Creating a sustainable daily creative habit was a goal of mine for a few years before I started. I was inspired by other people sharing their daily creative projects online. I wanted to choose a habit I could reasonably maintain, and also give myself grace and continue with the project when I missed days, since I had previously tried taking a photo a day, but quit after only 39 days.
In 2016 I started a daily drawing habit, which I maintained even with a couple breaks when we got sick in February and moved in August. I’m proud that I continued the habit even after missing days. And I’m still drawing daily. Here’s my advice for starting a daily creative habit:
Don’t wait for January 1 or for when you think you will have more time. If it’s important to you, make the time, and it doesn’t have to be a lot of time. “A year from now you may wish you had started today.” Karen Lamb
Choose a Manageable Habit
Start with a habit that seems manageable to you, using supplies you already have or can easily get. I decided to try drawing and limit my supplies to pens and a sketchbook. I wanted to improve my drawing skills and the habit and supplies seemed manageable, even if we were travelling.
Set a Time Expectation
Set a (low) time limit and time of day to complete your habit. I decided drawing for about five minutes a day would be manageable, allowing for days when I didn’t feel like it. I would rather have a low time expectation and reach that goal every day than have too high of a time expectation and not maintain my habit. I chose to draw before I went to bed at night, so I put a small (3.5×5.5) sketchbook and pens in a zip pouch on my bedside table. That time of day still works for me, but if I discovered it wasn’t working, I’d try different times of day until I figured out what works best for me. I anticipate that when our youngest is in school, I may prefer to draw in the morning, so the time of day may change.
Choose Your Sharing Goals
Give yourself the freedom to not share online every day, especially if your goal is to develop a skill. I decided to only share the drawings I liked, which gave me the freedom to experiment and make really bad drawings and not feel pressured to share them. Since I wasn’t sharing every day, it also removed the pressure of needing to post every day. I posted some of my drawings on Instagram with the hashtag #anikadrawsdaily.
Daily Creative Habit Inspiration
I had been inspired for a few years by daily creative projects, including:
- Lisa Congdon’s 365 days of handlettering
- Jen Hewett’s 52 weeks of printmaking
- Habit blog, a collaboration of daily photos paired with 30 words
- Crystal Moody’s daily drawings, a year of creative habits. Listen to Crystal talk about her project on Maintaining a Creative Habit. Elise Gets Crafty podcast episode 39, with Crystal Moody
Do you have advice for creating a sustainable daily creative habit?