouts had to be purchased or unlocked by doing specific circuits. Now that I uninstalled the app, then installed it again, the workouts are just there.

Another goal I have (because I’m an overachiever but also like incorporating new things into my routine) is to write songs on the ukulele.

purple ukulele

This adorable cutie is my new ukulele. Her name is Freddy.

I’ve played ukulele before, but only memorized four chords to heart. Not only that, but I know near-nothing about music theory or how to write songs.

To correct this, I’m going to practice more chords more often, and train my ear and musical ability with a new app that is also not sponsoring this, Perfect Ear.

Keep in mind, though, that my musical background up to now has included a brief stint in concert music in middle school, a failed stint at learning guitar, a successful gig learning to play Taiko drums, and playing ukulele for a year before leaving it for nearly two and coming back to it now.

So, if you have tips or tricks on learning to play instruments and get better at them, or how or what to practice, please leave a comment below.

The other goals I have (drawing, writing, and meditating everyday) I have done before. Now it’s just a matter of getting back into the swing of it.

Next blog post I’ll be talking more about what to expect when I break out of the day job in February.

Thank you for reading!

You. Are. Awesome.

Thoughtful Dinosaur’s KickStarter Run is Done

thoughtful dinosaur comic panel promo

Oh. My. Holy. Banana. Pants.

Thoughtful Dinosaur has been fully funded for its first print run, and we got way over our initial goal! So now backers will get not only the books, but they’ll get KickStarter-exclusive postcards and buttons (or pins, if you prefer to call them that). Pretty. Darn. Sweet.

Further updates regarding Thoughtful Dinosaur will now be happening over on the KickStarter page, and the updates will be public – for the most part. Of course there will be backer-only updates with information that regards them in particular, but everything else will be available for the public. That means you’ll see updates on how the book printing is going, what the buttons will look like, and lots of other fun stuff!

Again, be sure to check the Thoughtful Dinosaur page for more updates.

In other news, I have a timeline in mind for leaving the day job (yes, I have one. If you want to know what’s going on, read this post). It’s not immediate, but the goal is to be able to leave there and get something new going by April 2017.

What’s the plan for work after the day job? Right now my mind’s on freelancing full-time, which means saving back money until I can make the leap, but nothing is set in stone (yet). I want to stay open for new possibilities!

One possibility is doing more gallery work – Patrons on Patreon know I’ve been working on some new illustrations and paintings, as they’ve been getting snapshots of my works-in-progress. There’s a local gallery looking for new artists, and the deadline to submit a portfolio is December… or possibly January. One of the members there told me it changes depending on the weather, literally.

PLUS! I’m getting The Case of the Wendigo ready for launch within the next two weeks! Stay tuned for more updates.

So there’s some excitement on the horizon! Be sure to check back again by Tuesday.

Thank you for reading.

You. Are. Awesome.

What I Learned Drawing 2 Sketchbook Pages a Day

Wheeling_Nature_Sketches_fin_web

I talked a bit before about my goals for this year, and how my goal of writing 1000 words a day was going so far.

Well, one of my other goals was to draw two sketchbook pages a day.

Why Two Pages?

Because I intended one to be for a warm-up for the day, and the other would be an entry into a later eBook. This goal was a way to make me practice my craft and build content.

What Did I Learn?

In short… a lot.

In total… it was hard to get into a rhythm of production at first. I had to make this a habit like I did with writing 1000 words, so I often drew in my sketchbook after breakfast and before I got to work… most of the time. Continue reading “What I Learned Drawing 2 Sketchbook Pages a Day”

The Next eBook Is…

Recently I took stock of my daily goals, especially the goal of drawing two sketchbook pages a day.

Earlier this year I said I wanted to do this to make more sketches to put together into more eBooks. But after I finished the Superhero Ladies Sketchbook, I was out of ideas. I stopped drawing for eBooks.

UNTIL NOW. Continue reading “The Next eBook Is…”