The parties are done, the trees are curbside, waiting for garbage day, the presents are still scattered around the house, as we try to find more permanent homes for our new stuff (is that one just me?)… I’m still going through a little post-Christmas depression, but I’ll pull through! I’ve got a lot of fun things in the works, but before I start thinking too much about the future, I want to make sure I reflect on the past year and all the things I learned in 2017.
Reasons to celebrate
- I found a local printer I absolutely love using for all my prints
- I quit my day job and started doing this hand lettering thing full-time
- I wrote and self-published my first book
- I started teaching local lettering workshops
- I exceeded my Etsy sales goals by a lot
What I learned and how I’m gonna grow
- Mistakes will happen. I wasted a lot of time and money on things, because I didn’t know what I was doing. I’m thankful to have other creativepreneur friends who tell me time and time again that that’s normal, but it still hurts! In 2018, I’ll hopefully make fewer mistakes and waste less time and money, because I know what I’m doing a little better now.
- Give yourself more than five months to self publish a book. I’m laughing to myself as I write this one. I’m thankful I got the book done in time for the Christmas season, but I will plan ahead for the next one. I didn’t have a life for about three of those five months and I barely slept. I don’t want to relive that!
- It’s hard to keep the balance between your work and personal life. I knew this would be challenging, but I learned a lot through the weeks where I did well and the weeks I didn’t do so well with this.
- Personal creative time is a must. I was on the verge of creative burnout a few months ago, but I’ve been learning to put work aside and spend time creating things just for me. It’s been refreshing and life-giving and those good vibes are showing through in the projects I do specifically for Etsy, clients and Instagram. I keep thinking of that saying, “remember why you started,” and creating art on the couch (or on the floor), in my PJs, with no pressure was how I got started. It was relaxing and – I know this sounds cheesy, but I’m gonna say it anyway – it fed my soul. That was why I started. Lettering with that mindset instead of a work mindset, is really helping me avoid creative burnout.
2017 has been a huge year for me. I stand back and I’m amazed by how fast things changed and how many big steps forward I took. I was gonna say, I don’t see how 2018 could top it, but I still have a lot of growing to do and a lot of goals that still haven’t been met. 2018 is gonna be a big year for me. It’s my first full year as a full-time lettering artist. I’ve got plans for more products, online courses, creating more opportunities to help people along in their lettering and faith journeys, saving for the bigger iPad Pro… 2018 could be just as big or BIGGER than 2017!
We’ll see where the Lord takes me. If there’s one thing He taught me last year, it’s that A LOT can change in a year. So, I’ve got my plans, I’ve got my goals, but I’m also keeping in mind that many of those goals and plans will change as God leads. I’m learning not to hold on too tightly and to just go with the flow!
Happy New Year and don’t forget to take some time to reflect on your past year too!