…you wouldn’t need a 100-day project

walking the dog like creativity

Before I had a dog I would regularly decide that I need to get fitter by walking every day. So the first day I would go out and walk 20 minutes just around the village. The next day I would do the same. But then the following day it would be raining. I wouldn’t feel getting wet so I would leave it. The next day I would find another excuse or forget altogether. The problem was, that each day I had to re-decide that I was going for a walk.

Removing decisions

When I got a dog all that changed, no decisions required. I am going for a walk every day at least once, or twice (if my partner can’t do the second one) a day. This is regardless of weather or anything else. Occasionally when walking the dog I’m tired and can’t really be bothered or the weather sucks. But sometimes on those days, something will happen that changes how I feel. Perhaps I get an interesting idea for a project or my dog will do something that makes me laugh. So I go from a walk I didn’t want to take, to a walk I enjoy. It’s a bit like committing to doing something creative every day. Sometimes you’re not in the mood, but after you begin that changes. Really the only problem was that it was hard to start.

Treat creativity like a pet we love

Perhaps we can find ways to treat creativity like a pet that needs feeding and exercising. Because even though we think we want to do it, it’s easy to DECIDE not to. We need to somehow remove the need to make a decision, so it becomes automatic.

I have been following Crystal Moody’s blog for a while (she has just agreed to be on my podcast), on reading her “about page” she says –

“In 2014 I made a drawing each day and took a photograph of it, usually with my breakfast. In 2015, I began painting each day. Now I have no trouble doing something creative every day.”

It seems like we have to break through a set period of time in order for our creativity to become a habit and no longer a daily decision. You often read that it takes 30 days to build a habit, but I am not entirely convinced that it’s long enough. I am guessing this varies from person to person.

The end of my 100-day project

Today is the final day of my 100-day project to create content for this blog. I can definitely see the benefit of that continuity. Although in fact, it wasn’t completely continuous because I went away for just over 2 weeks. What the project did was stop me questioning whether to blog each day. I felt like the decision was already made for me, a bit like walking the dog. So now I am debating whether to continue creating content every day. Did you see the word “debating” that means it is still a decision I have to make, it’s not yet embedded. Even if I don’t continue to blog every day, I want to create content regularly.

How to you embed regular creativity?

Please share your thoughts.