53 million artists: a creative New Year’s challenge

Writing - my dream

I admit it.  I misread (or too quickly read) the instructions originally.

It said “do a 20 minute creative challenge in January”.  Twenty minutes?  Pah!  Of course even I can fit that into my month.

I missed the bit where it said “every day”.  Gulp.

Maybe it’s good I’m writing this blog early on when I can claim success, having knocked the first two days out of the park — two for two, woo hoo!

But no, goddamit, now I’ve started and I’m feeling good I’m going to see it through.  I’m enjoying it!

So what’s this challenge all about?  I don’t know a whole lot, to be honest.

It’s being organised by 53 Million Artists who I hadn’t heard of before, but their mission statement is “Unlocking the creative potential of every human being in England” which is, well, pretty f**king cool.

They email you a new 20-minute creative challenge each morning during January and, you know, you do it.  Like on the second day, writing (see the start of mine above — I decided to write down a long dream I’d had the night before).

I’ve got a sneaky hunch it may be a clever ruse to get you to form a habit of being creative every day.  Which is very laudable.

Twenty minutes… can you really create great art in that short a space of time?  Not every time, no.  But I — like quite a few people I’m guessing — often struggle to get going with something creative.  And sometimes you can create beautiful things very quickly.  Give yourself time and you’ll fill it; set a constraint and you’ll meet it.

There’s also a wonderful and liberating simplicity of just doing something quick (come on, all of us can make that short amount of time!) and not worrying whether it’s good or not.  I’m finding it a good creative limber-up to get me doing other things (would I have started this blog right now otherwise? maybe not!).

Forget New Year’s resolutions, start a New Year’s habit instead.  This challenge is a nice one.