I’m halfway through The 100 Day Project. Completing 50 pieces of art is nothing to scoff at. My body of work will be complete and I will have met my goals if I complete all 100 pieces; however, I am feeling discouraged as I watch so many other creatives cross the finish line this week. And so I remind myself: trust the process.
It’s not a competition
I am SO glad I gave myself permission to NOT post something every day. That took a lot of the pressure off. Yes, this is a marathon…but in a creative marathon everyone wins. It can leave us feeling down about our creativity, and make us doubt whether we should continue when it seems everyone around us is celebrating their big accomplishments and crossing the finish line. It’s important, though, to congratulate others, try to glean some inspiration, and then focus on crossing the finish line yourself so you too can celebrate.
Days 1-10 of #100PaintedPaperCollagePostcards
The struggle is part of it
Is it starting to feel like a chore now? That’s normal. It’s hard to keep up with a daily practice. Life is busy. Sometimes I’m tired, I’m spent creatively on work, my creative attempt isn’t Instagram worthy, or we aren’t home all day. 100 days is a big commitment. Is it okay to not do it in 100 consecutive days? Of course. Do I feel guilty about it? Yes. Should I? No, but I do. That’s part of this project and I’m learning to be okay with that. It’s important to allow myself to accept the discouragement and bounce back from it and keep going. Feeling uncomfortable is part of learning. If it was all easy peasy and fun, I wouldn’t be stretched in any way.
I can’t say that I’m looking forward to the next 50 days but I know I will be very disappointed in myself if I don’t continue. So I encourage you all to continue too, or even just to start and take it one day at a time.
Days 11-20 of #100PaintedPaperCollagePostcards
If you want to, make a change
Having said that, I give you permission to change your project. After allowing myself some more liberties, I posted the next two postcards. My friend almost instantly texted me, “I can see an evolution and you’re getting better.” Permitting yourself to tweak your original concept is all part of the growth process. It might lead to the biggest artistic break through you’ve ever had!
Days 21-30 of #100PaintedPaperCollagePostcards
Last year, I worked on multiple substrates: wood panels, 11×14 watercolor paper, an 8×10 art journal, a 9×12 art journal, and a 5.5×8 art journal. I learned that finishing a small piece is quicker and it makes me happy to flip through my small book and see a variety of works. I can confirm that the postcard size is a good choice for The 100 Day Project.
Days 31-40 of #100PaintedPaperCollagePostcards
There is time
Time is a funny thing that we never seem to have enough of, but when we make something a priority, we can find the time. Try one or more of these suggestions to fit in your creative project during the day:
- Create for 10 minutes when on a break at work.
- Work on a composition as you eat lunch.
- Do art for a few minutes or prep your space before you pick up your child from school.
- Forego watching TV at night.
- Go to sleep a few minutes later than usual.
Voila – there is the time needed to do something creative.
Days 41-50 of #100PaintedPaperCollagePostcards
So, overall, I’m proud of myself for participating in The 100 Day Project. I’m trying to be gentle with myself and quiet my inner critic. I’ve loved seeing everyone’s work and progress. I’ve learned it’s OK if everyday is not a big production….and it’s Ok to skip a day and catch up later. No baby seals are dying. I am better at accepting my mistakes. I still have a ways to go, but I am determined to trust the process.
What about you? Did you finish? Did you quit? Are you still working on it? How’s it going for you?
About the 100 Day Project
The rules of the 100 Day Project are simple. Choose an action and do it every day for 100 days, posting each instance of 100 on your Instagram account using the hashtag #The100DayProject. You can read my introduction post about The 100 Day Project here and my post on How to Have a Successful 100DayProject here.