I’ve written about phenology before; today I want to talk about the seasons of creativity. It’s a New Year’s tradition of mine to take a bit of January to do some planning and goal setting. Some years it happens right at the turn of the calendar; other years it takes me a week or three to find the time.
But it always happens right around this time of year.
Maybe it’s because post-holiday season winter is just a fitting time to sit and plan. Maybe it’s because the previous busy season makes me ache for space to dream. Maybe it’s the freshness of a new planner that snaps me into organization mode.
Creative work has a seasonality, and it’s not just the work of it all. It’s the dreaming and planning that need their due. There’ll be plenty of time for doing later.
One of the things I like to do when setting goals is to think in terms of seasons. What do I hope to accomplish in the spring? What will my summer focus be? What will the fall hold? When you take a seasonal perspective, it’s a lot easier to set your sights on a few bigger goals than an overflowing list of small thing. It feels more focused. More productive. Less… overwhelmingly infinite.
Mostly for me it makes me realize just how finite a year is. In January, the year ahead feels huge. But by May or July or September, I’m lamenting how quickly it’s flying by. When I focus on the seasons, I only get four blocks of time. Four big spaces to put Big Things in. I get to learn, to build, to try – whatever captures my imagination. The days and weeks quickly fill in with the work of the year.
But the seasons, they’re mine.
What will you do with yours?