Sunday, April 19, 2015

#the100dayproject: distraction or solution?!?!? (part 1)

(warning: this post goes against all the social media guru's advise to 'keep it brief.'  However I have always viewed this blog as a chronicle of my current state of mind, and how that affects my art, my choices and my life.  x)

This world of social media exposes a user to many, MANY ideas, opinions, events, opportunities, recipes, projects and distractions (to name a few of its offerings).  Earlier this month I discovered a 'project' that really caught my attention, The Great Discontent 's  #the100dayproject.

kitchen table drawing
I was intrigued!! i LOVE challenges such as these! My brain started to explode with ideas about the best project for me to do for 100 days!!! Everything seemed like a perfect activity, heck most all of the examples in the graphic above excited me!! In fact the more I thought about doing 'X' for 100 day straight, the more my heart raced and my enthusiasm mushroomed.

However I am the QUEEN of productive procrastination and I started to wonder if this newest undertaking would fall into that category.  
 is this something i 'should' do now?!?!? 
in fact, what 'should' I be doing now?!?!? 
That last question has been tormenting me these past weeks, causing me to get in a rut. So as this mental debate about my #100 day project continued in my head, the start date of the project past and so did my excitement.

But then, this weekend, I once again stumbled onto information about the project, along with the announcement that even though the start date has past, late comers were always welcomed!!

I took this as a sign that I DID need to join this 'movement', and for numerous reasons.  The first reason being that I AM in a RUT!! I am not one who is usually stuck, but I am paralyzed, stymied about the direction of my career, of my art, of my life.

In the past my answer to any and all ruts was to work, to make art, make a dress about the situation!! but since the divorce that has become a much more difficult response.

Sadly, making art, especially large sculptural dresses, has become complicated.  There is now a much greater pressure for financial success.  There is a much larger demand of my time and other resources.  One of the result of such constraints is that everything has become precious and for me that is the kiss of death!!

hand-lettering quote
My time feels precious, so my output feels scrutinized, mistakes are not welcome and everything must have a purpose and a successful outcome!! that is not a state that encourages any type of true creativity, especially not for me! So one of the perks of #the100dayproject is that by repeating an activity/practice it becomes less precious - and for me that is a very good thing.

Also, as I alluded to above, I am struggling with the direction of my career, art, life.  I am at a crossroads.  I wholly desire to make my living via my art.  I believe in my core that I have a unique 'voice' to add to our world, but I am scrambling to figure out how to share my creativity and vision as well as pay the rent.

Now this is not an earth-shattering life dilemma - most all creatives bump up against this quandary and usually the result is finding a 'job' for the rent and following your passion on the side.  However, I have been reading and learning a lot about a current movement that believes that by finding your passion and your purpose, and with that personal knowledge, you can make a financially successful business.  One champion of this theory is Ann Rea, the creator of Artists who Thrive.  Another believer is Scott Dinsmore, just listen to this TED talk, How to find and do work you love.

I want to excavate my passion and my purpose and find my value.  In Dinsmore's talk he addresses the need to get out there, make mistakes and do work, to see where your passion lies.  As I see it showing up for 100 days of work would be doing the work!! And though that process I would think you would discover your true purpose?!? So reason number two, a good way to excavate my purpose.

Another positive is that to sign up you are making a commitment to a larger community?!?! Part of the project is to share your 100 days of on social media!! Nothing like a bit of cyber-peer pressure to help motivation?!?

Also I see sharing as another way to remove the preciousness of the work since during those 100 days you will put out work that you may not think is your best.  Even in the description of the project it is emphasized that it is the 'process' not the product that is important in this project!!

Lastly, the exercise of repeating a practice/an act/a project for 100 days is proven to help add that practice/behavior into one's life.  The number of days needed to change or alter one's behavior vary depending on the source, but it is clear that if you consistently practice a certain activity for X (definitely more than 21) amount of days, it will become part of your daily routine.  Here is an article by James Clear that explains this theory further, How Long Does it Actually Take to Form a New Habit? (Backed by Science).

Those are all very good reasons to join #the100dayproject, however, I still have some trepidations: is this a good uses of my time, will there be benefits?!?

I already share my creative endeavors online, on a pretty regular basis and I am very comfortable doing it.  On my dailydress inspiration blog I posted a daily inspiration for over a year, possibly 400 days.  With my #fromthelandofdragons series I usually post at least one photo on a daily basis.  

AND I still have NO IDEA what to DO for the 100 days!!!
As I mentioned , almost everything appeals to my creative self - 100 days of recipes, of drawing faces, of embroidering, of doodling on post-its (how fun!!). The idea of 100 days of my kitchen table drawings, or ephemeral dresses or dressmats; it all excites me!!


So I believe to commit to this project I need something that pushes me out of my comfort zone, something that will contribute to my personal growth and/or something I wish to incorporate into my daily routine . . .

(again head exploding)
so many choices, so many endeavors . . .
so much more to say . . .
so , 'to be continued'.

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