How Much You Want This, Girlie? #365daysofpractice

I’ve spent the last two weeks pondering my last post, hemming and hawing about whether to do it or not. And then on Monday, December 7, it rained so hard here in Portland that it unsettled even life-long Oregonians like me.

The rain caused one problem after the other:

  • A large puddle flowed into our basement,
  • the downspout broke over my head and dowsed me with gallons of frigid water,
  • I fixed the downspout and the block that made the gutters overflow,
  • I poured our last bag of bark dust over the ponds gathering around the downspout,
  • I traded out towels every 15 minutes to soak up the swirling pool of water in the basement,
  • That evening, I washed the towels, but when I tried to dry them, the dryer broke,
  • tiny, ravenous ants invaded three rooms of our house by the hundreds (even crawling on our toothbrushes);
  • and of course all the other stuff that must happen in a typical day had to be done too: meals made, toddler tended, dishes washed, board books read, toys picked up (16 times), and so forth.

I forced a smile through all of it; I told myself I could handle; I started to shout “What the f—?!?” but instead changed it to, “Bring it! I can handle it!” And I did.

In the midst of all this is when I decided to commit to drawing every day for 365 days. I started my creative challenge on December 7 because life is never going to make way for art, at least not until the artist proves her desire and willingness to go to the mat for her ideas.

I mean, I can keep sitting around and daydreaming of new projects for Carrot Condo, or I can go draw.

And as Monday showed me, I never actually sit around. Life gives me all kinds of completely legitimate, important, useful, even challenging and satisfying tasks to fill more than seven days a week, none of which include drawing or writing.

Monday’s storm felt like a big, arrogant Greek god swooped down and wagged a finger at me all paternalistic, and said “How much you want this, girlie?” in a tone that sounded more like, “See? I told you. You’ve already got more on your plate than you can handle, so forget this whole creative thing.”

That made me mad.

So, it’s done. I’m committed. And, I’ve already missed a day. But so what? I’ve got 6 more sketches in my notebook than I would have had if I’d not sat down in the middle of the tempest to draw.

You want to join me? Here are my guidelines if you want to follow:

  • Draw (or whatever you choose to do) every, single day.
  • Doesn’t matter what I draw or how long or how well; I just have to do it.
  • If I miss a day, I get right back on track the very next day.
  • There is no working ahead; this isn’t for cute Instagram pictures but for forcing art into every day of daily life until it’s as much a part of my routine as the dishes and laundry.
  • I have to report on occasion to stay accountable. I’ll use this blog and my Carrot Condo Instagram account and the hashtag #365daysofpractice because it doesn’t look like anyone’s using this so we can find each other easily, and because practice in order to develop a healthy habit and further transform into the people we want to be is what this is all about.

You could do anything for 365 days that is realistic and adds fulfillment to your life:

  • meditate
  • draw
  • write
  • exercise
  • eat veggies
  • read a chapter/poem
  • do something helpful for someone else
  • memorize a word in a language you don’t know
  • listen to a new-to-you song, band, or album

You can start whenever you want. Will you let me know if you decide to do it? I’m deeply curious about what you’ll take on for 365 days, and we can encourage each other to keep going when it gets tough.

You can post a comment here, you can email me (trista AT carrot condo DOT com), or you can message me in Instagram (link is to your right if you’re on a laptop; at the very bottom if you’re on a iPad/iPhone).

The more of us engaging in something thoughtful every day, the less impact these “storms” will have. Right? Good luck!

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About TRISTA

I write and illustrate stationery, cards, customized snail mail (yes, you can receive handwritten and illustrated letters in your mail!!), coloring books, and more. My business name is "Carrot Condo." After teaching English for 15 years (gasp!), I am now a full-time parent and part-time artist slowly, but steadily, building a creative business and life. You can read more at carrotcondo.com or see my products at etsy.com/shop/CarrotCondo. Thanks for your interest and support!!
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11 Responses to How Much You Want This, Girlie? #365daysofpractice

  1. roselefebvre24@comcast.net says:

    You sure have been through a lot of bad luck lately! The gutter dump did make me laugh though it was not a good thing to happen. Two of my gutter downspouts fell down and eventually will be fixed, The wind was so bad it even blew my trash bins all over in my car port! Luckily they were empty. A drawing a day–quite a challenge! I do not think I can do any challenge until after the new year starts. Too much on my plate right now. Maybe I will be able to do it and do a few things so have a variety to chose from for each day…we shall see.

    • TRISTA says:

      Even as I got doused with water and cursed loudly, I thought, “This will be funny later.” And, it is. Especially now that the basement is dried out and mostly back to normal.

  2. Kaplan says:

    I’m in.

  3. Ange says:

    I’ve always wanted to a running streak,so at least a mile every day. 2016 might be a good year for it.

    • TRISTA says:

      And, Ange, you’ve already committed to sewing one item of clothing each month of 2016. That’s similar to a daily practice. One of my friends has committed to at least 10 minutes of activity/exercise (usually more) every day of the week for … FOUR YEARS!!! Even through two surgeries, she’s missed only one day. Pretty cool.

  4. Sarah Olijnyk says:

    Trista, I dug your blog out of my Bookmark list as I was tidying it today and was flooded with all the reasons I put you in there originally.

    I have time to do this now because i live in Australia and as you are having too much water we are having so much heat and we just hibernate. Anyway I love the synchronicity of you and your ants and us and our ants – once the temperature gets above 35C the ants go looking for water here. a small colony has found the bathroom sink and others roam around the kitchen benches. Then the fridge which was on full time dribbled something sticky into a little pool on the floor and I cleaned that up and hung the rag outside only to come back a day later to find it black with ants!

    I have always believed that rats will rule eventually but now I reckon ants.

    I admire and support your 365 day plan and am going to write – just the junk inside my head that needs clearing out – as I write this the plumber is patiently pouring sulphuric acid down our ancient pipes and up is welling black goo. i feel that will happen when I write every day. I’m 64 so there’s about the same amount in there as in our 1950s house’s original plumbing.

    Sarah

    • TRISTA says:

      Sarah–I love this comment! I’ve read it at least four times and keep finding more to love about it, especially the poetic and funny comparison of you and your writing to your plumbing! I’m so glad All But The Kitchen Sink survived your bookmark pruning. I’m even more glad you’ve decided to write daily. I hope you’ll let us know how it’s going. Thanks so much for reading and for the fabulous comment that makes me feel better about ants, art, and life in general.

      • Sarah Olijnyk says:

        Trista. thankyou for your delightful message. i did write – the stuff that is on the top i started on yesterday – the dried out crust. i wrote it and recycled it. i will do this regularly as it frees me from constant striving for perfection. i also wrote it longhand on paper. the result of the plumbing was chaotic – i think the plumber panicked when the goo didn’t stop bubbling and every single surface and item took its share. the painted cement floor is stripped patchily of its paint and probably should be repainted – at least the acid should have removed any grease. but it’s hot hot hot so i’m not going there to crawl and paint. xx

  5. Pingback: A Super Hero Dress and Daily Practice | All But The Kitchen Sink

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