Skip to content

Creators' Corner #35 - Reflecting Forward on 2023

John Nicholas
John Nicholas
5 min read
Creators' Corner #35 - Reflecting Forward on 2023
Photo of the week: First Sunday back in Munich called for a walk in Englischer Garten ⛄ . Needless to say, Lily loved it.

Hey everyone 👋. Greetings from Munich! I'm finally back in the Northern Hemisphere after a three-month 'workation' in Cape Town.

Welcome to the 21 new subscribers this week. We're up to 266 creators. Thanks so much for being here. If you're new to Creators' Corner, this is a place where I write about my corporate-to-creator journey and share tips on writing and creating visuals.

Here's the previous edition of the newsletter for those of you who missed it. As always – please reach out if you have any thoughts or ideas. I would love to hear from you.


Small talk:

2023 is off to a flyer! One month has gone by in the blink of an eye.

Going self-employed has got me working harder than ever. I am juggling actuarial consulting, content management and writing my own newsletter. At the moment it feels like I'm treading water.

Here are two things I'd like to share with you if you're behind on your (self-imposed) goals for the year. Don't be too hard on yourself, you're doing great.

1. Message I received from my writing buddy, Rik van den Berge, last week:

"The bar we set for ourselves (as self-improving individuals) is usually way higher than the bar others set for us, I've noticed."

2. Tweet from Michael Sklar reminding us to be kind to ourselves if we're already behind on our goals for the year:

One previously optimistic hypothesis I'm revisiting is whether I can write a newsletter every week while managing my other commitments. Settling into a bi-weekly rhythm might make more sense until I find my feet.


Line-up this week:

  1. New essay: Reflecting Forward on 2023
  2. My favourites: quote, tweet and essay of the week
  3. CV4W Guest Series: Writers who Draw with Salman Ansari

1. Reflecting Forward on 2023

Welcome to part two of the annual review.

A couple of weeks ago I posted my year in review. Today I take a look at the year ahead.

Click the link below to read about the principles I wish to follow, the priorities I've set and the goals I'd like to achieve in 2023.

2023: Reflecting Forward
Hey everyone! Welcome to part two of the annual review. A couple of weeks ago I posted my year in review. Today I take a look at the year ahead. 2022 was a wonderful year. It had its ups and downs, but overall it was a year in which I

TLDR version:

  • Guiding principles: 1. Embracing the identity of my art (or confidently saying I’m a creator). 2. Adopting Beginner's Mind (or an attitude of experimentation). 3. Practising Negative Visualization (i.e. gratitude). 4. Getting 3 As instead of getting 5 Bs (prioritization).
  • Creator goals highlights: 1. Podcasts or interviews with creators I admire. 2. Creating video content (90 second clips that summarize my essays). 3. Creating more digital products (Procreate tutorial, life expectancy calculator and a mini book about my Rules for Life).

Featuring, not one, but two new images. This is the one I came up with for priority setting:

We can do many things, but we can't do everything. Only some things really matter.

2. My favourites

💬 Quote of the week: Listening can make you more interesting.

"So if you aspire to be a good conversationalist, be an attentive listener. To be interesting, be interested. Ask questions that other persons will enjoy answering. Encourage them to talk about themselves and their accomplishments." – Dale Carnegie

✍️ Essay: Excellent piece by Rik van den Berge on improving your listening skills. Favourite takeaway: Be a mirror. Create the space for someone to listen to themselves.

“After all, when you seek advice from someone it's certainly not because you want them to give it. You just want them to be there while you talk to yourself.” ― Terry Pratchett

Rik doesn't have Twitter (clean living), but be sure to subscribe to his Substack if you want to read more on active listening, conversation sparring and coaching.

💯 Small win: I was featured in the Write of Passage newsletter last week.

Here's the essay if you'd like to read more about the similarities between fishing and writing.

📹 Video of the week: Thanks to my running buddy, Axel Ganzert, for sharing this killer video from Casey Neistat. Here's to hustling and continually improving.


3. Creating Visuals for Writing with Salman Ansari

Last week Angie Wang and I hosted our third CV4W workshop and first guest lecture with Salman Ansari.

It was a fun, interactive session. Salman shared his creative journey (from working in startups to writing fables for children) and created an artwork from an essay by Sandra Yvonne, one of the CV4W community members.

My favourite part was hearing Salman open up about being pushed in a certain direction in life because he was good at maths and science. Like many of us, he wasn't encouraged to explore his creativity. Only later in life did his creative energy manifest in writing and visualization.

Here's the recording if you'd like to see what we got up to! Salman also wrote an article about his love-hate-love relationship with drawing, which you can read here.

P.S. We are hosting our next guest series with Elizabeth Edwards on 8 Feb. Sign up here:

CV4W Guest Series: Analyze Your Drawings with Elizabeth Edwards · Zoom · Luma
Have you felt you could improve your drawing but are not sure where to start? Do you want to learn how to analyze your drawings?We are excited to have Elizabeth Edwards share some principles...

Chat soon and happy creating!

– John


👋 I'd love to hear from you. You can respond directly to this email or drop a comment below.

🫶 Enjoy Creators' Corner? Forward it to a friend. They can sign up below:

💌 If you would like to support my writing, please check out my digital products here.

👻 Built on Ghost (referral link).

Newsletter

John Nicholas Twitter

Actuary and creator.


Related Posts

Creators' Corner #37 - Atomic Writing Habits

Hey everyone 👋. I'm John. Welcome to Creators' Corner: a place where I share advice on writing, drawing and mindset to propel you on your creative journey. Here's the previous edition of the newsletter if you missed it. Today is (mostly) about getting back into good writing habits. Getting back in

Creators' Corner #37 - Atomic Writing Habits

Creators' Corner #36 - Begin Again

Hey everyone 👋. I'm John. Welcome to Creators' Corner: a place where I write about my corporate-to-creator journey and share tips on writing and creating visuals. Here's the previous edition of the newsletter if you missed it. Today is (mostly) about training ourselves to begin again. On Beginning Again I've been

Creators' Corner #36 - Begin Again

Creators' Corner #34 - 2022 Annual Review edition

Hey everyone 👋. Happy New Year! We're up to 245 creators this week. Thanks so much for being a subscriber. Here's the previous edition of the newsletter for those of you who missed it. As always – please reach out if you have any thoughts or ideas. I would love to hear

Creators' Corner #34 - 2022 Annual Review edition