My New Year’s resolution this year is to take my creativity to a new level. I think when I made it I expected it would magically happen just because I want it to, like all the years I resolved to get out of debt or buy a new car and didn’t because I didn’t have a plan and didn’t work toward it. Almost 4 weeks into 2011 though and I’m realizing if I want to fulfill on this resolution, I’m going to have to work for it.
So a couple weeks ago I heard about this book, 365: A Daily Creativity Journal: Make Something Every Day and Change Your Life! by Noah Scalin.
Change my life? That’s a pretty bold statement. BUT, it really called to me as a way of fulfilling my resolution. So I bought it and it arrived last week. Just reading the first paragraph got my blood pumping and creative thoughts churning – check it out…
A daily creative project is like a marathon. It’s a ridiculously daunting task, but making an original creation every day gives you a sense of accomplishment. It also forces you to push beyond your mental and physical barriers (especially the ones you’ve erected for yourself.) You’ll be amazed at what you produce and what you learn about yourself in the process.”
Isn’t that exciting? Transformation through creation!!
I’m not out for fame or fortune. I just feel like I’ve been in survival mode for a few years now. Between a lot of big life happening all at once and the impact of the economy on my family and community in general, my creative side has faded to gray. Life has become about surviving, being practical and efficient, stretching every dollar, sometimes just getting through the day. I’m not saying this is all bad. It’s useful to have survival skills and they’ve gotten me through some really bad times, and in a way they are creative – making the best of what you’ve got, you know. But breathing in and breathing out is not very creative. It’s what you have to do to get by. I’m tired of getting by. I want to bring myself back to life! Instead of just surviving, I want to thrive!….
And sure, my circumstances may not change at all, but with something creative to focus on, my outlook on life will change. You know, something in the future to work toward, look forward to. Attitude is everything…
So here are Scalin’s suggestions…
- Choose a theme you’re interested in. He says, “The key to a successful daily project is deciding on a subject or medium that you will enjoy exploring for a year.” A theme could be cats, flowers, robots, dragons, etc. “Pick something you already like.” A medium could be writing, cooking, painting, etc. “Choose something you really want to master.”
- Choose a time frame. He obviously suggests create something every day for a year. I’m convinced he’s a childless bachelor – when I think about trying to make something EVERY DAY besides breakfast, lunch and dinner, well that’s an exaggeration, but still, it seems almost impossible. Obviously this is my first barrier to overcome. Anyway, he also says to pick your own time frame. Once a week for 4 months or whatever. Don’t stress about it. You can always change the time frame if it’s not working for you. He says, “A daily project is all about the rules you make for yourself…”
- Share what you’re doing with other people, either by blogging, Facebook, whatever. Document your process. Take lots of pictures. Why? You may inspire others and others may inspire you. You’ll create a support system for yourself and who knows what else.
Whatever you choose, if you follow through, who knows what could happen? “A daily project is a personal journey that can offer you a rare opportunity for self discovery and personal growth with tangible results,” Scalon writes. “And who knows? Maybe even a new career, a book deal, an exhibition, an extra source of income, or even fame and fortune.”
I’ve been thinking about this all week. Obviously I love sewing and something in particular I enjoy making is pillows, yet I rarely do. They’re pretty easy to make and really versatile and I have lots of ideas and patterns I’ve been wanting to try out… I’d love to commit to a daily project, but will shoot for a weekly one. Even that will stretch my personal boundaries…. So here I go! The 52 Pillows Project has official begun! WHEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Interested in doing your own daily project? Here’s some other inspiring links: