Join Me In 2018: Together We’ll Make The New Year Our Most Fulfilling One Yet

Together We'll Make The New Year Our Most FulFilling One Yet

Almost 2 years ago, I tried hand lettering. I’d done calligraphy before, so I was confident that I’d really enjoy brush lettering. But I sucked… when I say that I sucked, I should take a moment to clarify that I’m not the sort of person who needs consoled with a popsicle. I’m not being down on myself, or having a comparison pity party… it was just ragged.

But that’s not shocking, because I’d never used a brush pen before. As it turns out, I didn’t have the muscle control to move it fluidly yet, and I was using the wrong paper, so I was tearing up my pen too. But, based on that one half-crap attempt, I decided that it was proof I just wasn’t cut out for brush lettering.

Makes sense right? I tried it, I stunk, case closed. Boy, am I glad my parents didn’t have that attitude about me when I was born! “Well, she tried to stand, and she fell….. what a failure!”

Well now you’re just being silly Amanda! Yup. Sure am… and I was being silly when I bailed on a potential new skill, because I wasn’t mind-blowing on my first attempt.

So at the beginning of this year, I chose 3 skills to learn through the year: Doodling, hand lettering, and watercoloring. Why 3? I just can’t handle only picking one skill… and 3 sounded like a good number.

Why limit myself at all? I could give you some very schmancy responses about how historically limitations have prompted some of the most long lasting things like Picasso’s blue period, or Dr. Seuss’s Green Eggs and Ham, which arose from a challenge to write a book in 50 words or less.

I “could” give you that answer, but honestly it’s because I suffer from a crippling condition… FOMO. Yes ladies, get well cards can be sent to me at… okay seriously though… Fear Of Missing Out. It kills me to miss out on things, and I want to take *flinging confetti* all-the-classes!!! So I limited myself to 3 areas, so that if I saw a class and I really wanted to take, I could analyze it in the scope of those 3 skills, and determine if the class was a good fit.

And it worked.

I started off the year by creating a Pinterest board for 2017, and I dumped anything I could find… books, YouTube tutorials, blog posts, tools, classes… just to get my brain going.

I chose these 3 things on a whim. My whims are few and far between, so I usually follow them when they come along. I’m not a capricious person by nature. But this was definitely a whim. And I ran with it as hard as I could. What I didn’t realize, is that it would change everything. *dunh dunh da dunhhhhhh*

Phillip would come home, to a bed covered in lettering drills. Because once I started learning how to properly do it, I loved it. And I would do page after page of drills… waves, swirls, v’s, m’s, n’s, circles… anything to learn the motions and build that muscle control.

Slowly, I added in watercolors, and to my surprise I fell in love with that too. You see, what all 3 things had in common, was that I’d previously tried them, and decided they must not be “my” thing. Lettering was rough looking, watercoloring was difficult to control (and I love control), and doodling was too whimsical for me.

But slowly, all of them grew on me. And as I learned them, my art became more unique, and more interesting. Meanwhile, my writing on my blog was getting harder and harder. I had a chat with a friend about it one evening, and she said “is it possible, that you’re struggling because you’re writing about what you think people want you to write about, instead of what really excites you?”

Uhm. Yes. More than possible.

So basically over the weekend, everything changed. I updated my domain, my graphics, and everything… I had one more hiccup… turns out not everyone knows what a curmudgeon is ;), but I rallied and here I am.

Here I am, and it’s one year since I made that decision… and now I’m doing it again. Last year, it was a secret… only a handful of people had any clue what I was doing… my own personal safety net in case I got bored. But this time, I’m going public with it for a very special reason.

I want you to join me.

Don’t worry, I’m not pointing my finger at you like Uncle Sam, and I won’t draft you, or voluntell you. This is completely up to you, but the things is… a drive by yourself is nice, but a road trip with friends is fun! Are you game? Awesome!

Join me and @amandasuehowell in choosing 3 creative skills to grow in 2018! Click To Tweet

Here’s how this works… you’ll pick 3 things. I’m picking 3 for personal, and 3 for business… that doesn’t mean that the personal won’t end up in my business, but for now, these are just being learned and explored. Anyway, you’ll pick 3 things, and revolve your world around them. Let them create a laser focus for the classes you take next year, the tutorials you watch, your tax time splurges… all of it.

At the end of each month, I’ll do an update post, and I’ll share what I’ve been up to (although odds are, you’ll see glimpses on my Instagram, and possibly YouTube), and what classes I’ve been taking… what skill got the majority of my attention that month, and what my progress is.

I totally want to hear from you in the comments of those posts… link to your own update post if you choose to go that route! Share an Instagram photo that shows what you’ve created so far! Update us with what class you loved the most… invite us into your world.

Without further ado, here are my 3 personal focuses for 2018:

Acrylic painting – I explored watercolors this year, so next year I’m playing in a different medium.
Makeup – I have always adored makeup, and I’d love to really learn some new fun looks, and learn how to do them quickly… I’m just not a 4 hour contour kinda girl.
Music – Another longstanding interest of mine… I’ve been dying to learn how to play several instruments, and really sharpen up my singing.

Now it’s your turn! What focuses are you choosing for 2018? Will you be making a Pinterest board too?

Here’s how this works… you’ll pick 3 things. I’m picking 3 for personal, and 3 for business… that doesn’t mean that the personal won’t end up in my business, but for now, these are just being learned and explored. Anyway, you’ll pick 3 things, and revolve your world around them. Let them create a laser focus for the classes you take next year, the tutorials you watch, your tax time splurges… all of it.

Amanda Sue

Amanda Sue is an enabler for creatives who shun niches. Through her super-approachable classes & range of Pinterest services, she's here to remind you that you deserve to carve out the life of your dreams. Her adoring fans & customers have called her classes "fun + relaxing" & "refreshingly breezy". When she's not painting & Pinning, you can find her teaching herself to knit while she indulges her latest Netflix obsession.


  1. I’m totally in! And not because you secretly voluntold me. haha

    My three personal focuses are:
    1) Acrylic painting- because we’re doing this one together.
    2) Doodling- I’ve doodled a lot before but never with the purpose to improve. I’d like to spend more time with it and see what happens.
    3) Writing- I have always wanted to write…and I do. But I want to explore how I can improve my craft and also explore more.
    Amanda recently posted…A guide to choosing your next idea & sticking to itMy Profile

    • I LOVE it! I can definitely share some doodling stuff with ya, since that was one of mine this year. Writing is a fantastic focus, and one I’d definitely love to improve myself. And of course I’m stoked about the acrylic painting! 😀 We’ve got this!!!

  2. Omg – this is fantastic! I’m really excited to come along in this journey with you!! ?
    So my three for the year will be:
    1) creating more watercolor classes/tutorials
    2) getting better at lettering/calligraphy
    3) master photography (i have a manual camera and no idea how to actually use it!
    This is going to be such a fun year ahead! Thanks for the motivation!! ?

    • This makes me so happy that you’re joining in!!! 😀 And ooohhhh every time I break out my camera, I wonder why I go so long in between. What kind of camera is it? <3

  3. Oh man you have got me FIRED UP!!

    Okay, 3 for 2018:
    -Learn to accompany myself on guitar/uke/piano (just one will do)
    -Learn how to record at home and record more performing videos
    -Practice mixed media artwork — I have all the materials but haven’t gotten started!

    Stretch: Hand lettering because it looks so fun and relaxing <3

    • Yay Katie!!!! I’m so excited that you’re along for the ride! Guitar, ukulele, piano are all on my list too!! And recording music videos is part of my music goals too… I used to post on IG some too, but then I got shy, lol.

  4. Hmmmm, that’s hard! I tend to just jump all over the place when it comes to learning something creative (might be why I’m not “good” at anything creative)! This is good and will make me focus on just three 🙂 I guess I’ll have to join in with 1) doodling; 2) learning my camera and photography; 3) getting better at video (all aspects…creative and technical). <3
    Gayle recently posted…Happy Mother’s Day!My Profile

  5. I’m in! This was really hard to just choose 3 but here they are.
    1. Art. I want to get better at art. I think I am going to have a different art focus every month.
    2. Music. I want to learn to play the violin. I also want to learn to read music.
    3. Chinese. I am currently learning Mandarin Chinese and I want to be able to speak and write it.

    • Ohhhhh I LOVE the idea of having a different art focus each month. Very cool. 🙂 And learning violin/reading music is also on my list this year, so if I find any great resources I’ll send them your way.

      Chinese is on my someday list… this year it’s Spanish, and then either German or French… or both. We’ll see. 🙂

  6. Okay, I’m running behind as usual. But at long last I have my 3 areas along with an over-arching theme for the year.

    1. Writing: This will cover finishing my novel, reviving my blog, and maybe even some poetry. Oh, and journaling.
    2. Creative Projects: I have so many kits and materials sitting around. It’s time to put them to use!
    And last, but certainly not least,
    3. Self care: This is an area that has been much neglected for too long. This year I’m taking care of me. If my body is my temple than this one needs some remodeling. This will involve some exercise, some healthy eating, skin care, spiritual quiet time, some dark chocolate, bubble baths, and whatever else I need to get myself to where I want and need to be.

    I mentioned a theme. My theme for all of this is Use What I Have. Seriously, my cup overfloweth. My freezer and pantry shelves are full. My craft room/office is over full. We are very blessed. But it’s time to lighten my load. I will never be a minimalist, but there does need to be a paring down. Mostly that’s going to happen because I’m going to use things I have sitting around. This means cooking food that I already have, creating with supplies I already have, burning the candles sitting around my house, using the beauty supplies sitting in my bathroom, sewing with the patterns and fabric I have, and…well, you get the idea.


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