Taking a break from business was the best thing I’ve done for myself yet this year & it’s become a new-found passion of mine to convince others to consider doing the same.
A few days into February I committed to My Creative Month which meant carving out creative time EVERY DAY and not focusing any energy on what would/should/could grow my brand, turning ideas into sell-able products or really anything else business related (besides just keeping things up and running).
At the time, I was convinced it was a silly idea. I figured it would be fun & I also figured I would inevitably reach a breaking point where I just couldn’t keep up with the pressure to create every single day. In attempts to keep myself accountable, I recorded my daily journey via Instagram & my blog posting at least one snippet from each day & each project.
Here’s what I took away from my experiment all about experimenting:
I learned a lot about my own creative process.
Perhaps the biggest “aha” moment was realizing that I create puzzles for myself to solve along the way rather than figuring it all out in the beginning. Of course there are always road blocks, but it seems like I tend to make more for myself as I’m creating which changes the project as I go along.
Who’s to say if that’s good or bad, but being aware of how my brain and my process works has made me more aware as I take on new tasks.
People love to see the process, not just the finished product.
I tend to air on the side of secrecy. In the past I didn’t typically share every piece of progress or all aspects of my process. I’d work and work and work in private until whatever I was making was pristine & complete- then share that with the world. Turns out seeing all the steps along the way makes people feel more connected & excited to see what it becomes. WHICH MAKES SENSE. Because I totally feel the same way.
As I took on bigger projects, a lot of the time they were incomplete when it came time to share my progress for the day. There were also a couple times where my experiments were complete disasters & I had nothing concrete to share at all. But that’s how it ALWAYS goes, and it’s silly to hide that from the world.
Turns out these were also the days that seemed to have the most impact on people. There’s more of a human aspect connected to my work when people know that not every single thing turns out on the first try.
Good things come from creating for fun.
For nearly a month I allowed myself to create for myself & for fun which allowed for a new found freedom of letting go of perfection. The pressure of making mistakes was off when I knew the end product was only for me. I’m my own worst critic, but for some reason I’m OK with imperfections if I’m not asking for anything in return.
It also turns out the products I want for myself other people want, too. I guess the stars aligned along the way as the freedom to create & make mistakes paired with sharing the journey allowed followers a sneak peek at these projects that otherwise may not have made it to my site. The feedback I gained along the way was invaluable & something I didn’t know I would receive.
Now comes the inescapable part where I’m going to challenge you to something similar.
Here are a few guidelines in attempts to make it even easier:
Be honest with yourself, but also go beyond what you think is doable.
A month, a quarter, a year… Pick a time frame that sounds scary & then add a little more.
I originally set my goal for 1 week. PSHHHHHH. That’s child’s play. It needs to challenge you in order to really gain anything from it.
Find someone/something to keep you accountable.
Start the challenge with a friend, or post your progress along the way. Something that will make sure that you don’t quit when it gets hard. Good stuff happens after that point.
Can’t find an accountability partner? Pick me! I’ll follow up with you now & again to make sure you’re on track.
EXTRA CREDIT: Record your progress.
Share your journey online, with a friend, or in a journal. It doesn’t have to be public. It’s a great way to reflect on what you discover & look back at all you’ve achieved when you’re done.
I’d love to see what you accomplish! If you decide to publicly share your progress, let me know! I wanna follow along & see what you build.