I posted toward the end of December, rather hastily, that I would draw and write a poem-a-day until the remainder of the year. In celebration of the arrival of 2018, and to spur myself onto productivity greatness, I declared my intentions to Facebook and social media. I was met with enthusiasm and encouragement, while dopamine-dumping and happy-feeling, was not enough to keep me motivated. In fact, a few days later, on DAY FOUR, I FAILED.
Why did I fail, you might ask?
I failed because I stopped. I stopped creating. I stopped working toward my declared goal. I just, plain, didn’t do it. There are many reasons for this. Here is a list of some of the reasons, most of them I discovered in hindsight, after thinking about WHY I didn’t do what I said I was going to do. Let this be a lesson, to myself and others for the future.
- I neglected to consider my timing. Nearing the end of the year, with lots to do, what made me think adding pressure to an already pressured time of year was the answer?
- I didn’t monitor my resources. How was I feeling? What was going on in my life? What other things were taking up my attention?
- I set unrealistic standards. Performing two creative endeavors each day? TWO?
- I made it too complicated. Requiring that I do two creative things in a set period of time = not brilliant.
- I put a time limit on it. Ever enjoy playing a timed quest in a video game? Or had to meet that school paper deadline? Um, why did I do that to myself?
- I gave into perceived peer pressure. The drive for the New Year, Facebook Friends posting their creations, art and inspiration for 2018 abounded, and I bit that poisoned apple. Hard.
- I was doing opposing activities. Art-making and word-making do not go together for me. I know this. Why did I think I could do right brain work and left brain at the same time?
- I failed to self-assess. Asking questions such as: How has my mental health been lately? Or my physical condition? What could distract me from this work?
- I didn’t look at my creative track record. Have I created anything lately? How did it go? How has my creative health been? I haven’t created in a long while. Why is that?
- I wasn’t invested. I declared an activity without thinking. I was riding on enthusiasm of the possibility of productivity, not being rooted in the reality of it.
- I didn’t plan. All too often, I have to remind myself that inspiration is great, but as I age it is not not not how I get creative work done. Set aside time. Focus. Make it work. Anything else is wasteful.
So, what does this come down to? Basically, I woefully neglected to care for myself as a person living my life, AND as a creative person.
They are two separate jobs. But, they feed into each other, demanding the same resources, and the same time. And the same mind, body, heart.
Do yourself a favor, and before you jump into the next big activity, ask yourself some real questions:
How are you? ♥
How are you feeling? ♥
And, What Makes the Most Sense for Me Right Now? ♥
Take care of yourself!
Best wishes for you this year, with hope and happiness,