Back to school time! Are you like me, with fond memories of school supply shopping? Do you love the fresh slate of a new class or semester?
It’s hard to rally that focus on our own, but it’s possible. You don’t have to get all fancy or formal. Just focused. Below you’ll find the inquiries I give my clients when they want to focus on learning and making and growing.
What do you want to learn? This is a great way to narrow down options and get excited about specifics. What is your creative edge, the thing you want to get better at or learn about?
What resources will help you learn this? What books, podcasts, courses or lectures meet you where you are and help you with what you want to learn?
This is a good question to ask for when those random opportunities arise. The irresistible class. The great new book. The OMG she launched that THING and I gotta do it! It’s all too easy to sign up for everything and then do nothing. To feel like we have abandoned the thing we wanted to focus on.
When opportunity knocks, simply ask: How does this help me focus on and meet my goal?
Speaking of goals, what is your desired outcome? (I don’t really go for goals; instead, I work on projects and set a deadline for when I want to launch or finish it. That feels better for me, but you may prefer the word ‘goal’.)
- Do you want to make something and put it out into the world?
- Do you want to monetize your thing?
- What is your ultimate aim and what is your deadline?
When designing your own course work, ask yourself this:
When will you study and work? Determine how much time you will have for this and when it’s right to do your coursework.
Where will you study and work? Sometimes it helps to have a space that’s outside the norm. I get a lot done at the cafe, but you may prefer a quiet corner in your home.
Who will help you? Perhaps you sign up for a class or have a buddy. We often go further together, but maybe you prefer your own private Idaho.
What supplies will you need? I always LOVED back to school shopping. But now, as an adult, I realize that we usually already have everything we need to do the work at hand. I believe that consumerism is the weakest form of creativity, so don’t go buy stuff when what’s really called for is sitting down and doing the work. That said, if you really need a new notebook or gear to do the work, what would that be?
How will you determine your satisfaction? How will you ‘earn your A? This is a concept from Benjamin and Rosamund Zander in their book The Art of Possibility. I have adapted it for my Atelier program. Instead of earning an A, I ask what participants need/want to do to earn their JOY. This helps remove any striving or perfectionism.
Keep it simple. Don’t spend too much time planning. Just enough to get focused. Trust yourself to know what’s right for you.
What else would you add to your curriculum? Make it fun, make it yours and make it meaningful to what you want to write.
This fall I will be launching something I can’t wait to share with you. It involves a lot of writing of the kind I am not used to doing. I am at a creative edge and it’s thrilling. I’ve been studying and focusing and I enjoy the feeling of being a student again. I’m using my Write ON program to keep me on track.
What do you want to learn this year? Check out the workshops I have for writers this fall – I bet one of them is perfect for you.
Share your thoughts and curriculum plans below.