On Being Creatively Stuck in the New Year + My Goals for 2018

Jan 10

Begin Again | Time to make the magic | 2018 quotes from @cydconverse

Friends, I don’t know what it is, but January is kicking my ass. Again. This has happened the last couple of years, too, and it is endlessly frustrating. I love the holiday season, both personally and professionally. It’s my favorite content to brainstorm, concept, shoot and share and by the time the new year hits it’s almost like I’ve used up all my creativity stores and it takes a few weeks for that part of my brain to kick back into gear. Add in a horrible cold/stomach bug/persistent fever situation for Emerson last week (the cold part of which is still lingering) and I have just not had a whole lot of luck getting back into a rhythm. It’s an annoying way to start the year, if I’m honest, because everyone else seems to be fired up and ready to take names in 2018 and I’m over here snuggling a sick toddler and spinning my wheels.

Starting the year feeling creatively stuck? Not my idea of a good time. It’s honestly even super anxiety inducing since I’m already starting to see amazing content being produced all around me and I just can’t get my crap together. We were planning to kick off 2018 with our first shoot of the year yesterday, but Alice has also been sick and has some personal things going on so it just wasn’t the right day to jump into things. The culmination of all this is that it’s a Wednesday in the middle of January and I’ve been sitting in front of my computer all day and have yet to muster up anything resembling a real post to share with you. So, I am taking matters into my own hands this week and diving head first into what I hope will be a good book. (Sometimes focusing my brain in a totally different way is such a help!) Tomorrow Emerson will go off for a play date and during that time I am going to head to the library or just go for a drive or maybe even go out to lunch by myself to try and shake the creative side of my brain awake. Sometimes I think a change of environment can help so much, especially when you live in a cold climate like ours and tend to be bunkered down at home a lot this time of year, even more so when you have a tiny tot in tow. Oh, and I’m also ‘fessing up in this blog post and being really honest about how blah my artistic forces seem to be right now. Maybe you care share some great tips for what helps you get through creative ruts, or if nothing else you’ll know I’m not just over here being lazy and eating bon bons while all my blogger buds are back to work killing it.

Girl, you totally got this | 2018 quotes from @cydconverse

Because I think there’s nothing like a good set of goals to get me fired up, let’s wrap up this “Cyd is currently sucking a life” monologue with some of my goals for 2018! This past year was such a banner year for me professionally and personally on so many levels and I am looking forward to 2018 being even more incredible. Onward and upward, as they say!

1. Travel. Before I got pregnant and had a baby, I was traveling a lot more. I still travel more than a lot of people, but I’ve realized that traveling is really important for my soul. It feeds me personally and it fuels me professionally. This year we have trips already planned to visit my sister in Florida (later this month) and take the boys on their first real New York adventure in February. We’re also planning to visit Vancouver as a side excursion on our way to Banff, which is such a bucket list trip for both Bob and I. Where are you traveling to this year? Any Banff or Vancouver recommendations? (More on that trip soon!)

2. Make photo albums. This sounds so simple, but it’s something I always manage to put off. I’ve been wanting to make yearly photo albums for Emerson and for our family, but it never seems to happen. This year I am determined to start making it happen annually and to even go back and do her year 1 and year 2 albums. (I really love these simple yet super chic hard cover books from Artifact Uprising!) We have so many amazing photos and it’s a shame not to display more of them in some tangible way. Consider this one a huge personal goal for me this year!

3. Put myself out there. This one is so huge and so important, but I need to put myself out there professionally. I have to get over some of my big insecurities, and get in front of the camera, pop up on Instagram Stories more, get active on Facebook Live and just bring more of me to you. I think we’d have a lot of fun “hanging out” and I realize that more people are spending time on social media these days versus blogs so I’ll come to you guys if you promise to follow along? Fingers crossed!

4. Share more of our family. This one ties in with the last goal, but in general I really feel like this is the year to share more of our family and what makes us tick. Back in the day, as I was going through a divorce and then rebuilding a new life, it all felt a little too personal to share. Now I believe that my role as a mom, wife and stepmom is such a defining part of who I am that it’s a shame not to share it with you more often. I am a very very real person, our family faces very very real issues. It’s not all just pretty food and Pottery Barn play kitchens over here, although I certainly love those things a whole lot! Stay tuned.

5. Take better care of myself. I touched on this one last year and I’m not sure I made the progress I wanted to on this front, so it’s back on the docket for 2018. By “better care of myself” I mean physically, mentally, emotionally and with regards to my persistent tendency to procrastinate on important things. (Little things? Work things? I never procrastinate. Big things? Life altering things? I am a card carrying full-time procrastinator and it’s obnoxious.)

6. Evolve The Sweetest Occasion. In 2018 I’ll have been blogging for ten years. TEN YEARS! So much has changed (read: everything) and so have I in the last decade. After a couple of years sort of regrouping, in my mind, with the addition of a baby (who is now a toddler) in the mix, I feel like I finally get what really sets me apart from other bloggers these days and what The Sweetest Occasion needs to be. I am not at all sure how to do it, so that’s this year’s goal. Again, stay tuned! And please take the upcoming annual reader survey to chime in and give me some insight as I’m experimenting!

7. Dabble with products. This is still formulating as even just as an idea, so I have no idea what it looks like or even exactly what my end goal is with this one, but I’d love to dabble a bit with products this year. It might be through developing a handful of awesome, limited edition products or it might be looking more into licensing, which is something I started with a few years ago but it just never really came together. Any thoughts?

8. Write a book. In 2018, I am writing a book. No, it’s not official yet, but this is something that has been in the works unofficially for the last few years and officially for the last year, and I am going out on a limb here and declaring that 2018 is the year. So far all the pieces of the puzzle haven’t quite clicked together just right to make me want to jump at something, but I have a feeling it’s happening this year.

 

I think that’s most of them! Hopefully this time next year I’ll be feeling much less stuck and like 2018 was just a crazy successful year on most fronts. Here’s hoping your January and your new year are off to a great start. Let’s do this thing!

8 thoughts on “On Being Creatively Stuck in the New Year + My Goals for 2018”

  1. 1. Jealous of your Banff plans! That is totally on my must-visit list.
    2. I tell anyone who will listen that my favorite photo book service is Montage Books. They offer leather-bound albums with really high quality paper, and their tool for building the albums is incredibly fast and easy. I had 7 years of photos backed up that needed to be turned into albums and now I have all of them finished and shelved!
    3. If you are looking for a good book recommendation and you like historical fiction, I recently finished Pachinko by Min Jin Lee, and it was fabulous.

    1. Thanks, Caitlin! I am going to share some “planning for Banff” type posts throughout the year (we are planning to go in mid-September) so hopefully those will inspire your trip to happen sooner rather than later! ;-) Ours is acting as our honeymoon/first anniversary/Bob’s 40th birthday trip so we’re really going to try and do it right. I am SO inspired that you have so many photos in books now! I am going to check out Montage Books before I get started because writing this post made we want to start tonight since I’m clearly not feeling creative in any other way right at the moment. Ha! And yes! I love a good book recommendation. I will check it out, thank you! xoxo

  2. You’re a rockstar, Cyd. I’m feeling ALL the same feelings you are. This all leads me to believe January is just one of “Those” months when it all feels magical to start anew but yet it’s also a lot of pressure. If it were December 45th, we probably wouldn’t feel this way, you know? So we keep on keeping on, don’t look at the calendar, ha, and keep creating what we love. You’re so talented and I can’t wait to see what you create next!

    1. Thanks, Court! I am so eternally grateful we’re in this weird blogging boat together. I treasure your friendship and support! Also, SOLID POINT about the 45th day of December. Is there way we can petition to make January a fifteen day month?! lol I am so glad I wrote this post, I think it’s helping already! xoxoxo

  3. I totally feel you on being stuck. I picked ‘productive’ as my word of the year, and I’ve been sick/sluggish/under the weather since January 1st :/ It’s getting to me but I know I’ll bounce back eventually and then I can be all kinds of productive haha. I love your list, I can’t wait to follow along this year. Especially with that book! That sounds so exciting :)

    1. I hear you, Amy! I have been anti-productive, if anything. But I think I’m making peace with the fact that January is just a regrouping month for me and that the slower pace may be what fuels my productivity throughout the rest of the year. Or so I’m telling myself right now as I continue to kind of schlep through the muck. I hope you’re feeling better and thanks so much for the encouragement! Fingers crossed on the book front – I’ve never spoken of it publicly, but thought maybe doing so could be the key to making it all come together. ;-) Happy 2018 to you! xoxo

  4. Don’t be so hard on yourself! I just now found your blog and I absolutely love it. It will take me a while to go through all the back posts, so I’m glad you’re slowing down,,,, it may take me a while to catch up – take a minute for yourself. Look back over what you have accomplished and pat yourself on the back. You have no idea how many people wish they could be as productive as you have been. Be patient with yourself. Sit back and look out the window as you travel on your journey, and be grateful for your view. I have a feeling you will find the perfect inspiration as the perfect time. You really are amazing! Thank you for your inspirational posts.

    1. Oh Suzanne, you are so very sweet! Thank you for taking time out of your day to share such encouraging words with me. They really do mean so much! Surely we are all our own worst critics, no doubt. I hope your 2018 is beautiful! xoxo

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