As we move into the third week of our Create Daily Challenge, we are going work on expanding our creative space to 15-20 minutes (or more), and also work on practices to expand how we create.
Let’s start with expanding the creative space: In Week 1, we said that we are going to set aside just 5-10 minutes to start with … it’s possible you’ve been doing more, and that’s completely OK. But whether you’ve been doing more or just the recommended amount, this week, I challenge you to expand by just 5-10 minutes over what you’ve been doing.
Note: If you haven’t been doing it, try doing just 5 minutes a day! Or even smaller â€” just get out your pencil and sketch book, just write 1 sentence, just start playing the scales on your piano.
So let’s say you want to expand 5-10 minutes beyond what you’ve been doing … here are some key points:
- Expand slowly: Don’t try to overdo it, because it will hard to be consistent if you are making a big jump. If you’ve been doing 5 minutes a day consistently, then do 7 minutes. If you’ve been doing 10 minutes consistently, do 12 minutes. After a couple of consistent days like that, do 14-15 minutes (increasing by 2-3 minutes). These are not exact figures, but just to show you how to slowly expand so that it doesn’t become difficult.
- Focus not so much on the time, but on the enjoyment of the process: If you set yourself to do 15 minutes, say, then you might focus on getting the 15 minutes done â€” this is a focus on getting things done. But it’s not a helpful focus. A more helpful focus is on the process â€” how enjoyable is it to actually do the creating? What are you learning? What can you be curious about? Can you find gratitude?
- Even if you expand, have a much smaller minimum: Let’s say you’re doing 20 minutes a day, and feeling great about that. But one day, you can’t do the full 20 minutes â€” you might be tempted to skip it. Instead, just do 2 minutes. Or 5 minutes. Basically, whatever you need to do to get it done. To overcome your rationalizations to not do it. Doing something, however small, is better than nothing.
So this week, slowly expand, adding 2-3 minutes to your creating time.
Also: be sure to set an actual time for when you’re going to do it, and don’t let yourself rationalize pushing it back!
Expand Your Creative Practices
What can we do with this extra time? It might feel like more of a burden, but it doesn’t have to. We can use this extra time to try out some new practices.
Some ideas you might try:
- Find a list of creative writing prompts and work though one every day or two
- Mimic the style of an artist you love
- Mimic the style of an artist you don’t love
- Try a new style
- Mash up two very different styles
- Put yourself in the shoes of someone you know nothing about, and create as if you were expressing that person
- Tell a story
- Tell the story of someone who is suffering right now somewhere in the world
- Express a part of yourself you’ve never shared with anyone before
- Express the parts of yourself that you’re most ashamed of
- Explore something completely new for you
- Remix one of your favorite pieces by another artist
- Pretend you’re explaining the thing you’ve been working on to a 5-year-old, or someone who would find this completely incomprehensible
- Tell the story of one of your most traumatic childhood experiences, as the child version of yourself
- See and express your world through the eyes of a dog (or cat)
- Explore something without knowing what you’re doing or where you’re going, just using curiosity as your guide
- Now do the same thing, but just using playfulness as your guide
- Tell the story from the perspective of someone who doesn’t have a voice in our society (or our world)
- Express a truth that most people won’t ever say
- Play, have fun, find joy!
There are no right answers here. The idea is to explore something new, see things in a new way, challenge yourself to expand beyond what you normally do.
What would it be like?