Thanks for joining me on this creative journey!
You’ll be receiving an email from me every morning from Sunday the 5th with until Saturday the 18th. These will include a short encouraging message and a creative prompt, in case you need some subject suggestions. Since it’s in your email, you can read it whenever works best for you, whether that’s first thing in the morning, the middle of the day, or once everyone else is asleep.
I’ll be creating too! And you’ll get to see some of what I’m making as we go along – and I’d love to see what you work on!
Not sure what to make?
With a total of 3.5 hours over two weeks, you can actually make a lot of progress if you work on a single project the whole time. Or you could just work on finishing a sketchbook (going for volume).
Or you could:
- completion of, or really good progress on, a painting or drawing.
- 10,500 words toward a novel, story, poem, etc (assuming an average typing speed of 50 words per minute)
- a new song learned on the guitar
- become a competent maker of French Omelettes
- at least 14 completed photographs
- finish some knitted quilt squares
- 14 mud pies finished!
Remember, the aim doesn’t have to be a complete project, but simply to spend time creating for the fun of it!
Sundays are generally a bit more relaxed, and I wanted us to start off on a day when success is easier to achieve. When Monday (day #2) rolls around, we’ll already have some momentum started.
Speaking of getting started, I want to hit the ground running on Sunday. So you’ll need to gather your supplies and plan a time to set aside.
I definitely recommend erring on the side of less – and believe me, I’m an art-supply hoarder. So I have to work hard to stick with minimal supplies. Preparing a ready-to-go art kit can really be helpful, whether that means you have everything in a spare messenger bag, prepared on a baking tray, or sitting in a basket.
Put your supplies somewhere that you’ll be sure to use them. Perhaps next to your favorite chair or on your bedside table. Set them in the un-used chair at the dining room table or maybe waiting for you in the empty guest bedroom. Have a spare closet or bathroom that no one uses? Put it to use!
Personally, I keep my sketchbook and pens in my daily messenger bag so that I’ve always got them with me. At home, they sit next to my computer, ready and waiting (with the messenger bag on the back of my chair, so that it’s never a chore to transfer them from place to place.) And if I go out without my messenger bag? I’ve got a palm-sized moleskine notebook that fits in my pocket along with a single pen.
- Want to draw? Just have a notebook and pencil/pen. (Don’t have a notebook? What about printer paper? You don’t have to go and buy something fancy for these two weeks. I’m filling the blank pages in a couple of old, partially-used sketchbooks.)
- Want to write? Carry a notebook or index cards and pencil/pen. Or use the basic text editor on your computer. Don’t worry about the best application to use. Just focus on writing and use the tools you already have. Abs-o-lutely need a new notebook just for this story? (You don’t!) Grab a $1 Composition notebook from the closest store you’re already going to be visiting.
- Going to play music? Set up your instrument and music so that it’s easily accessible.
- Keep your knitting/crochet supplies ready to go, perhaps in a basket by your chair or bed.
- Leave your coloring book and crayons/markers next to your coffee mug.
- Set up a paint station (using the baking tray) so that all you have to do is add paint to a disposable palette and fill your rinse cup with water to start painting.
- Making mud pies? Have your pan, trowel, and watering can ready and waiting next to your dirt patch!
You will never find time for anything. If you want time, you must make it. ~ Charles Buxton
Not sure when you’re going to create? Now’s the time to plan ahead. An avid coffee drinker, I will be drawing first thing in the morning as I enjoy my morning cuppa. In case something happens then and I’m not able, I have a back-up of the evening, after my wife’s asleep and I have the house to myself before heading to bed. And since I carry around at least a pocket-sized sketchbook I utilize those random free times, like the time I sketched the guy sleeping in the waiting room as the flat tire was fixed.
If you still need some suggestions:
- Wake up a few minutes early and create without leaving the covers.
- Create with your morning coffee/breakfast instead of reading the paper/watching the news.
- Go to bed just a bit sooner than normal and enjoy the coziness of your bed.
- Pull out your supplies instead of checking FaceBook (move it to the last screen or delete it from your phone for two weeks, if you have to!)
- Turn off the TV, or draw/write about the characters your ahem roommate is watching
- Sketch, with lines or words, while waiting in the check-out line.
- Create while taking public transportation or carpooling.
- Eat fast and use the rest of your lunch break to create.
- The various decorations and patrons of coffee shops are always fun to draw as I’m enjoying a tasty beverage.
Set a recurring alarm, if it helps. Know that you get home at 5:30 and by 6:00 you’re surfing the web or TV channels? Have your phone remind you at 5:55 that it’s art-making time!
Don’t limit yourself
Creating for 15 minutes is the goal, but that doesn’t mean you have to stop there. Sometimes I find it hard to start but once I do I look up from a drawing and realize that an hour has passed. If you have the free time available, don’t worry about limiting yourself. Enjoy the act of creating and whatever results from the process!
If you really do only have 15 minutes, don’t feel bad about stopping when the timer goes off. That’s 15 minutes more than you would have created otherwise, and you’re making progress. Remember the Tortoise and the Hare – you’re still winning, 15 minutes at a time!