Why I finished my 366 day creative challenge early

On the 1st January, I embarked on a creative challenge. To post something every day, whether a photo, a sentence, or a doodle. I was planning to keep this up for the whole year. I even kept it up during a challenging and busy couple of months at work, posting late at night.

And then one day I stopped. And didn’t start again. I think I reached about 100 posts, so it was quite a nice collection. Looking back I know exactly what all the weird and eclectic posts are about – commentary on something that happened at work, how I was feeling, or just an image of that day’s weather or scenery. And it’s an interesting set of memories.

I don’t actually know why I stopped. It just got too much alongside my workload, and my heart wasn’t in it any longer.

But if I’ve learnt anything from all the creative challenges I’ve done over the last 4 years, since the first 30 Day Challenge that kicked it all off in 2012, it’s that it’s fine to quit if you’ve got what you need from something. And I had.

My work has quietened down a little (well just to the extent that I’m actually having a weekend!), so I’ve been catching up on what my fellow creative adventurers have been up to. People like Richard, who has just finished The Artist’s Way, a 12 week process of writing, creating art and nurturing the creative spirit. Or Lotte, who is part way through 100 days of daily doodling/painting/creating.

And having started the bank holiday weekend with a physical adventure, climbing around the treetops with Go Ape, I’m turning my thoughts to the other dimensions of life that I’ve neglected a bit while I’ve been working so hard. Apart from the obvious social things like spending time with my husband, family and friends, there’s Rotary and other volunteering activities I like to get involved with. There’s running and walking. There’s photography (I haven’t made it to a camera club meeting for quite a few months now) and there’s writing. As well as that, we’ve almost got a new kitchen, which I hope will inspire me to cook more. And the garden needs a bit of looking after and tidying up!

There’s a lot to fit into my life, and it certainly shouldn’t all be about work and commuting. No matter how busy that work is, how worthwhile some of the results of it, and how brilliant my team is.

So I haven’t decided on my next creative challenge yet, but there definitely will be one. And with an extended weekend, hopefully I’ll have the chance to get a bit of inspiration and choose something……

Cat curled up and looking cosy at Lady Dinah’s Cat Cafe, London:

One thought on “Why I finished my 366 day creative challenge early

  1. Lovely post, Nina. I totally agree with you – we can push ourselves beyond the comfort zone sometimes and never actually achieve anything of value, so for you to recognise that you’ve got what you want from this challenge is amazing. Well done.

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