I bought this book for my new Kindle: 365: A Daily Creativity Journal: Make Something Every Day and Change Your Life. When I ran across this book, I was in search of a daily meditation book I could keep on my Kindle, something like Barbara Crafton’s The Sewing Room: Uncommon Reflections of Life, Love, and Work. A creativity journal was not really what I was looking for, yet, as in all things, what I find is often not what I was searching for. I’m not even really sure why I bought this book, to tell the truth. It simply “spoke” to me.
Of course, I’m quite familiar with the concept of a daily creative effort and the way in which committing to such an effort can act as a spur to creativity, a path to discipline, and even a spiritual practice of sorts. Growing up, our father got up every morning quite early before going to work and sat down to write. When I was a small child, he wrote on a typewriter (accompanied by much cursing, as he was a poor typist). Later, he upgraded to a DOS-based computer system and word-processing program, complete with daisy-wheel printer. Now, of course, he has an up-to-date (well, fairly) computer with an ergonomic keyboard and laser printer. There are times, however, when he goes out-of-town or stays with family, that he still writes in longhand with a clipboard, paper, and pen. The point is, in the 40 years of my life, I could probably count on one hand the number of times that he has skipped his morning writing session. Very few people have this kind of discipline. As a child, I took my dad’s discipline for granted, but when I really stop to think about it, it is astounding and awe-inspiring.
So, with such an example before me, I really have no excuse.
My new book is written by Noah Scalin, a man who resolved to make a skull a day for a year. He used all kinds of media. Some of his projects were small, and some were very large. Some were permanent, and some were temporary, recorded for posterity only in photos. Some were solo efforts, and some he made with friends. The only rule was that he would make one image of skull each day. All other factors were variable. He recorded his efforts over the course of the year in a blog, and now has written this creativity journal as well as published a book of the skull images.
Yesterday I sat down and did a little brainstorming about what my year-long project might be. A number of things occurred to me, but with Scalin’s advice to keep the outlines broad enough to remain interesting and flexible, I decided on these two year-long resolutions.
1. Stitch every day for a year.
2. Finish one project a month for a year.
Number one is cheating a little, I admit, since I normally stitch every day anyway. By stitching, I mean knitting, cross-stitching (which I have been doing a lot of lately), sewing, and quilting. I am deliberately keeping my definition broad here so as to leave myself lots of room to switch media and projects at will–something else I typically do anyway.
But resolution number one leads me to resolution number two–something a little harder for a craft transient such as myself. I have many, many unfinished projects languishing in dark corners, drawers, and bags. You see, my vow is to finish, not just any project, but a currently unfinished project every month. At least one a month. In any medium. There are many possibilities here–afghans, sweaters, socks, shawls, quilts, cross-stitch projects.
Let the stitching begin.