Biz Miss

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Wussify Your Way to Success September 8, 2009

Filed under: creativity,Feelings — bizmiss @ 3:48 pm
Tags: , , ,

I’m trying to be a more prolific crafter without adding any stress to my day. Being stressed just makes me procrastinate.

A couple of years ago as part of New Year’s resolution, my husband (who is already much more prolific than I) decided to try to change his habits by adopting a “make-a-thing-a-day” routine for just 30 days.  If it wasn’t too difficult, he would extend the project to three months, and so on.  More than two years later he’s still doing it, which means that since he made that resolution he has made no few than 800 pieces of artwork.  Today one of them got chosen for an art show in Prague!

The task has always seemed daunting to me.  I’m afraid I will fail, even within the 30-day trial.  But this is the time of year when I make my annual resolutions, so I’ve been trying to figure out ways to make a-thing-a-day easier to accomplish.  Here are some rules I’ve come up with for myself:

  • I can make anything.  It doesn’t have to be “crafted.”  I can make a ten-second drawing or write a two-line poem.
  • I can copy someone else’s work.  I’ll still get technique practice and new ideas from doing this, and as long as I’m not selling what I make or adding it to my public portfolio, I figure there’s no harm done.
  • I can make a project from someone else’s instructions or from a book.
  • I can substitute half an hour’s work on an existing project, like the sweater I’m knitting or the cross-stitch I’m trying to finish.
  • Craft/design work for clients counts.
  • I can make something I’ve already made before.
  • I cannot make two things one day in order to skip the next day.
  • I do not have to post the results of any day’s work if I don’t like it.
  • A project is finished when I am done working on it.  It doesn’t have to be complete.

These may seem like total wuss rules, but I think I’m more like to continue making something every day if I feel excited and confident. I can always ramp up the challenge later.  Whether this works despite my wussifying remains to be seen.  I’ll let you know next month.

Have any of you ever set creativity goals that you’ve successfully accomplished?  Please share in the comments!

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The Great Purge January 1, 2009

Happy New Year, everyone!  It’s almost noon here in Cali, and though I’m feeling a little worse for the wear, I’m also excited to begin a new year.  Being Jewish, I get to experience this excitement twice a year–at Rosh Hashanah, which I use as a time to reflect on my personal life and relationships, and on January 1st, as a time to reflect on my business, and other practical matters.

One of my favorite New Year’s traditions is The Great Purge.  Every year my husband and I go through the house, room by room, and take everything out of every drawer, closet and container.  We give/throw away what we no longer need, and clean and reorganize what we do need.

This tradition was born from Christmas.  We always finished up the holidays with bags of unwanted or duplicate gifts, and the gifts we wanted to keep, we didn’t have room for.  It therefore became necessary to purge the old to make way for the new.  Every year it seemed like we would be able to part with fewer and fewer of our carefully curated possessions, but in fact we end up with about the same amount of free shelf space every time.

The Great Purge is extremely therapeutic.  Every box we take to Goodwill feels like a great weight has been lifted.  Uncluttering my work and living space makes my mind feel similarly uncluttered.  I feel less stressed and sleep better at night.  I’m also able to work on larger goals without all the little stuff to get in my way.  With my house, files, and finances all perfectly in order, I feel ready and eager to tackle the year ahead.  After all, nothing inspires like a blank page.

Want to perform your own Great Purge?  The following resources can help you get started:

Good luck and happy purging!