Creativity Habits: Why Do Them? How to Keep Up?
Welcome to a short edition of the Destiny Architecture Blueprint for 10/31/22!
First off, Happy Halloween 🎃
My cat, Usul, wants you to know he's a really "big dill" 😉
Why Start a Creativity Habit?
Last year, I began NaNoWriMo on Halloween night and wrote every day in November. Whether I wanted to write or not, I showed up. I aimed for a daily average of ~1,667 words.
Some days truly sucked. On others, I felt like a genius.
I completed it. I wrote my novel and "won" NaNoWriMo—the fancy way of saying I wrote a 50K-word book in November 2021. Then I closed it and haven't looked at that novel since!
Maybe I'll read/edit it for November...
I learned I could keep up a daily writing habit. Then I moved on. Why do this?
Here's what I got out of it:
• I learned I could force myself to hit a daily quota.
• I realized I write best first thing in the morning (although I continue to experiment with this).
• A completed novel. Holy cow! I saw an idea all the way through! 👏
• I had the realization that creating something laborious that no one read was no fun.
I decided to create in public instead. This is how my November #ContentStorm began. (Search the hashtag on Twitter if you're interested). For this project, I decided to see what creating daily for 90 days would do for my writing overall.
How Do You Keep Up With It?
After the first two weeks of that experiment (which lasted far longer than 90 days), I learned a ton about myself and my writing.
I had a compelling "why" behind my writing habit; I wanted to grow my audience. But I also wanted to see if my lack of consistency had held me back.
In short, my lack of consistency had been holding me back.
Writing online daily did help me build my audience. It led to Ship30, which is how I met many of you who read this newsletter. I met amazing "shippers" online and kept going. I did three cohorts of Ship 30 and even joined the Captain's Table.
How did I do it?
I'd laid the groundwork during NaNoWriMo, so I kept the momentum going. After ~150 consecutive days of online writing, I discovered my niche: personal development for content creators. So, Ship30 led to creating this site and newsletter. The #ContentStorm led to Ship 30. NaNoWriMo led to the #ContentStorm...
Some tips to keep up with a daily writing (or any creativity) practice:
• You don't know where the daily habit will lead, so just put in the reps. If you don't, you just won't create the space for the magic to come.
• You'll miss a day. Don't beat yourself up. (Whether it's at day 7, 25, or 125...)
• You'll write something crappy. Don't beat yourself up.
• This doesn't just apply to writing! You could be crafting, painting, or creating anything on a daily, disciplined basis.
• The magic comes from showing up and iterating daily. It doesn't come from courses, writers' groups, college degrees, etc. (All of which I'd tried).
• Often, creativity is a solo practice. It can be lonely. NaNoWriMo for me was a wonderful experience of getting my story written. But I wanted an audience, community, and networking. I found that in Ship 30.
I think there needs to be a balance between putting in the reps alone at your keyboard and gaining feedback from your peers. There's also the priceless feedback that comes from your readers (or viewers if you make videos, listseners if you're a musician, etc).
For me, parameters and discipline have never been the sexy part of being a writer. But they work.
I say take that chance and make that commitment to yourself to write that novel in November (or whatever your particular streak flavor may be). Find a way to keep track of it. I wrote my novel in Scrivener. I tracked my #ContentStorm in a spreadsheet with the hashtag #ContentStorm on Twitter. I also blogged about it on WriterHeather.blog.
In short: Commit, track, and keep putting the reps.
Don't beat yourself up about anything as long as you keep trying. Even breaking a streak will teach you something useful!
Thanks for reading this week's Destiny Architecture Blueprint! This is the newsletter for content creators interested in personal development. I'm Certified Transformational Life Coach & Reiki Master Heather Larson, and I believe being a side-hustling content creator requires a ton of great self-care: Reiki, Yoga, Meditation, and more. So join me on this journey by hitting the "subscribe" button!
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