2016, A Brief Review of Creativity

“Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.” - Bill Gates

5 min. read

2016 was, well, _quite _the year.

All in all, I side with what appears to be the consensus that it was, if given only one descriptor, a dumpster fire. That said, it was also more than a dumpster fire, and I want to take a moment to reflect on some of the things I made this year — something I basically never do.

So, with that said, following is what I finished, published, and/or created in 2016.

I launched a few new big projects.

hues, the global justice collective that I co-founded and now houses me as an employee, was born. That’s no small cookie. Granted, it came out of the oven a little underdone, but that just makes for a gooey center, right?! Hues was launched, but I also learned early that hues would never be “launched,” a perspective I carried into my other projects this year.

FacilitatingXYZ, a free online resource with videos, articles, and downloads for facilitators (and a collaboration with Meg Bolger, Kaleigh Conelison and lots of others), officially launched this year, after an abandoned Kickstarter and “back to the drawing board” period last year. Read more about that in this blog post I wrote about it.

I jumped back into the webcomic game with Kinda Political Comics, where I doodled and wrote things during the horrendous campaign cycle. I’m planning on punching this up a notch in 2017, and publishing weekly updates.

I created two new sex education models, both collaborations with the wonderful Dr. Karen Rayne. One is the Sexualitree, a comprehensive model for understanding and teaching sexuality. I’ve heard that folks are using this in a lot of [wonderfully] unexpected ways, including a therapist who has adopted it for doing a personal history with their new clients. And the other is Columns & Shadows: A Healthy Relationship Model, that sex educators are using in classroom settings and sending me great texts/emails about. I think, generally, people underestimate how much work goes into things like these, both of which were in design/ideation phases, then testing phases, for many, many months. The sexualitree, for example, was a work in progress for two years, as exhibited by this early draft I posted on Instagram:

I published one book, and wrote/re-wrote two others.

Unlocking the Magic of Facilitation: 11 Key Concepts You Didn’t Know You Didn’t Know, which I co-authored with Meg Bolger (Yes, same Meg as above), came out in January. It’s had a great year, with consistent sales and getting a lot of use at our Safe Zone Train-the-Trainers.

I re-wrote _A Guide to Gender, _prepping it for 2nd Edition release in 2017. Yay for 4-year-later updates on a concept that evolves every-freaking-day!

And I wrote an entire new book this fall (working title is “Creastinate“), which I’m keeping mostly a secret, but am planning to publish in 2017 (along with a new magazine that I’m hoping to launch, and have mostly-ready-for-prying-eyes).

And I made so many websites.

I’ll start with my favorite, I <3 Singular They, an animated love letter to a pronoun. This site reached 250,000 people in its first month, and, while the espoused goal was never accomplished (reforming style guides by the end of 2016), I’d say the emails I’ve gotten thanking me (often from younglings who have used the site to advocate for themselves to their parents and teachers) mark a small victory.

The Sexualitree got its own website, that is the first of many of that genre: specific websites for free online resources. 2017 will see a Genderbread F.O.R.

A brand new collaborative project required a monster of a website: FacilitatingXYZ. That project was a massive undertaking that resulted in a happy outcome, with a mobile-friendly site that highlights lots of different types of content (articles, videos, downloads) from lots of different creators.

Two new websites for two new books: Unlocking the Magic of Facilitation (which came out in January) got an enchanting ground-up build, and I overhauled the A Guide to Gender website for the 2nd Edition (which will come out early spring 2017).

I made a speaking website for myself (or, really, for my manager, who kept asking me to build a speaking website), Samtalkto.us, last week, to replace what was essentially a domain-holder site that I had whipped together and never used.

I created the hues website to house all the wonderful works (and works-in-progress) that comprise our flagship organization, and it’s PACKED FULL OF COLOR.

And just today (hey, it counts!) I launched Open.hues, a half-website, half-blog, half-social-network Frankenproject that will serve as my new platform for communication, both with other hues staff, and with the world-at-large (instead of email). This was really fun to make because I’ve always wanted to create a social network, and I’m going to have so a blast building out the functionality on this site over the next couple years, assuming the world doesn’t end.

Happy 2017.