I’ve read my fair share of books on the creative process. Most of these books recommend a daily creative practice. Despite identifying as a creative person/artist for over ten years, I’ve never been able to make the commitment to a daily creative action. I always had an excuse. I have no time. I’m no good. What’s the point? I’ll start it tomorrow. Sound familiar?
I was skeptical when I started the November Pattern a Day Challenge. I didn’t think I would keep up with it, but I decided to try anyway. After five days in, I was getting excited. After twelve days in, I was still going strong. And then I hit a bump mid-month. My beloved kitty got very sick, and I had worked a couple of long days. It was just easier not to make a pattern that day. And the next I decided to give myself another break. And it just snowballed from there. Every day I thought I would get back on track, and every day I found another excuse. The biggest excuse was that I had already broken the chain, so why not just wait until December? It only took one day to derail me. What I should have done is hopped right back into it the next day.
With the December challenge I knew what my challenges would be for the month (travel, holiday craziness, work stress), and I built my parameters around them. Half patterns in a smaller notebook. Backgrounds that I could paint ahead of time. Markers that I could take with me anywhere.
Ten days into December, and I’m still making a pattern every day. I think I have figured out the secret to a daily practice. The magic isn’t so much in creating an unbroken chain of days. The magic is in the accumulation of the work of many days. Twenty-eight days out of thirty-one is better than none. Flipping through the pages of my sketchbook is one of my biggest motivations. Pages and pages filled with color make me want to make more pages. I think I’m finally building the habit.