These past few days I've been in Madison WI and St. Louis for some New Years cheer with Mary's family. I haven't posted much here because I've been finishing off a lot of thinking and a lot of reading.
The reading and thinking has primarily been around 3 main topics: technology, creativity, and innovation.
In pursuit of those topics, I've been reading a bunch of books, watching a bunch of TED talks, and then thinking about what it means for my own life and work.
I have come to realize that I really really like creating things. These "things" could be physical objects: a loaf of bread, a novel, a business. They could be experiential: a great event (a night at the movies, a night at the theater, a night of debate and discourse). Or they could be virtual: a blog, a 5 minute movie, a website.
Here are some of the things I am especially proud of creating in 2010 (this list is inspired by Seth Godin's "What did you ship in 2010?"):
- The Saints Go Dying. Published Kindle edition.
- The Marinara Murders. Completed first draft.
- The Genie of Tacoma. Created 5 Minute short film.
- "It's All Work," wrote this article for GTD Times. It got some really good responses.
- Created the new CityClubTacoma.org website and my sister's site FishWifeSalmon.com (Mary deserves a whole lot of credit on these, of course)
- Helped to create The Future of Books Panel. (I wasn't the sole creator obviously, but this was a great City Club program, I helped bring it together a bit, and I'll use it as being indicative of many others.)
- Created and moderated the "Is the Tacoma Arts Scene in Seattle's Shadow?" panel for Shunpike.
- Facilitated a morning of discussion about diversity for the Youth Philanthropy Board. It was a lot of work to facilitate this group for three hours, but what an incredibly rewarding experience.
- Baked a super crusty and tasty couronne loaf. You can bet there will be more of these in 2011.
- Wrote an application for a major contract for Mary Holste Design. Even though we didn't get the contract, going through the application process was a big win for us.
As I said above, I am really proud of this list. (My only regret is that I can't list something Metro Parks related. I love the parks work, but it's very hard to say from a commissioner's seat, especially less than a year into it, that I created something. There is a lot of work I am very proud of with MPT, but I just can't bring myself to file it under creation.)
So with all that in mind, one thing I'm going to try to work on in 2011 is focus. I am very sympathetic to William Gibson when he says, "My problem is that all things are increasingly interesting to me." Exactly.
I need to get better at narrowing my focus. It doesn't mean I'm going to try to end up with fewer things on my list next year. Rather, I want to get a better at consciously deciding that if I'm going to do X, then I can't keep doing Y.
I know what my big projects and big goals are for 2011 and I am pretty confident I have the time to do them. So I want to make sure that I don't add anything else or–that if I do–I take a realistic approach and make sure I am ok putting another goal aside for a little while to finish the new one.
I'll devote another post later this week to what some of those goals and projects are. Exciting preview! One of those projects involves some video blogging. More on that soon!