A few months ago, I was faced with an opportunity and need for re-evaluation. I had been burning the candle at both ends for over a year. After surviving the ongoing stresses of a pandemic, drowning in the crushing grief of losing my best friend, juggling increased and new job responsibilities, and overseeing the busy world of my teenage son’s virtual school, I realized the stream of creativity that I once felt fully engaged with had disappeared. The only time I was engaging with my creative mind was for my 9-to-5 job and every effort had begun to feel forced and empty.
My music had silenced. My personal writing had ceased. The special DIY touches for the holidays, which always brought myself and my family joy, were replaced with whatever was available on Amazon Prime. My soul was unfulfilled and worn out. My inner child was screaming for me to stop and color with her, but her crayons were broken.
It was time for an intervention.
After trying to “fit in” creative practice moments into my overflowing schedule quite unsuccessfully, I meditated, prayed, and tuned in for inspiration.
As usual, the inspiration came in one of the most unlikely of places.
Clubhouse. Yes, the new the drop-in chat-based social media app everyone keeps talking about.
It my very first day trying out Clubhouse. I was listening to a conversation between Mark Drager, host of the We Do Hard Things Podcast, Evan Carmichael, a legendary professional coach, and my friend Bo Hawkins, the master of connection and breakthroughs in the professional world. I was on the call because Bo invited me to check it out. I stayed because I wanted to be present for his parts of the scheduled talk and show my support.
The conversation between the panel of experts had veered into an unexpected direction focusing on Mark. He was one month into a 90-day fitness challenge called “The Chunk to Hunk Challenge.” During the first month, he celebrated his birthday and had enjoyed a piece of cake. His fitness coach supported the idea, but Evan, Mark’s mentor, did not. They started talking about the motivation and reason for starting the challenge and by end of the conversation, Mark had decided to re-start the challenge.
The entire conversation ignited a spark in my creative mind. What would happen if I committed to a public challenge like Mark had? 90 days of creative practice, documented on this blog and social media for accountability. Could this help me find my lost stream of creativity?
I shared the idea with my husband and my most creative friends. They were all supportive and added extremely useful insight about how to structure the challenge, set expectations, and creative practices to try.
I committed and set a start date, only to let is pass with the same excuses that led to the creative block.
So it’s time to commit right here and right now.
My 90-day Creativity Challenge starts right NOW!
The guidelines for the challenge are simple. Every day, for 90 days, I need to take part in a creative practice with no purpose other than to enjoy the creative practice (which means no 9-to-5 work allowed). The daily creative practices don’t have to work towards a final project or be work that I’ll use for anything, but they can be. I’ll let the creative flow decide the outcome of the practice. Experimentation and “failure” is encouraged. If I try a new kind of creative skill and I suck at it, who cares! The point is to tap into the creative muscle each and every day with no strings attached.
I’ll make sure to share these kind of failures in the most “nailed it!” way possible. 😀
In an effort to learn from Mark’s lesson that led him to start his challenge over, I’ve worked on clear expectations and ways to overcome some of the possible challenges. For instant, I realize that on some days creativity may feel forced. That’s just life, and it’s okay. I’ll honor whatever comes up. The point of each day is to show up and put in the effort.
The next 90 days are all one giant experiment. Can 90 days of intentional creativity open the flood gates for my creative mind to shine? I have a feeling it will.