One Word 2017

For 2017, my one word is create.  Whether that is experimenting with different materials and techniques, such as glitter paint and layering CMYK markers or creating less tangible things such as opportunities or learning pathways for others, I want creation to be my focus.

Recently, I've been reading Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert and one line has stuck out for me. "Most things have already been done--but they have not been done by you." This has resonated with me because in my mind I can put brakes on a project, blog post, or idea because it has already been done and exists out there. The fact that I have more draft blog posts than published posts is a great example. This idea that something hasn't been done by me is liberating and something I want to incorporate into my practice and share with my colleagues and with students who often similarly stop themselves. As Gilbert also says "Creativity is a gift to the creator, not just a gift to the audience."

Last Spring and Summer, I began a daily drawing practice that I sustained for 3 1/2 months. It was glorious. I enjoyed every minute of it but as my schedule became hectic with school starting, I allowed the excuses to creep and abandoned the practice only drawing or painting when "I had time." This was terribly misguided. There is always time to create because at our core we are creative beings who have a need to create. I know this is true for me because with just a week of consecutive days of creating so far, I feel more focused, grounded, and alive. That's why I have challenged myself to create something every day during 2017.  If I do this for myself, I will be better positioned to create things to help others in my work that extends far beyond what I do with pens and paint. You can follow my daily create challenge on Instagram.