Some projects require you to make lists before you start them. Others again see you making post mortem lists after the project is complete to note down your accomplishments. I have a friend who calls these To-Do and Ta-Da lists. While lists are good for getting things done, some lists are necessary for not becoming undone. I made a list during my 365 challenge that I’m calling the Creative Commandments – and this list helped me stay sane and finish the challenge.
They were my own rules of the 365 challenge and things I had to remind myself to do or not to do in order to keep on doing the thing and more importantly – finish the thing I set out to do.
Well, just in case you’re as big a fan of lists as I am or about to embark on your own big creative undertaking, I wanted to share this list with you. Mind you it’s not a rule book – well it was my rule board – but it gives you a peek into the kind of things that can derail the creative brain, the a-type person, the perfectionist and the in general giver of too much . Some of them you learn to navigate around, others you learn to dance with and yet others, well let’s just say some need to be taken over the proverbial knee and given a good spank lest they deter you from your creative journey any further. Either way – putting them on a list in a sort of commandment-esque kind of way helped me stay sane throughout the hard parts and the distracting parts of the 365 challenge.
I hope it helps you too.
A small note on the content of my 365 challenge commandments
A caveat before we go on. I know myself well. I know that I am hardwired to follow structure and rules (must be the German thing) and therefore I also know that my greatest liberations come when I figure out how to colour outside the lines of my own boundaries.
I’ve also come to like myself for who I am. I like that I can be thoughtful and tender and introspective and also swear like a sailor when the time calls for it.
As I mentioned before – these were the new rules, the anti-rules, that I wrote for myself on the white board that hung near my art desk during the challenge based on my own preconditioned notions and tendencies to do things. Yours might be different because you’re different or your 365 challenge is different.
But generally speaking I believe there’s some collective truth in them for how to stay sane when you’re doing a really big thing.
They have not been edited in any way or softened so as not to offend anyone. You have been warned.
Did you enjoy this list or find anything on it helpful? If one of them speaks out to you and you’d like to know more, pop me a comment – I’d be happy to give you some real life examples of how that rule made it onto my board. Us creative types have got to stick together!
As always, I’d really appreciate it if you shared this content with a friend you think might benefit (maybe someone considering their own year long 365 challenge?).
Be kind to yourself and don’t stop being creative.
You might also be interested in knowing why you don’t need a fancy art studio to begin being creative (and probably why exactly what you have is better!)