I have a somewhat strained relationship with creativity. When I’m busy – with work, with life, with practical things – it feels self-indulgent and irresponsible to spend time and energy doing something that’s not productive. When I’ve got a lot of time on my hands (when I’m not working full time, for example), my muse gets hunted down and messily consumed by self-doubt. Prolonged anxiety gives a megaphone to the voice in my head that says your ideas are terrible, and you’ll never do them justice.
The last few months of job hunting have been rather unkind to my confidence, and absolutely brutal on my ability to create. Things like writing, drawing, taking pictures, that I used to do regularly (if not frequently enough) have being come vague, sporadic things, more intent than execution. When I don’t have a task to do, I’m distracting myself so I don’t have to think about how deathly afraid I am that I suck.
It’s ridiculous and awful and self-defeating, and it needs to stop.
In the spirit of helping oneself, I’ve decided to jump on the bandwagon with an iteration of the recently ubiquitous “30 Days” concept. Every day for the next 30 days, I’m going to do at least one completely extraneous creative thing. I’m going to give myself a fairly broad definition of “creative.” I might write something here, or for my podcast. I might draw or take a picture, or update my Tumblr of ridiculous business jargon. Hell, maybe I’ll even use the excuse to do something new. The only real rule is that it has to be something that’s otherwise unnecessary. Nothing that pays, nothing that’s assigned to me, nothing that anyone else is relying on me to do. (Cover letters absolutely do not count.) When they’re done, I’ll share them on my social media feeds with the hashtag #30dayscreative.
So follow along, if you’d like. Words of encouragement are always welcome. So are suggestions for things you’d like to see me try. I’ll especially appreciate a boot to the posterior if I fall behind. And as always, thanks for paying attention.