Making a Creative Life

Way back in 2004, I read a book that made a deep impression on me: Making a Literary Life, by Carolyn See. In it, she says that the decision to live a literary life – a life as a Writer (capitalized intentionally), if you will – is a series of choices you make and actions you take. I read every book on writing that hits the mainstream, and by far it is my favorite.

I used to dream of being a writer, but these days, my vision is broader – I want to be creative. I want to build things, create things, share things. I want to work with amazing people to accomplish things that have never been, and then I want to drink wine with those friends and toast our success.

Some of those things I want to create are books, but I also want to make videos, and blog posts, and podcasts and newsletters and retreats and companies, maybe. If I spoke to the author of that book today, I think she would tell me that the decision to live a creative life is also about the choices you make and the actions you take.

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This was my first full week with my personal Facebook account closed. I don’t know what conclusions you can draw from this week’s creativity, other than I was busy. Which is ironic, because if you had asked me at any given time if I was accomplishing anything, I would have told you no.

In the last seven days*:

  • I created a new website for The Hughsletter (I’m right proud of that, thank you very much!) and have begun to import the back issues into the archives. That was the primary creative thing I did this week, and I feel pretty OK about that. I have intended to do this for almost a year.
  • I wrote this week’s issue of The Hughsletter and three blog posts (counting this one). Considering most weeks The Hughsletter is the only thing that gets done, I am not unhappy with those results.
  • I wrote 1150 words of original work outside of Social Media and blogs. (You can read that as work on the book project that hasn’t been touched since October 7th of last year. I expect that to ramp up, as I din’t even open the file until Thursday).
  • I wrote a thank-you message to the Sustaining Members of The Hughsletter (This isn’t huge, but it is entirely new, so I am counting it.)
  • I read two books.
  • I had one coffee date with a friend that served no purpose other than to figure out ways we can collaborate.

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Considering I am still trying to get my legs under me and figure out a new rhythm, I don’t feel bad about the results. I have a goal next week of doing 500 words a day (2500 total), which, if I keep it up over time, should give me one book-length manuscript a year, as well as lots of room for other projects.

OK, that’s enough. Back to work.

*None of this includes the stuff I do for my day job over at Love Wins Ministries, where I write sermons, blog post, newsletters and so on.