Starting on December 1st, I plan to make an attempt on my very first Depth Year, a concept that is wholly new to me and very intriguing. I came across it on Beth’s blog, The Wytch of the North; I immediately went to watch Jessica the Story Witch’s video, and then read the article by David Cain where it all started. All three are worth reading/watching, but the gist of a Depth Year, as stated by Cain, is:
…you have to find the value in what you already own or what you’ve already started.
You improve skills rather than learning new ones. You consume media you’ve already stockpiled instead of acquiring more.
You read your unread books, or even reread your favorites. You pick up the guitar again and get better at it, instead of taking up the harmonica. You finish the Gordon Ramsey Masterclass you started in April, despite your fascination with the new Annie Leibovitz one, even though it’s on sale.
The guiding philosophy is “Go deeper, not wider.” Drill down for value and enrichment instead of fanning out. You turn to the wealth of options already in your house, literally and figuratively.
Digging in deep with skills, interests, and hobbies has never been a strong point of mine. The only thing I’ve been consistent in doing over any length of time is writing- which I basically never make progress on, just retread the same ground over and over again- and making pitiful attempts to learn French. Everything else comes and goes in waves of attention and interest. I think this Depth Year will be a very good thing for me.
Deciding what to focus on is the ever present challenge. I made a list of all the hobbies, activities, and skills I had invested time and/or money into in the past that I knew I wanted to continue working on. It’s forty items long, and if I let myself think about it I could probably make it longer. Beth is focusing on, like, three. Clearly some winnowing is in order.
I’ve decided that, along with starting a month early (why wait for the new year?) that I’ll start with two interests on my list, and at the beginning of each month I’ll evaluate my list again, along with the progress I’ve made and the time I have available to me, and add one or two in as I see fit. I’ll be focusing on tarot and fiction writing to begin with. My bare minimum goal is to spend at least an hour a day on depth-work.
Some possible additions for the coming year include ancestry work, weaving, clay sculpting, herbalism, instagram, spinning, French, letter-writing, astrology, watercolor painting, ASL, reading, and outdoor time. It’s going to be an interesting year!