Trying something new for 2018

My current work space, with plenty of inspiration from Stephen King and Austin Kleon. One of my projects for this “create something every day” goal might be to create a better work space.

I don’t really believe in New Year’s resolutions. Someone much smarter than I am said (and I’m paraphrasing), “what are you waiting for?” I agree with that sentiment. It makes no sense to wait for an arbitrary day if you want to make changes. After all, New Year’s Day is just Monday. Stop wasting time and get to work.

That being said, the end of one year and the start of the next is a good time to reflect on the things you’ve done and the things you would like to do differently or maybe just do better. I have spent some time reflecting a little bit and have a few things I would like to focus on. And I’m not going to wait until the new year, I’m going to try to make the most of the final 2½ days of 2017.

What I’m writing here is me getting to work. As I’m reflecting on 2017, I can’t help but think about all the time I wasted, all the energy I wasted thinking about how I want to be more creative. I want to write more. I want to make more photos. I want to draw. I want to develop my graphic design skills. I’ve thought a lot about those things. I’ve read a lot about those things. I’ve watched countless YouTube videos trying to learn about those things. But I haven’t really done those things.

In 2018, I’m determined to change that.

My goal for the end of 2017 and all of 2018 is to create something every day. Whether that is writing a blog post about running or about this quest to be more creative, or heading out for a walk with my camera and capturing the best image I possibly can, or sitting down with a sketchbook like I did as a kid and try to draw, or designing the Sports section at work (yeah, work counts, I’m fortunate that I have a job that allows me to be creative), or shooting and editing a video, I plan to create something EVERY SINGLE DAY.

I’m trying not to put too much pressure on myself with this goal because the objective is not only to be creative and develop those skills, but also to have fun. And pressure is no fun. If I start to get overwhelmed by the pressure of having to create something every day, it will likely overwhelm me and I’ll stop all together. Then I’ll feel bad and, you know what? Feeling bad sucks.

However, I do think it is important to have goals to strive for and to hold myself accountable against. If I have a day where I’m just not feeling it, my desire to not break the chain will encourage me to create something, even if it isn’t that great.

And a lot of this won’t be great. That’s not entirely the point. Of course I want to do good work. If you don’t take pride in the work you do, what’s the point, right? But this is more about getting myself in the habit of being creative, flexing my writing muscles a little more often, and developing new skills. The artist Jake Parker said it perfectly in this video when he said, “Finished not perfect.”

“Whatever you do perfectly now, a year from now you are not going to like it because you’ve moved on and you’ve gotten better.”

That, right there, is the goal. To get better. That is why I’m challenging myself to make better use of my time and make something every day. If I’m doing this right, a lot of it will not only not be perfect, it probably won’t be very good, but as long as I’m learning, improving and having fun, I’ll have reached my goal.

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