(Can’t seem to get the IGTV embed to work but I uploaded this episode to YouTube so that seems to be working.)
What did you do today?
I’m trying to share every day but I need to build the habit again. In June, I was sharing a drawing every day in Karen Abend’s Find Your Flow community. I had some momentum going, built up a routine for making something and then sharing it. I posted something every day for a month, I patted myself on the back, decided I’d take a few days off from sharing since I’d be traveling for a week, and then…
Well. Then not much.
I stopped sharing. I was still making something here and there. I thought I’d try to make an IGTV episode every day and have made one every 3 or 4 days. Not bad, but it’s not daily.
I want to share my answer to this question every day:
What did you learn today?
Why does daily matter?
Well, in the spirit of sharing what I learned, I’ll share some quotes and thoughts about creating things daily.
In “Better Than Before”, Gretchen Rubin writes about building good habits and stopping bad habits. She shares a couple quotes about doing something daily:
Andy Warhol said, “Either once only, or every day. If you do something once it’s exciting, and if you do it every day it’s exciting. But if you do it, say, twice or just almost every day, it’s not good any more.” Gertrude Stein made a related point: “Anything one does every day is important and imposing.”
She says that she decided on blogging daily because it removes the choice. No need to decide if you’ll post today if you know it’s every day. If you choose to post 3 days a week and don’t pick out and stick to a regular schedule, then you have to decide if today is the day or remember that you already posted three times this week or remember that you had planned to skip today because you had something time-bound to write about tomorrow or or or…
(Check out my post with extended thoughts about “Better Than Before”.)
The video I embedded here is an IGTV episode featuring my first Cinema 4D creation where I flawlessly re-created T-Rex’s appearance in Jurassic Park.
If you browse the #c4d tag on Instagram or read about Cinema 4D for, I don’t know, maybe 30 minutes, you’ll run into something made by Beeple (Mike Winkelmann). For the past 11 years, he’s made an image every single day. For the first couple years, they were drawings. The rest have been in C4D.
They’re called everydays and that term specifically seems to be tied to the 3D or motion graphics community. The first time I remember hearing about daily projects it was daily photos and usually called something like project 365. Of course with jokes about how it ends up being more like project 10 days.
Anyway, Beeple’s really done his version of project 365 and expanded it to 3650 and beyond. In an interview with Vice, he answers whether or not he really hasn’t missed a day in all that time:
“I really haven’t. I define a day as by midnight, and there are definitely days where I go really down to the wire. Last night I cut it pretty close. The thing is, you don’t always have an hour, but you always have five minutes, and you can make something creative in five minutes.”
Listening to different Beeple interviews and browsing his archive has been inspiring in a few ways.
- He makes something every day. More importantly, he shares it every day. Then he moves on.
- The first things he shared weren’t close to the complicated animations he shares now. You can see the progression and improvement through the years.
- He just seems generally positive about the whole thing. He doesn’t talk about how important it is to grind, grind, grind.
- He encourages other people to do everydays. He’s open about his process.
Beeple really makes it seem like you could get as good as him if you show up day in and day out. Whether you actually could is sort of beside the point.
If you put in the work for ten years and you aren’t any better, you’ve proven that muses and talent must exist. In 2029, feel free to express your outrage to the gods that didn’t bless you.
Turning some of my attention toward reading about 3D and motion graphics has reminded me of the value of finding inspiration in different places. Daily creation works, even if your body is what you’re sculpting.
Pavel Tsatsouline popularized kettlebells in America. One of the most popular kettlebell programs is his regimen called Simple & Sinister.
Summary: kettlebell swings and kettlebell get-ups, every day
Why daily? Shouldn’t you rest? Here’s what Pavel says in Simple & Sinister:
It may seem strange to recommend training without days off when the goal is storing energy, but moderate daily training will keep the muscles’ fuel tanks topped off, while making tissues resistant to microtrauma and almost soreness-proof. It is the ticket to being always ready.
So, yes, training at 110% every day will eventually break you. But you’re not going at 110%. Over the long haul, moderate and consistent will be healthier than intense and inconsistent.
That can apply in creative work also. You could try and write for 8 hours straight one day a week. Will those last four tired hours be as good as the first four hours? It’d be like trying to work out for 8 hours and expecting it to be the same as working out for an hour for 8 days.
What if something comes up and you can’t write and now you’re going 2 weeks between writing? Not great.
Aim for consistency.
Seth Godin is consistent. He’s written a blog post every day since what seems like the beginning of the internet.
He wrote about his secret in his post “This is post 7000”:
The secret to writing a daily blog is to write every day. And to queue it up and blog it. There is no other secret.
Now I know the secret. Only about 6800 posts away but I’ll get there.
(Actually I like his other secret: write in the editor.)
And here’s what Seth has to say about the daily discipline:
I haven’t missed a day in many, many years–the discipline of sharing something daily is priceless. Sometimes there are typos. I hope that they’re rare and I try to fix them.
I want to build that sharing habit.
Of course, I’ll share more about this as I go along.
(Otherwise, check out my other C4D creation on IGTV about Getting Things Done: For Teens.)