24 April 2015

[creativity] A Pilot Program Promoting Perfection of Practice

After a great deal of reflection, I'm going to try an experiment to instill the one quality that I desperately need and have never quite mastered.

It goes by many names. Persistence. Patience. But the facet I'm most concerned with is Discipline. 

The big D. The hafta-hafta. What must be done, sine qua non anything else.

I have had skill. I've let them atrophy for a variety of reasons. I'm starting over in many many ways. But so far, every attempt to channel my boredom and rounded edges back into a sharper mien has fallen flat. Every single one. I was writing in my diary, just now, and something common to a few inflection points … the Muse seminar in February, Linework NW and meeting Lisa Congdon and her book, Art, Inc., the idea behind SARK's MicroMovements, an evolving commitment to more deliberation in my everyday things … everything coalesced in a single idea, as simple as can be.

Starting within the next few days, I'll decide to stake out a 30-minute block for creating something. Writing, drawing, either throwaway or persistent. In the beginning, diary writing (I should be writing every day; that's something I don't do, and to me, that's a pure shame which I'll not hide from), but there are ideas of things that have been pestering me. But my superpower is inertia … and you all know how that goes.

Every plan has a gimmick. Here's mine. The first day, 30 minutes. The second day, 31. The third day, 32 … by the end of the month, I'll be logging a minimum 60 minutes a day of creative calisthenics. Since I'm starting with 30 minutes … hell, I can endure 30 minutes of anything. And I can always, always do another sixty seconds on top of what I've already done. And the repetition means to encode the new habit into my psyche's DNA.

If I miss a day? Still increase it by that minute. If I can hold out for sixty extra seconds, I can certainly do 120.

It's a manageable goal. A manageable execution. A manageable evolution.

I'm a believer in evolution on more than one level. Managing ones' own is always best if you can arrange that. 

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