- December 12, 2021December 12, 2021Ahoy! Another [Groundhog Day Resolutions] year comes to an end!Read more
In last month’s report, I was surprised that I was feeling OK about myself, despite having failed to complete any Groundhog Day Resolutions. I hypothesized that maybe I someone achieved the goal AFTER my Groundhog Day Resolutions push, what I called the “heartfelt goal” where I had managed to find or create a sanctuary for me and my friends. The revised hypothesis looks like this:
As I noted in [last month’s report], this is a remix of an older model I had called “creative independence” that sought to create a state of being where I could be creative, self-supporting, and fulfilled. That’s already manifested in the form of the DS|CAFE Coworking Discord that I had started on a whim in 2016. These days, the energy that used to go into my blog is now shared and remixed with others in the Discord, and it is this interaction that keeps me connected and inspired. It’s a small server, but it’s been enough to supply positive energy every day. It’s also been great for helping me define my community values in a way that hopefully promotes the kind of creative sanctuary I want to see!
So, I’m going to consider the main Groundhog Day Resolution puzzle solved for now! So long as I take care of the DS|CAFE, it’s likely to continue taking care of me in return. Of course, online communities have a chance of messily imploding as they grow, but I am feeling optimistic that it will grow slowly and steadily for the foreseeable future. It is an official and necessary part of my personal and professional life. (more…)
- November 12, 2021November 12, 2021For this month’s report, I’ve been reflecting on forgotten dreams and failure to execute. The forgotten dream, which I mentioned in previous reports, was to find a great team to work with. The failure to execute is in regards to having spent so many years pursuing Groundhog Day Resolutions goals with few tangible results to show for it.Read more
So why was I not feeling BAD about it today, as I have in the past? I have a weird theory: while I have not attained my strategic goals, I may have reached my unspoken “heartfelt goal” without realizing it.
Here’s the breakdown!
Success Model 1 (1986-2003): Join a Great Team
In the beginning, I had the notion that team would help me achieve the following:
The first diagram was my simplistic understanding of the conditions I wanted to be a more creatively productive person, and the reason why it no longer appeals to me is dues to experiences with independent creatives I’ve met through the blogging community. The positive energy is not confined to teams, but is everywhere if you know where to find it.
Success Model 2 (2007-2021): Achieve Creative Independence
So around 2007, I started working on the idea of creative independence, which evolved into this system diagram by 2019. Today, I might simplify it to look something like this:
The boxes with the thick strokes are desirable states. This is what they mean:
- Make Amusing Stuff – This is me puttering around doing things that spark interest and curiosity. This is my “flow state”
- Share Fun Stuff on Website – This is the blog and other social media platforms. It is a compulsion to share what I’m learning and doing because I hate “losing information”.
- Find Collaborators – By sharing stuff, I’ve run into people who share interests and values. This gives me a sense of connection with other people, which gives me joy. The side effect of joy is the resilience to face difficult tasks. This feeds back into the beginning of the creative cycle.
- Build Creative Sanctuary – It’s long been a dream to be able to have a space where people could come together and share their experiences in a supportive atmosphere. When I was a kid I would imagine elaborate workshops with concierge services, and in the early 2000s that morphed into fanciful B&Bs. To do this I would need to make money.
- Package Sellable Stuff – To make money, I needed to have goods and services for sale. In the short term, this is doing contract work. In the longer term, it is having products for sale that I can run as a side hustle. A few of the “amusing things” I’ve done like the “Emergent Task Planner” have become viable products. However, this is hard for me because there is no sense of immediacy or connection with people when I’m making the goods in creative isolation. It is the bottleneck.
- Generate Income – Money goes into supporting myself and building the creative sanctuary. If I’m not generating income, the creative sanctuary can never be built.
This was my attempt to create the self-sustaining cycle, but the critical path to success goes through the boring parts that I find difficult to do by myself. It is in this way that I have continued to fail to execute the GHDR plan over the years.
Success Model 3 (?): An Emergent Symbiosis Achieved?
Fast-forward to today, and I am realizing that perhaps I’ve accidentally built the model backwards:
The three boxes on the left are ALL HAPPENING AT ONCE already; that was supposed to be the job of the “Creative Sanctuary” in the second diagram, but it’s here in the form of the DS|CAFE Coworking Discord. And I am happy because this is happening there every day. It started out as an experiment in “office hours”, but it’s increasingly become a place that feels like a creative/supportive hangout. And this makes me feel good, which is designated here as “Being Amused”. Isn’t this what I have wanted all along?
Making money from my work and generating income is still important, but in this model it is not part of the critical path. I am still not doing great on the gray box “making of marketable stuff”, but it’s now fed by “supportive sanctuary”; that makes the yucky work much easier to do. The work experiences are shared back into the community, creating a virtuous circle where there was once a bottleneck.
So that is my working theory of what’s happened and why I don’t feel like crap about not meeting over a decade of strategic goals. I guess they provided enough direction to get to this point.
In the weeks to come I’ll be looking at my work experiences to see how much of this theory holds. Frankly, it seems too good to be true. But for now, let’s go through the happenings of the past four weeks.
- October 24, 2021October 24, 2021
November is again upon us, and I have updated the Word Counting Progress Calendar for 2021! This calendar is designed so you can track your progress visually over the course of your novel writing challenge. You record daily word counts and then fill in a number of boxes on each day to indicate roughly how many words you wrote. You can also summarize your weekly word totals as well. As time goes by, each day shows you how much effort went into the day.
There are six color variations and you can download the files from here.
You might want to bookmark the official word counting calendar page, which is updated every year to reflect the current calendar. It also has more explanation.
- October 11, 2021October 11, 2021
I’m a little late with today’s monthly progress report on Groundhog Day Resolutions, and it’s kind of a rambling one. Last month had been a tough month emotionally due to the death of my cat and ongoing feelings of disconnection with work, so I decided to focus on self care. When I am in a depressed mood, I obsessively consume media and lose myself in another world. It’s not intentional, but it has the effect of being a vacation away from myself that has lead to reconnecting with virtual worlds! (more…)
- September 9, 2021September 9, 2021
It’s time for the September 9 Groundhog Day Resolutions Report, covering the period of August 9 to September 9! My cat passed away three weeks ago. This has added to the deep sense of depression I’ve been feeling, but I have gathered a few observations and insights to keep myself oriented in a positive direction. (more…)