Now that I've wrapped up my 100 Day Project I feel such a sense of play and joy again about my art. If you aren't familiar with the 100 Day Project or want to know more about what I chose, check out this blog, What is a 100 Day Project and Why I Did One.
Getting started is always the biggest hurdle in any creative project. But after you start, how do you set yourself up for success to actually stick with it?
If you're in San Francisco and want to connect with other creatives, check out the 100 Day Project MeetUp happening August 19th!
Here are 6 tips I found helpful in choosing a project I stuck with for 100 days.
#1 Choose something you already do.
This one felt important. You’re taking something you already enjoy and making time for it because want to get better.
For the last few years I’ve been using tarot cards as writing prompts. It’s not something I would share. I use it as an exercise to get my writing flow going and it works.
In the past people have encouraged me to do it more regularly and share it online. I resisted. So the idea of doing it everyday felt like a valuable exercise in discipline. Rather than one more thing to add to my “creative project” plate, I decided to practice that.
#2 Pick Something you Enjoy Rather Than You “Should Get Better at it”:
We all have fears about how it will fit into our overpacked schedules. The common fear about being able to sick with it and what happens if you don’t. The important thing is to pick something simple that makes you smile and give it a try.
A friend of mine, @KatieMorell (LucysMummma) did 100 days of finger dancing! It was amazing. If I needed to lighten my mood, I’d just look for her routine to “The time of My Life” from the Dirty Dancing soundtrack. Priceless.
In one of Michael Beruits’s original Yale workshops, a student, Rachel Berger picked a paint chip out of a bag each day. She wrote a short memory that came to her from it.
#3 Create a Routine Around it
Practice is how you develop a creative habit. Having one small creative act can become an anchor to your days and give you a sense of accomplishment.
It can also be an opportunity to learn to be kind to yourself. If you miss days, there’s no rule that you can’t pick up where you left off and keep going.
In her New York Times column Life Interrupted, Suleika Jaquad, said, “It was a way of organizing my day around one small, simple act of happiness.”
Surrendering to the process and showing up day after day is the only goal.
#4 Make a Space that Feels Good:
When you create a routine it helps to give yourself a special space to it.
Creative spaces send a subconscious signal that you’re taking yourself seriously. It could be a spot at home, a favorite chair or somewhere outside.
Forget about the outcome of a finished product. The game is getting yourself to do one small task each day. Make that as simple as possible by giving yourself a little bit of inspirational, comfortable space that you look forward to being in.
#5 Sharing it With Others Feels Scary and Uncomfortable:
To me this is a piece of the puzzle that helped me stick with my routine. If it’s something you feel shy about sharing, it can become a confidence builder.
Sharing the tarot card piece wasn’t as scary as sharing my poems. That may be why I came up with the idea of sharing e a few cards. I wanted to deflect a little from what I considered my “silly little writing practice.” It surprised me how many people asked about the tarot cards I shared with my writing.
This is part of the mystery about creativity - we don’t know how these small acts effect other people.
Making someone smile when they are in a tough place is what the world needs more of right now.
#6 Participate in Community around it:
This is an opportunity to engage with other people’s projects online. There’s such variety and diversity of people and artwork t it’s easy to stumble upon a project that excites you. Curiosity breeds creativity.
And when we connect with people online, that feeds our inspiration. When we meet them in real life, that becomes a gift.
Now that this project is over, people all over the country have volunteered to organize free meet ups in their city. It’s a way for people to connect in person. Whether you completed Day 1, Day 100 or you’re curious about trying it for the first time.
I had a positive experience committing to my practice and discovering new artists. So I offered to host a San Francisco meet up on August 19th.
A celebration of process is can ignite your imagination. So if you tried it and life got in the way, don’t give up. Come out and connect with people who went through the same thing. Talk to them about picking something easier next time.
Six important elements that helped me were:
Choose something you already do
Make it something you enjoy rather than a “should get better at”
Create a routine around it
Make a space that feels good
Sharing it with others feels scary and uncomfortable
Participate in community around it