In this blog post, I’ll share my approach to crafting a roadmap for what I wish to create in the new year. But before I begin, let me explain what I mean when I use the words ‘creative roadmap’.
A creative roadmap is a tool that evolves with the project, providing a structured yet flexible framework for creative individuals and teams. It helps to maintain focus and ensure that creative vision transforms into tangible and successful outcomes.
Before I dive into future planning, I first take a moment to reflect on the past. What worked well in 2023? What were the challenges I faced?
Reflecting on the year allows me to draw insights and lessons that can inform my 2024 roadmap. For example, I know procrastination is a real problem for me. I need my roadmap to have pit stops where I can address my fears and refocus. My roadmap contains short sprints and long pauses for learning and inspiration.
Looking back is also imperative for identifying what I have achieved and the areas in which I have grown. It’s important I celebrate my victories, big and small.
This not only helps me to understand my strengths and weaknesses but also acts as a guide for the coming year. For example, I know that I was able to learn the basics of InDesign, therefore I can plan to tackle other design technologies that may seem daunting.
Defining My Creative Vision for 2024
I begin my roadmap by defining a clear and compelling creative vision for 2024. What do I aim to achieve? And you, what do you aim to achieve? Whether it’s completing a novel, launching a product line, or showcasing your artwork in a gallery, articulating your creative purpose with clarity is key. ‘Write it down, make it plain’.
Next, break it down into goals. This usually looks like a daily and weekly aim.
Practical Tips for Crafting Your Roadmap
For me, dividing things into smaller milestones is the only way I can get moving. For example, I have to literally write the words ‘Write a poem’ in my planner each day in order to come up with a collection of 100-200 poems. If it is not written down, I find it easy to get distracted (remember, procrastination is my problem).
Consistency is Key. Repetition helps to solidify habits, making it more likely that I will stick to my roadmap. Whether it’s daily, weekly, or monthly, find a frequency that works for you and stick to it.
In staying that, I feel a tad hypocritical. I know life happens. And if you were to see how my routine is interrupted constantly you would also see how being consistent is a constant challenge.
Life’s unpredictable nature means that interruptions are inevitable, and my routine often faces unexpected turns. However, the aim is to be as consistent as possible rather than perfectly consistent.
Navigating the Terrain
While a roadmap provides structure, If I’m honest, ideas often come in moments of spontaneity. Unplanned instances have the power to breathe life into a plan, infusing it with fresh perspectives and solutions.
So, while structure is invaluable, I like to leave room for the unknown. This looks like an unscheduled time to follow the muse, or at least my own curiosity.
Learn as you go
As I navigate my roadmap, I tell myself that it’s ok to learn as I go, in fact, it’s necessary. Embracing this mindset acknowledges the nature of the journey, understanding that growth is an integral component of progress.
The roadmap isn’t rigid but rather a flexible guide that comes to life alongside my learning curve.
In our world, things change quickly. The introduction of new technologies is a prime example of the need for continuous learning. New tools and innovations are constantly being released, and staying relevant often means acquiring new skills on the fly.
Coming to terms with the fact that the roadmap might need detours allows for a more agile and forward-thinking approach.
Designing a roadmap for your creative venture in 2024 doesn’t have to be complicated. As you create it, remember it is a living document—an evolving guide that propels you toward your creative aspirations.
Know this. You are well-equipped to design a roadmap that not only leads you to dreams fulfilled but also allows your creativity to flourish.
For more thoughts on creativity, you may also like ‘creating something new: expectations v’s reality’ and ‘4 reasons why you are more creative than you think you are‘.