A Little Help from Your FriendsBy
It’s genuinely exciting to have other people benefiting from a technique I really believe in, and in addition, their experiences are so helpful to other artists and crafters trying to get their creative groove back or dig deeper.
I also love it because it shows the benefits of community and accountability.
The Grooviness of Accountability
Last week I mentioned how being accountable to the 20 Minute Club in my weekly blog post gave me the gumption to face my drawing because I wanted to be able to have something to tell the group at the end of the week.
Can I say that again?
Being accountable to the 20 Minute Club gave me the gumption to turn on the timer when I was both super busy and faced with a difficult stage in my drawing.
The accountability factor is a HUGELY helpful partner to the 20 Minute Technique itself.
Accountability helped me find 20 minutes I didn’t think I had–which in turn helped my drawing and my creative process at the same time.
And that’s the reason I created The 20 Minute Club. I knew it would help me and everyone who reads this blog to have a place to report back to because it’s hard to stretch your creative limits in a vacuum.
Even when you’re someone who creates quite regularly.
Because when you’re trying to push past your limits–whether it’s by learning something new or attempting something difficult or by picking up a paintbrush after 20 years–it’s easy to jump to the “why bother” or “this is silly” kind of thinking–especially if it kind of hurts to do it or when you’re not sure of the end result.
The “why bother” thing or the “who do I think I am thing” can be a tough barrier to push through.
Having a community to connect with about it can help get around that resistance.
To have somewhere where you check in to say,”This week, I flipped through magazines and realized I’m obsessed with pink and yellow”; or “This week I actually finished that top I started last winter and cut out a new one!” or, as it was for me last week–”This week I worked on a drawing when I’m feeling totally lost about what it needs or what I’m trying to say with it” has untold benefits for your long term creative process.
Connection and Support
For most people (especially women) it’s easier to commit to others than to yourself.
It’s easier therefore, to get yourself to do something when it involves reporting back to someone other than yourself.
Suddenly, you can find 20 minutes (or 10 or 5…) because you feel connected to the group and want to contribute and be accountable.
That’s why we get stuff done at work, at church, in clubs, etc. The structure is there and we’ve made commitments and feel accountable. We’re social beings. It’s a good thing.
And because most creative people don’t make their living from their art, it requires a lot of self-motivation and self esteem to commit to yourself and carve out the time or take the risk to make what you want to make. To push past the “why bother” and the “who do I think I am” self sabotage.
That’s why it’s so important to find or create systems that support you. To help you find the gumption to keep creating or to dig deeper.
And finally, it’s nice to be understood. Really nice.
To share the ups and downs of the creative process with other people who know how you feel is affirming and reinforces the validity of what you’re going through.
So if you’ve been reading and musing about the 20 Minute Technique but have felt a little shy about sharing, I invite you to give it a whirl and share how it goes. Good, bad, it doesn’t matter.
I look forward to the next update at the end of the week. Happy Creating!