2011Hi my creative nomads! Yes, I know this is throwback, but I needed to write this post! SO, we all know that the end of the year is a time for deep reflection, both on our past achievements and our future goals. As for me, I’ve decided that since I’ve been keeping track of my creative achievements for 2012 and 2013, that I needed to go back to my very FIRST year of jumping into my creative journey.

I’ve definitely come a long way from being an academic to accepting my creative path fully, and I’m grateful for each step in the journey. As I looked back and examined where I was in my life, the questions and challenges I had, the conflicts I faced, I realized some very integral turning points and achievements, all of which I wanted to share with you! Check it out, and then feel free to compare this year’s achievement list to those I had in 2012 and in 2013 (forthcoming)!

January 2011
1. Established and founded Rebel Ragdoll Press!
2. Started working on the Rebel Ragdoll Business Plan.
3. Continued working on the first draft of “Ghosts of Koa: The First Book of Ezekiel”. In fact, it wasn’t even wintercalled that at the time! I think the title was “Prodigy of War”, or something dumb like that, lol!

February 2011
1. Was on professional autopilot, as I was still a doctoral student and teaching at university at the time. Was also working on my Masters thesis.
2. Participated in the mass city-wide strike in defense of unions (my own included). The uproar lasted for about 3 months, and many unionized workers’ futures were in serious jeopardy.
3. Established a political action committee called Badger Protest PAC in support of the union protests and did an BUNCH of work around that.

springMarch 2011 – April 2011
1. BOOKED MY PLANE TICKET TO MADRID! This was a major leap, as I had never been outside of the U.S. before, and it was my first international trip as well as my first solo trip. Was planning to leave in mid-May 2011, and the only one who supported me (emotionally) was my mother. Insanely scary for me, but it was my first step to freedom and developing a deeper sense of self!
2. Started planning my itinerary for Europe. (Super exciting!)
3. Continued on my doctoral degree path, with courses and teaching and working on my Masters thesis.
4. Also continued to tidy things up with the political action committee I was running and building.
5. Continued working on the “Ghosts of Koa”  novel!

May 2011 – June 2011
1. Took my first backpacking trip overseas, EVER, and it was incredible. Incredible. I fell in love with travel and with the world, and I’ve had the travel bug ever since. It’s pretty much all I did during these two months.
2. Ended my travels with the most amazing birthday friends’ get-together I’ve ever had in my life. Totally refreshing. You can check out my album here.

July 2011
1. Began to re-assess my life and career path. I asked myself if the PhD in Sociology was worth it. summerObviously, this was the beginning of the end. A new me began to emerge and as it did, many other things began to change. For example:
1A. Badger Protest PAC dissolved, and I moved onto other activities. I began to channel energy into the things I truly loved.
1B. I also FINISHED THE FIRST DRAFT OF GHOSTS OF KOA! But this victory was short lived because of one date in particular, and that was July 23rd. This was the day I’d discovered The Hunger Games, and it changed my life. You can find more of my thoughts on how the Hunger Games helped exponentially in me loving and growing my own novel series (and myself) here.

autumnAugust 2011
1. The era of peace, contentment, and rebirth on all levels had officially begun. On all levels of my life. The trip abroad, plus my creative upheaval, plus having finished the first draft of my first novel launched me forward. Major changes were to follow.
2. Changed the name of my novel to “Ghosts of the Second Cell”, which sounded way cooler than “Prodigy of War”, but still wasn’t in it’s final “Ghosts of Koa” form yet!

September 2011
1. Really TOOK ownership of Rebel Ragdoll and made plans to move it forward.
Commissioned the logo design for Rebel Ragdoll. Got the Rebel Ragdoll logo finished by The Logo Company, and it was awesome!
2. Recruited and hired two artists (Eric Quigley and Nathan Crandall) to take my novel series to the next level.
3. Began to learn contracts and draft them myself for the artists I wanted to hire for my novel series.
4. Received finalized stationery, envelopes, and business cards for Rebel Ragdoll, and I loved them! 2011(2)
5. Began receiving concept art and promo art for “Ghosts of Koa” from my artists, and IT ROCKED.

October 2011
1. Got more involved in the art direction of my story illustrations, and I began learning how to negotiate and lead in the creative field.
2. Began to showcase the illustrations of my artists. It was a powerful moment!
3. Established the Rebel Ragdoll website. While the design was great, I had no clue how to update it efficiently, so I had to learn! So I…
4. Began training in Joomla website design. Also trained in Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator.

new year 2012

Ring in the new year with some great goals!

November 2011
1. Began planning for my blog, building a press list, and creating creative deadlines. Lots of groundwork being laid. Also did some HEAVY editing of the first draft of my novel.

December 2011
1. Began conceptualizing the licensing possibilities for my novel series and artwork.
2. Began to learn more about marketing, publicity, and book publishing. The training continued on!
3. Solidified the branding of my novel series. Decided it would be called “The Books of Ezekiel”. Also established The Books of Ezekiel website!

So what about you? Do you remember the beginning of your creative journey? Any major turning points that you can remember? Major growth spurts? Share them below! And, of course, in the meantime…

Keep it indie,
<3 Colby