Day 90: There is no right way to do this

just keep moving forward

Hi Artists, and happy Day 90 🎉

Today we have a guest post from friend-of-the-project, Herbert Lui. Thanks to Herbert for his encouraging words!

Congratulations on making it to day 90! Whether you’ve missed zero days or two dozen, I hope you feel very proud of yourself for sticking with it, and for improving along the way. I’m sure if you look back at what you made on day 1, you’ll notice the difference.

For me, a little over a year ago, I started writing one note on a 4x6 index card per day. I’m now writing this over a year later, and I’ve lost track of the days—I have missed at least a dozen, I’m almost certain—but I’ve written over 800 notecards. For me, these notecards are the building blocks of my articles, books, and plans.

Like Lindsay wrote on Day 50, the journey towards perfection changes, and continues onwards. On Day 90, that’s what I want to suggest: As much reason there is to celebrate and pop champagne on day 100, there’s also a reason to continue the practice.

For example, for over 5,000 days, Beeple created a new digital painting and posted it at Instagram and Twitter. For him, it’s simply become something that happens every day—like using the bathroom, or eating. Visual artist Shantell Martin recently told me in an interview she’s completed around 10,000 drawings; no surprise, she discovered her approach through repetition.

As you and I both know, the numbers are just a byproduct. The real point is simply to keep moving forward, to continue to carve out time and energy for your creative practice beyond Day 100. Even if it’s just a few minutes—or even a few seconds—there’s always enough time to make something. In a previous iteration of the 100 Day Project facilitated by Michael Bierut—who Lindsay mentioned on Day 31—Zak Klauck made a poster each day in under a minute.

In celebration of the final 10 days of #The100DayProject, and for those of you continuing after, here are three prompts:

  • What would your creative process look like if you only had 20 seconds to spare? There will inevitably be occasions that eclipse the rest of the day, including potentially your creative process. On those days, you’ll need a quick way—a very short time constraint—to make sure you keep making and releasing. For example, I just write a few words down on one 4x6 index card. A visual artist might draw something with five strokes. A musician might practice even just one song—or half of it. An author might write a very short list. 

  • How can you regularly find new material to put into your creative process? An author might read more, define unfamiliar words, and use it three times the following week. A filmmaker might listen to more music to find soundtracks that inspire their storyboards or scenes. A programmer might find new software plug-ins. A visual artist may try new paints or surfaces.

  • What feedback can you let go of? Listening to other people’s feedback of your work is important, but listening to yourself is as well. If someone has told you they don’t like seeing a specific part of your work, feel free to let go of that feedback if you believe you’re onto something. It’s very possible that they just didn’t get it.

These are questions that have kept me going with my notecards. Around 200 of these cards contain the ideas for my first book, There Is No Right Way to Do This. I wrote it to support those of you who plan to continue your creative practice, beyond Day 100. 

“Your creativity needs enough structure to support your freedom, but not so much that your freedom feels stifled,” Lindsay told me when I interviewed her for my book. Including the 3 prompts I just mentioned, I studied the best creators to share 46 starting points that you can use to build the structure that works for your creative process. 

Whether you decide to take a break or continue the daily practice, I urge you to keep in mind, there is no right way to do this. There is only your way. Other people have their paths; you need to walk yours. Keep moving forward.

YES! What a great book title, huh? There is no right way to do this 🙌

Thanks again to Herbert – and I highly recommend his book! Ten more days, artists – keep going!

XO,
LJT

P.S. Today is the LAST day to get an early bird discount on GET PAID FOR YOUR ART! Use the code THE100DAYPROJECT to get 20% off.