The holidays are a time for gathering together with friend and family AND reflecting back on the year that has past.We attended several parties over the holiday season and many other, smaller, get-togethers for drinks or dinner. In talking with everyone, one statement I heard again and again at these events was the desire to actually and concretely DO something this year.
Maybe they wanted to do more knitting or cooking or reading. Maybe they wanted to work on their new novel , take more photographs or even get more involved with politics. While the desires were quite varied, the desire to DO something was strong in everyone. Creativity is a major part of everyone’s live and when denied can lead to a life filled with dissatisfaction.
“Zorana Ivcevic measured personal growth by asking people about their continued development and realization of their potential (e.g., “In general, I feel that I continue to learn more about myself as time goes by”). She found that people who scored higher in a “creative lifestyle” (those who engaged in more creative acts in everyday life such as making a scrapbook, visiting an art museum, inventing a new recipe, and taking photographs) were significantly more likely to score high in personal growth.” – Scientific American
I know in my own personal case, when my time is completely occupied with “work” for others, I begin to feel an itch, a concern and, in some cases, an increase in feelings of depression and hopelessness. This is why, when you read my blogs, or follow me on social media, you often see a wide variety of content spanning writing, photography, music, technology, gardening and a hundred other areas. This is my defense mechanism. This is my mind screaming out for something creative, something interesting, something fun and, in some cases, something powerful in my life. I am guessing that you feel a similar pull in your life and similar results when you deny it and I feel this is why I am hearing the “create” as a mantra from so many people.
“Research has shown that creating or tending things by hand enhances mental health and makes us happy. Dr. Kelly Lambert (www.kellylambertlab.com) explored the relationship between hand use, current cultural habits, and mood. She found that hands-on work satisfies our primal need to make things and could also be an antidote for our cultural malaise.” – Psychology Today
In an effort to spur my own creativity and execution of those creative ideas, I am starting this series, Do It 2017! I’ll be offering up my own experiences and creative projects, interesting projects I find on the Internet, and maybe even a few interviews with others who are seeking to make something important this year.
I’d love to hear your plans for the year, too. What projects have you itching to get started? Do you need a little push to take that first step? Are you waiting on something to change in your life before pursuing these new ideas? What roadblocks — both personal and professional — stand in your way? Share your thoughts here and let’s build a supportive community of creators that can help each other move forward, even if just baby steps. I know for myself, taking action — even the smallest of actions — is often the best (and only) way of getting started. Let’s help each other take those small, concrete actions that lead to great things!
Here are a few of the projects (and general themes) I want to move forward in 2017:
- Return to my guitar, piano and harmonica playing. Play music with others more often.
- Create useful, cool and fun Internet of Things and other technology projects using Arduino, Raspberry PI and other technologies
- Open a hackerspace/makerspace where I can share my creativity with other and help introduce them to the wonderful (and powerful) world of making things
- Create other communities of like-minded people to support and challenge each other to do great things
- Focus on photography more as both an artistic release and financial benefit by creating products of all sorts to bring more beauty into people’s lives
- Aso, set up a schedule of regular photowalks to dedicate time to creating new photos
- Find new food and recipes to add to our Recipes in Rotation
- Travel more to both new places and places I haven’t visited in a long while. This includes some lovely places in northern California and also exotic places like Iceland.
- Be outdoors more both in my own garden and in the amazing countryside that surrounds Los Angeles.
- …and much more!
How about you? What are your creative desires for the coming year? How can I and all the readers here help you in your endeavor?
I’ll be posting a new idea of how I am trying to Do It! this year each week here on the blog. Subscribe here on My Word or follow me on any of my social media accounts to join in!