So we're half way through July and I'm ashamed to admit that I have managed a grand total of 0 drawings since the #30drawingsin30dayschallenge ended in June.
Here is my list of excuses for not getting on the page:
- it's too hot
- I need to order some materials
- I've just been on holiday
- I have to go food shopping
- I need to finish my embroidery commissions first
- I need to do the washing
- I need to get the house ready for the next guests
- the drawings won't be good enough
- there's too much pressure
- I'm too tired
- I'm bored of drawing house plants
- what's the point?
- what if no-one buys them - total waste of time
- I could just use some of the better drawings I did in the challenge
- I'll just do the washing up
- I need to check Facebook, Instagram, email accounts
- I wonder what's happening with the tennis?
Sound familiar? This has been a real reminder of how hard it is to self-motivate. At various points in the drawing challenge, I struggled to get on the page but I didn't miss a single day. How did I manage to draw everyday for 30 days? Having had time to reflect, I realise I had to overcome a huge amount of obstacles (real and imagined) in order to get on the page everyday. My consistency was mostly due to the fact that I had over 50 people waiting for my daily email and drawings and I didn't want to disappoint the Instagram and Facebook audiences and communities. I had positioned myself as the leader of the challenge and I had to lead by example. I was organised - I had a month to prepare and get all my materials ready in advance and I planned what I would do each day in June. It was also because it was the first time I had done something like this and it was exciting, new, different and an experiment. I realise I had exercised a huge amount of self-knowledge - I had pre-empted my habitual stumbling blocks - lack of materials; lack of organisation; lack of commitment; lack of people to hold me to account and took actions to ensure these obstacles didn't get in the way. I prioritised the challenge drawing over everything; I tried to do it first thing, before I opened my laptop; I cancelled plans with friends in the week; and I made sure there were people (inadvertently) holding me to account.
In the last week of the challenge, geed up by the momentum of drawing daily and encouragement from the online communities and despite knowing the huge effort it took to create one image a day, I set myself the momentous task of creating FOUR pieces a day:
It's now the 16th July and I've done none of them. Not a single one. So what's the learning for me in this failure? Don't bite off more than I can chew; I need a community of people who are doing something similar; I need to be held to account daily; I need to take the time to be organised and prepared for the challenge I set myself. Simply writing it down isn't enough.
The other obstacle is money. I need to invest in more materials but I'm struggling to justify spending the money - I'll just use up what I've got and once I've made some money from what I've sold then I'll be able to invest in new materials. I need to be surrounded by a community of artists and have been offered an affordable studio space but again, I'm really struggling to spend the money - I'm finding all manner of excuses - I quite like working from home, it's a tiny space, it'll be too noisy. Why am I not investing? Because I'm afraid. Even though I know that I need to invest in the materials and an environment that supports my creativity I'm afraid and I doubt the value of this investment, I doubt that it'll bring me the return I need, I doubt I will be able to create anything of value, I just see the money leaving my account and fear it will never return. I've slipped into scarcity, fear and doubt mode and I know the only way out of that is to move forward and spend the money. But it's terrifying. Everyday. So I put the washing on and check Facebook, emails, Instagram...
But I won't give up. I know now what I need in order to succeed and I'm going to take action to create it.
If the procrastination; the blocks and the obstacles I've admitted in this post have resonated with you and you are a creative who needs to create a body of work to sell the online course I'm designing right now might be just the ticket. It's called "Ready to Sell". Click here for more details and stay tuned for the upcoming launch date....
Some drawings from my holiday in Normandy last week:
And some books I read on holiday and recommend: "Show Your Work" by Austin Kleon and "Whatcha Mean What's a Zine" by Mark Todd & Esther Pearl Watson.
And lastly, I'm mostly inspired by the delicate beauty of the simple cow parsley this month: