This website witnessed its quietest ever period in the second half of December. Not that I had forgotten about it–I never do. However, I recognized the need to take a guilt-free break. Thus, even though I had some content for the end of the year, I disappeared without warning with the decision to return refreshed in 2021.
What a break it has been! For the first time in my life, I painted enough for a tiny pop-up exhibition (my refrigerator), practiced playing the guitar for over three days in a row (still can’t play to save my life), watched movies I had been putting off forever (Moneyball!) and started reading a book I have been delaying for three years (Crime & Punishment).
Sometime mid-December, I stumbled across the sentence—‘absorb good content to create good content’ and it stuck. I made a list of all the movies I wanted to watch but never have. I discovered that I struggle to watch a complete movie in a single sitting. I made a list of the 12 books I wanted to read and discovered that I need a library membership. I used up an entire palette of watercolours and bought a set of acrylic paints and brushes. I made a whole new set of goals, almost all of which involved ‘create’. I even ‘almost’ started a novella. And hence, while ‘Intent’ may have beaten ‘Create’ to make it to my word of the year, there was a close second.
My biggest realization, however, was that while creativity brought me great joy, it was usually the first thing out the window when the holidays ended and work resumed. Creativity needs one to slip into a different state of mind, a place of calm and patience. Yet, one can always carve that space out in a matter of minutes when needed. I do not need a weeklong vacation every time I pick up a paintbrush, nor do I need a quiet hour to pick up the guitar. All it takes is a glass of wine post dinner (I kid) and paintbrushes or a 15 minute break in between meeting to strum a few chords. And who said one can’t be creative at work and let ideas flow?
Thus, my first 31 day challenge of the year amidst the crazy busy talent review season is–Create. Every single day, I will create something–even if only a single beautiful sentence, stroke of paint or a few strums. And every single day, I will meaningfully consume a piece of content. I could very well be creating a spreadsheet; as long it is done with intention and an attempt to be artful, it will count.
Per usual – my challenge to self is my challenge to you. Create something every single day this month with me and I can promise you that at the end of 31 days, we’d have crafted the perfect beginning to the New Year. What say? You with me?