New Year’s Resolution #2: Experiment More

This year, as another broad resolution, I’m giving myself permission to try things I haven’t done before… and to fail, if necessary.

I’m not good at everything. Some of the things I want to do are things I’ve never done before. Some of them are straight from the list of Things Karen Sucks At. Well, let’s be honest… it’s a long list, and some of them are pretty fun, anyway. Some of them are nice breaks from Things Karen Works Her Ass Off to Be Good At or Things Karen Does to Pay For Celery and Raisins.

Let go. Do it, anyway.

I don’t have to be good at everything I do in order to benefit from doing it.

So, that deer skull I have? The one I’ve been planning to incise or explode, or just paint? I can do that, and it doesn’t matter that I don’t have the faintest idea what kind of paint works well on bone, or that I’m probably clumsy enough to shatter the whole damn thing when I start cutting.

Bring on the deer skull.

And that clock I’ve been thinking of building? It’s not like I don’t have most of the pieces. Yes, I’ll probably burn myself with the solder, and the damn thing will probably run backwards and three minutes fast, but why not?

And why not do whatever else comes along?

It doesn’t have to be good. It just has to be interesting. And it doesn’t even have to be interesting for all that long.

I’m giving myself permission to try it, anyway.

Try, fail… add another experience to the collection, another paradigm to draw from.

I’ll probably drag you along for the ride, when I can. After all, what’s the point of having a blog, if I can’t make you cringe along with me, as I cut up a deer skull, or miss my target with the atlatl darts, or incinerate the shed, trying to put together a clock I could’ve bought for five bucks at the dollar store?

New Years Resolution #1: Ask More Questions

I wasn’t going to do a New Year’s Resolutions post this year, and now I am. In fact, I’m going to do a series of them over the next few days. I don’t really know why the change of heart. Maybe it was writing my last post, and thinking about how people make money from art.

Maybe, it’s just the realization that at their heart, New Year’s Resolutions are about making your life better. What can I do differently? What would make me happier, stronger, wealthier? What can I do to make myself happier next year than I was, this year?

So, I’m working on a list of open-ended resolutions. Not things like “lose twenty pounds” or “take up atlatl hunting.” But soft resolutions. Friendly resolutions, where there really isn’t a succeed or fail. Just things to keep in mind over the next year.

So, New Year’s Resolution #1 is:

Ask More Questions.

I’m not the most outgoing person in the world, and if I’m not in a venue that actively supports asking questions like school, or a brain-storming meeting, most often, I won’t. It’s not that questions don’t pop into my mind. They do. All the time.

But I still don’t ask them.

I don’t know why.

Information should be one of the easiest things to ask for. It’s something everybody has, and even if they give it away, they still have it. It’s not like asking for a quarter or a new bicycle.

  • How long have you been doing this?
  • What do you do differently now than when you first started?
  • Who helped you the most?
  • What’s hurt you? Professionally, I mean.
  • Where and how do you make your money? Craft fairs? The internet? Day Job?
  • How did you think of that?
  • What else do you do?
  • What are you going to do next?
  • And the big one, the one nobody asks a whole lot, if they’re a grown-up. Why? Why? Why?

For 2017, I’m giving myself permission to ask the questions that pop into my head, even if they’re the wrong questions, even if all I’m really asking is “Point me in the right direction?”

I will ask.

And I’m accepting the responsibility of answering questions, too. The ones people ask, and the ones they don’t ask… and the ones they don’t know how to ask.

So, what about you? What are the best questions you’ve heard, and the toughest questions to get people to answer?