For some reason, that really struck me – “Create Daily”. Lends itself so well to hashtaggery. I had a lot of fun with #inktober this year, and of course right now it’s #NaNoWriMo, which you absolutely can’t get done unless you work on it every day or nearly every day while it lasts.
Having a motivation to do something every day is a good thing. So, Create Daily … something. Something small. YOU’RE ON, KEVAN!
But being an inveterate overthinker, I started ruminating about it. Do I really want to commit myself, in public, to do something like this? Every day? For a whole year? It’ll just create pressure again, performance tension. Which I need more of like I need a hole in the head.
And then I read something in Brené Brown’s Daring Greatly*: There’s one bit where she calls herself “a recovering perfectionist and an aspiring good-enough-ist” (p.128). And a couple of pages later, she says that “one of the most effective ways to start recovering from perfectionism is to start creating” (p.135).
Put those two together, and you’ve got the perfect (haha) recipe for how to approach this #CreateDaily thing.
Because creating can itself very easily fall prey to perfectionism. If I say I’m going to create daily for a whole year, the first day that I don’t, I’ve blown it. Aaaack! Perfectionism trigger! But, if you apply good-enough-ism to it, you’ve nipped perfectionism in the bud.
So, I’m going to approach the #CreateDaily thing in the spirit of Good-enough-ism. Start here, right now. With small (very small) acts of creation; maybe every day, maybe not; for a while (I’m not going to give it a specific time limit). I’m not even going to call it a “project” – more of a “practice”.
I’m defining “creating” as “intentionally making something that wasn’t there before“. So here’s some things that might count:
-writing a small, not-very-polished blog post
-writing a fiction fragment of three sentences
-knitting a few stitches on my current project
-playing half a song on the guitar or recorder
-taking a photo with my phone
-taking a photo with my big camera
-writing two-and-a-quarter lines of a poem
-cooking a pot of soup
-spinning half a metre’s worth of yarn
-making something in clay
-doing a five-minute sketch or doodle
-baking a batch of brownies
-growing a seedling, or a tray of sprouts
-writing a letter…
Of course, there are also the “big” creative things, like working on a novel (I’m still in the throes of NaNoWriMo at the moment), organising an event, completing a knitting project, baking a fancy cake, etc. And there are a hundred other small creative things one could do (Making ink! From walnuts! Or making soap! Or writing a song! Or arranging pebbles in the backyard in a spiral! Or learning a new cat’s cradle pattern! Or…).
All of that counts. And perhaps, even, what might tie into it is the celebration of other people’s creativity, like going to an art show or a stage play, or listening to a wonderful piece of music, or applauding someone else’s short story, or appreciating a lovely piece of homemade cake accompanied by tea in a handmade pottery mug. Because almost invariably, when I see other people’s creativity, I’m inspired and propelled towards my own.
Which is exactly what happened when I read Kevan’s post. “Go ye and do likewise.” Create Daily.
Life, the Universe, and Creating Daily. Thanks, Kevan, I will.
*Brené Brown, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent and Lead. New York: Penguin Random House, 2012.
**Another book that very much ties into this is Craftfulness: Mend Yourself By Making Things, by Arzu Tahsin and Rosemary Davidson, which I impulse-purchased this spring in the gift shop on the Vancouver Island ferry and have been living on ever since.