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Daily Practice Makes for Good Creative Habits

Tues 11.03.09 – Regardless of whether you are participating in National ________ Posting/Writing Month or just reading/watching others, I think the best part of the November novel writing, blog posting, vlog posting, drawing, and any other permutation, is that daily practice really does hone one’s creative skills and ingrains, in a good way, the habit of the activity.
One of my favorite authors of all time, Madeleine L’Engle, frequently in articles, her books, and in writers workshops would encourage folks to write at least 30 minutes every day. She stated that with the daily habit comes the inspiration, not the other way around.
For a few years after taking the workshop with Ms. L’Engle, I would draw for 30 minutes every day. And then by the late 1990s, it became taking photos for at least a total of 15-20 minutes every day.
Rather than attempt to count up time and compare it to one creative activity, now I make sure that I reserve 30 mins to 1 hour every day for a / some creative activity be it writing, drawing, blogging, photography, or mobile blogging. By doing this regardless or schedule or busy-ness, it means that I carve out time time to slow down, time to create and explore.
Today on Twitter I started asking who of my circle of association is doing one of the Na__ __ Mo’s? I found that a good variety of folk were participating in the original NaNoWriMo, NaBloPoMo, NaVloPoMo (video blogging), and NaDrawMo (drawing).
One of my Twitter friends made apologies for his lack of participation saying he was not creative, I replied back that one can blog about whatever, it doesn’t have to be a story or long post. I would like to reiterate that this month is not about being the best or most polished or even the most creative, but about clearing a space for yourself to establish a new daily habit or even just to challenge yourself in something that you have always wanted to do but never did. So many of the folk who are writing novels this month have never written fiction but are doing the NaNoWriMo to really let go and loose their inhibitions about the activity.
It is not too late to join us.
Here is a list of the folks that I know in real life or via the Internets who are participating in National DoSomething Everyday Month:
NaNoWriMo:
Kasper Jespersen http://www.theasemicdreamer.com/
Steve Lawson http://www.stevelawson.net/wordpress/2009/11/nanowrimo-steve-writes-a-novel-possibly/
James McNally http://twitter.com/jmcnally/
Sudhamshu Hebbar http://www.sudhamshu.com/
Velvet Verbosity http://velvetverbosity.com/2009/11/02/nanowrimo-insane-fun/
NaBloPoMo:
Mrs. K (of course) http://www.fussy.org/
Me
Jessica Spengler http://www.wordridden.com
Vikki Chowney http://www.vikkichowney.com/
Lauren Isaacson http://www.theadnostic.com/
Laurie White http://lauriewrites.typepad.com/
Mauricio Reyes http://www.reyespowered.com/blog/?p=355
Utku Can http://utku.tumblr.com/
Ann McMeekin http://www.pixeldiva.co.uk/
Mike Maddaloni http://www.thehotiron.com
NaVloPoMo:
James Whatley http://whatleydude.com/2009/11/some-jumbled-letters-here/
Lloyd Davis http://perfectpath.co.uk/
Benny Crime http://www.vimeo.com/user1955506
Rupert Howe http://twittervlog.tv/
NaNoDrawMo:
Shaun Inman http://www.flickr.com/photos/shauninman/sets/72157622711146084/
Trey Piepmeier http://www.flickr.com/photos/trey_piepmeier/sets/72157622719962682/

3 Responses to “Daily Practice Makes for Good Creative Habits”

  1. Mike Maddaloni - The Hot Iron

    Don’t forget me! 🙂
    And I agree – getting into a ritual is good not only for your productivity but your sanity as well. Today I am out of alignment but scrambling to catch up… but it is all good as it was for gains in the business which I can’t complain about!
    mp/m

  2. Black Phoebe :: Ms. Jen

    Oops.
    Sorry, Mike, I had you on the list in an early iteration, but when I went to organize folks by which event they were participating in, I must have deleted you by accident.
    (O.o)

  3. brandi.org

    I’m not participating in any of the organized month events, but I’ve had a project going for the entire year where I take at least one photograph with my *cough* iPhone *cough*, print it out on a Polaroid PoGo printer, and place it in a Moleskine notebook I had lying around the house. I started on January 1, I’ll finish on December 31, and I’ve only missed one day. It’s not something I do in public or for anyone but myself, but it’s a way of forcing myself to see photographs in the world every day, and I’ve found it very useful. Some days the photographs are pretty bland and uninspired; other days they’re pretty good. A few are among my favorite photos I’ve ever taken.