170220 Go Without: Creativity Exercise

Tharp recommends taking a week off from a norm in your life to feed your creative health. It’s like a non food diet, and doesn’t need to last forever, just enough to get the taste of it.

For most of this trial my ongoing experiment over the week has been the Mind Wander project in increasing time duration.  But for this final week I’m trying something different all week.  On page 32 Tharp recommends taking a week off from a norm in your life to feed your creative health.   It’s like a non food diet, and doesn’t need to last forever, just enough to get the taste of it.  This has been one of the hardest challenges of this six week trial so far.  Since I don’t have tons of routines, I decided to eliminate internet time.  I quickly realized there are a number of time sensitive tasks I have that utilize the internet, so I immediately needed to revise.  The revision I created was that I could only go on the internet with a specific purpose, get in, accomplish it and get out.  Monday I failed horribly.  I think I spent almost an hour to two hours of aimless time on the internet.  After that I did pretty good, until Friday again when I was off task for probably about 30 mins.  I like the idea though.  It seems good to have days or times when you just write your list of things to accomplish on the net and then get back to physical reality.  This is definitely not anything I could do forever.  There’s so much good stuff out there on the internet that is good community building and inspiring that I think I would be missing out.

You could take this exercise in a lot of directions though.  Tharp mentions some examples of a week without a watch, mirrors  or newspaper.  All could have very different effects on your reality.

After a week of doing this I think the biggest reward was having more focus and intention with my internet time.  Even when I slipped off track I was more cognizant of what I was doing, because I was self regulating.  Awareness seems to go a long way in terms of helping to curb unwanted behavior, but self-discipline is the big bouncer you need in your club to help awareness weave a path through the crowd.  Without discipline I think awareness could just make you feel bad about yourself.  It did that some for me, but because I did follow through on my commitment often, it wasn’t horrible.  And who knows for some people becoming aware that they don’t like their own behavior and feeling bad about it, might just be the kick in the pants they need to make a change.  Everyone is different.

170123: Name Your 5 Biggest Creative Fears

This exercise is from Tharp’s The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It For Life p. 31

Tharp challenges you to name your fears in order to face them and then focus on how you might be able to overcome them individually.

  1. I won’t be able to keep up with all the things I want to accomplish.
  2. Will I make things worth the time spent?
  3. What is something unique that I can contribute?
  4. Do I have enough energy to be successful?
  5. Can I find quality mentors? How?

I will work toward answering and nullifying these questions over the next few weeks.

170117: Creative Autobiography

One I considered a success because of the attention it warranted from others. The other I consider a success because of the internal feeling of elation/ concentration/ balance I felt…

Day One 170117 9:44pm

Prompt: p. 45 of Tharp’s The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life

Tharp poses the questions below, I just took them one at a time and tried to be as honest in the moment as I could. I found the question about habits and routines to be the most challenging to self identify, I needed someone close to me to to help.

Creative Autobiography of Lara Fahnlander

What is the first creative moment you remember?

I guess fort building with my mom in the back yard. I thought it was such fun to make an entirely new space in our ordinary backyard. Realizing that the shelter could be made in different places and turn out differently because of our choices.

Was anyone there to witness or appreciate?

Yes, my mom.

What is the best idea you’ve ever had?

I guess deciding to be a good person everyday and help contribute to good feelings in the world.

What made it great in your mind?

Because it can influence everything else that happens in relation to me.

What is the dumbest idea?

To listen to someone else’s idea of what I should do with my life

What made it stupid?

Trusting someone else to know better than my own heart.

Can you connect the dots that led you to this idea?

Being young and unsure of the realities of what I might need to know or do to survive and thrive as a grown person.

What is your creative ambition?

To share the gifts that only I can contribute to the world. I want to unleash my pure creative self from inhibitions and the priorities of others and society.

What are the obstacles to this ambition?

Some obstacles are

time in relation to the needs that relationships and daily life seem to require

not being focused and clearly directed in my pursuits at all times

technology woes, energy levels, materials, location in various combinations or succession

What are the vital steps to achieving this ambition?

Carving time for this priority, keeping it in the forefront, getting digitally organized, creating a creative habit?

How do you begin your day?

I am not a very ritualistic person. The main consistent things are that I wake up fairly easily and happily and I always brush my teeth and run my fingers through my hair as a comb.

What are you habits? What patterns do you repeat?

Interesting question to ponder… Right now I try to always put my keys in the same place. I brush my teeth morning and night. I will have to discuss this question further with my boyfriend.

Describe your first successful creative act.

While in grade school I took an after school watercolor class. We had a show at the end of the course. A friend of my mom’s offered to buy one of my paintings. I turned her down.

Describe your second successful act.

Actually before the other, I would build block towers of varying shape, but only one block wide that were taller than me. I’m not sure if this is considered creative.

Compare them.

One I consider a success because of the attention it warranted from others. The other I consider a success because of the internal feeling of elation/concentration/balance I felt as I was able to build taller and taller.

10:12pm- converse with Taylor.

My boyfriend concurs I have few routines, but adds: I look in the mirror before leaving the house, usually put on earrings and necklace

Some habits: straighten my eyebrows without thinking, check my phone for time in the morning upon waking

Throughout year, but non-daily habit: keep track in my 10 yr. journal.

10:38pm