When my children were younger, we would mark one day every other week on our summer calendar as 'unplugged day'. They weren't allowed to use anything that plugs in, anything. They whined at first but quickly looked forward to those days (I called them our real days) because those were the days when they did stuff.
Lately I have found that all things 'plugged in' bring big distractions to my creative process, my focus. All it takes is for the phone to ring or my email notification signal to sound and, whether I respond or not, I'm already distracted. I need to prove to myself that I can, for at least one day, step away and disconnect. One day.
What to do with a day of no blog-surfing, no television, no phone calls? Some ideas . . .
- Imagine an art gallery called and asked you to bring a piece by to exhibit; that should push and stretch your creativity. What you will end up with is a piece that at the very least you'll be proud to hang in your home.
- Finish some or all of the kits you've purchased, those you had to have but they sit unopened/unfinished on your shelf.
- Create a piece or a few that you will send in for publication consideration to a magazine. I promise you will never be in a magazine if you don't submit something.
- Make cards. Make cards for birthdays, celebrations, occasions, everything. Pile up a big pile and then you will have cards on hand. I've done this before and let me tell you, it's worth it!
- Journal. Write, write, write. Pull out a box of photos and write something for as many as you can. Get lost in the process of it.
- Pull out all those magazines where you've marked projects you'd really like to make for gifts or for yourself, your home. Get started.
- Make it a technique day. All of us have techniques that we'd like to try or perfect (that dang soldering still gives me fits). Use this day to practice to perfection one technique or to learn several new ones.
- Play and make art all day with your kids.
- Take your camera out and snap photos all day. Try out all the settings, learn new techniques, practice being amazing behind the lens.
Notice the trend in all the above? At the end of the day, you have something to show for your day. Blog-surfing is fun and inspiring, but at the end of the day do you ever think that maybe-just-maybe you could've done something a little more substantial with your time?
So, think this over. If you plan to join me one day this week (any day that works for you), drop me a comment and let me know. Then post on your blog and challenge your readers to do the same if you'd like.
Some thoughts: Don't place too-high expectations on yourself; relax and roll with it, no pressure. If your workspace is completely trashed (like mine), try to straighten up the night before so you won't have to spend half a day cleaning up. Music is something you may want to make an exception for; if you're highly inspired by music as you create, play it. If you're a working girl, you may want to set aside two evenings instead of one full day. I plan to completely unplug the computer and the phone...just running over now and then to check emails is still a big distraction; remember, the idea is to focus and immerse in the creative process.
Next Monday, let's all come back together and post photos of what we did with our unplugged day on our blogs. That'll be fun, don't you think?
Ready, set, let's do this! :)