One of the books I recently finished was The Creative Habit, by Twyla Tharp. In it, Tharp taps into her own experience as a choreographer to share her creative process, as well as a bunch of exercises to help you get the most out of your own creativity and creative habit. One of those exercises is called “Do a Verb” where you choose a verb and apply movement to it in order to get your creative juices flowing (physically). Of course, given my current creative habit of choice, as soon as I read that, I immediately thought, “draw a verb!” So everyday, I’ve been picking a random verb and drawing some representation of it. Some verbs have been inspired by some other activity I’ve done that day, like last week, when we went to an event with great music and “listen” seemed to be the right verb for that day; or a couple of days ago, when I found a bunch of gorgeous blue jay feathers on a walk, and “find” became the only possible verb for the day. And other days, I won’t lie, I’ve picked what I wanted to draw first and then chose the appropriate verb to go with it. That’s cheating, right? Whatever, I’m drawing daily and that’s the point!
So, speaking of drawing daily being the point, one of the greatest lessons I’ve learned about creativity over the past few months is that it is fueled by habit. By routines. By choosing a time or theme or goal (or, best of all, all three) and cranking out work accordingly. Having a theme and a goal (a verb + one drawing a day) has really helped me put pen to paper everyday, which was the whole point of signing on to the 100 day project in the first place. But what I still struggle with is carving out the time to do it. Drawing over lunch has worked for the past couple of days, but I know I can’t always rely on lunch hour. So my next challenge is to pick a time of day and get to work, even for a few minutes, everyday at that time. Updates on that as progress warrants.
I’ve been posting these to Instagram almost daily (with the hashtag #averbaday) and will continue to do so until the end of May, so hop on over and follow me there for regular updates. (Note to self: pick a theme for June!)