Today I am committing to spending the next year showing up each day to realise my creative dreams.
Every single day for a year I am going to spend at least 15 minutes (and more when possible) doing something that helps make my creative ideas into actual real things in the world for people to experience. And I’m going to share it daily.
What are these creative dreams then?
Right now, the most persistent meaningful dreamingful creations I want to see are:
- That play I want to develop
- That feature film I want to write and direct
- That one man show I want to write and perform
- That novel I want to publish
- That other play I want to develop
- That next series of my podcast I want to make
Whoa, dream big motherlover
Duh, I’m not saying all that would happen in a year (I’d be amazed, not to mention count myself shitting-Christ lucky, if those all happened in 5 years, 10 years, or ever. And not least because I could change my mind about what it is I want to do. In a year I might want to become a tree surgeon or something. Though do I have the precise manual dexterity to handle a chainsaw? Hmm?) That’s not the point though. The point is to ask myself: what do I really want? And to take the answer seriously by committing to action.
Showing up every day? Like… every day?
Yeah, pickle. Don’t we take responsibility for showing up every day things that we need in life? Eating, sleeping, keeping our bits clean, helping others? A daily practice of the thing that is yours to do is no different to that really.
Last year, feeling the need for a creative boost, I committed to 200 days of taking 15 minutes to just fill a sketchbook page and sharing it daily (you can find that here). 15 minutes was manageable. I could always find 15 minutes. Even with a day job, with the flu, with travelling across the world, even on Christmas Day I always managed to find 15 minutes, sometimes more.
Anyway, this is just a year-long experiment then I can sack it off and go cut trees. Or if I really hate it I can stop. And go cut trees (I literally have no interest in cutting trees).
Letting go of being perfect
When it comes to making things I have sometimes been afraid. Of getting it wrong, of looking stupid, of not being good enough or not being ‘a real artist/writer/tree surgeon’. It isn’t very helpful. Literally, the fear of looking dumb or useless stops me asking for help.
‘I’ll keep quiet about the tricksy stuff and just share the big “Ta-da! Isn’t it perfect? I TOTALLY knew what I was doing all along”’
Don’t get me wrong, the Ta-da! is important (I love a good Ta-da!) but making stuff is about showing up and figuring it out, bit by bit. Feeling your way through the same dark as everyone, trying to make something as meaningful for others as it is in your heart and head. That’s where things are learned and understood and made real.
Why share all this, Paul, why?
There might be something useful in paying attention to the discoveries, the mundanity, the joys, the doubts, and the challenges and victories that make up living life through making things. The how of making things. And I believe if it’s useful to me then it could be useful to others. I mean it might also be hideously boring. In either case there’s, ugh, you know, accountability.
So where and when does this journey start?
Thanks for reading and good luck with your days.
P.S. Quick note to future Paul who might be thinking ‘why the fuck am I doing this?’ You definitely once thought this was a good idea. Er, so, chin up, the struggle is part of what makes it worthwhile, keep going, even if it’s not what you intended there is merit to all endeavour etc. And fuck, I hope you’re still alive and well. If you’re not then I’m going to look really arrogant and/or naive.