Serena and I have started our Q&A week discussing Creative Challenges over on Instagram. We are excited about the thought-provoking questions we have already received from our blog readers. Keep the questions coming! Today’s weekly article is a summation of the questions and answers from the first day's topic of How to Get Started posted by both of us on Instagram September 5, 2016. Sometimes seeing someone else's questions can spur you on to think about your own questions and help you articulate them. All questions are welcome.
Our discussion about How to Get Started
Serena...In general, start small to get started. Dedicate a few minutes a day to your craft whether it's learning something new, practicing, or adding to something you already have.
Kathleen... I agree Serena. Starting with a small amount of time makes it easier to just start. Oddly enough, small daily progress seems to add up to more productive work then huge blocks of time every once in a while (which can be full of procrastination and resistance to the work!)
Kathleen...My general advice is the Nike slogan, Just Do It. Follow your interests. If you have an inkling of an interest, make a commitment to do something for 15-30 minutes a day for 21 days that helps you learn more about what you're interested in. If you're looking for something easy to start with, I recommend a 21 day photo challenge where you take a photo of something that interests you every day for 21 days.
Serena...Kathleen, following your interests is so important! If it's something you already like it will be a little easier to get into and so fulfilling once you've accomplished even the little goals.
Questions from our readers
From Nancy... Do you think this method would work for anything in life like perhaps getting closets and the entire house organized? Is that a creative process?
Kathleen...Everyone is creative in their own way. Bringing order and structure to your house and to your family is a creative process because you use your imagination and vision to do this in your own way. Being creative is something you do, not necessarily feel. A creative challenge is a way to do something for a set period of time. One example of a creative challenge is organizing your living space to match your vision for 30 minutes a day for a month.
Serena...Yes, Nancy! To me, creativity involves using your ideas to create something "new". In this case you'd be creating new storage solutions, etc. I apply 30 day challenges is to EVERYthing I need help accomplishing because it gives a solid frame of time and makes the end goal seem possible.
From Drew...With posting every day what do I post on days when I've messed up my artwork? I don't mind being authentic but I don't think my followers want to see a wreck every few days.
Kathleen...This is a question all creators struggle with. In my case, I decided the momentum of posting my daily progress outweighs that vulnerable feeling of showing your mistakes. First, I have found people respond more to people when they know they are human and have "not so good" days just like everyone else. I stopped reading certain blogs years ago because they appeared to be super people who do it all effortlessly. It was exhausting to watch people try to do that. Also, knowing I will be posting every day makes me bring my A game as much as possible. Maybe I work best under pressure.
Serena...Usually, when I've messed up my work rather than post a picture of the mess I post what I did after and explain in the caption what happened. Then again there's that saying about how people can't look away from a wreck…
From Brianna…I always see challenges at the beginning of the month but I read through them and get discouraged because there’s always something I know I can’t do in them. Am I being too picky? Was your (or either of your challenges) a natural progression or are they really…I guess challenging?
Kathleen...I know what you mean and I do not think you are being too picky. You could create your own challenge based on something so interesting to you that you want to do it. Another idea is to give yourself permission to skip those days if it is of no interest to you. In my case the 100 day project had you pick your own thing to do. This is the only reason I did it. And 100 days is a long time so it scared the **** out of me. So, yes, I felt super challenged. But it only worked because it made me get in the studio every day and create. The rest took care of itself. A creative challenge is just a structure to get you doing something and then an opportunity to look back and figure out what you learned.
Serena...I definitely know what you mean Brianna! It wasn't a natural progression until much later for me. I had to set a specific time to get into it and even then I'd feel like I wouldn't finish the days challenge. But do what you can. There are always some days that won't be something that falls into our skill set, but still do something. Build on one of the past days… Or try to do whatever it is to the best of your ability. A good challenge is definitely challenging.
What is keeping you from creating more in your life? What is stopping you from even starting?
I hope these questions and answers give you some insight into how to just start. There really is no right or wrong way to create more. A creative challenge gives you a structure to get it done and make decisions up front about how you are going to get it done to set yourself up for success.
When you feel good about what you created everyday, you will want to create more.
The whole goal is to create more in your life of what is important to you and by doing so, you create more meaning in your life.
Our Q&A session is going on this whole week of September 5-9, 2016.
Monday, September 5: How to get started
Tuesday, September 6: How to make it doable
Wednesday, September 7: How to make time
Thursday, September 8: How to stay motivated
Friday, September 9: How to use what you learned
You can ask us questions through Instagram comments, email or comments on our blogs.
Not on Instagram, no worries because I will be writing about each daily topic for the next several weekly articles in my blog Studio Notes so you will be able to see it all!