I am doing Meredith Lewis (@dangerousmere) and thinking I may have missed a day somewhere. No matter.
Today she asks us:
During this busy time of year, did you have time to respond to all of them and make stuff, or were some or all of them treated as thought-exercises that could only be responded to inside your head?
There is nothing wrong with not creating output, by the way, if you are busy, but I am interested in how you felt about that: Frustrated? Resigned? Depressed? Playful?
And what does this tell you about how you are feeling about your own efforts to be creative?
This year has been one of my less creative years ever except for one instance where I pretended to go on a virtual tour across France which resulted in one France’s tourist bureau’s of the region I was covering a congratulations and a hope they see me there for real one day. You can read about this creative and fun exploration of culture and region in:
Apart from that fun element, to get myself out of my head and doing things as I was frustrated and resigned for most of the year this year with incessant lockdowns and unable to see family and friends that the only way I could overcome the negativity was to keep learning new skills so that my time could be taken up away from doom scrolling or doing more work. My day-to-day work at Adopt & Embrace gave me, for a few days, at least something to do.
So the skills I learned this year, although not creative per se – had an element of creative expression in them because I designed my own learning plans around them.
I attempted to write my blogs in French and seeking out French people who could help me improve my written French.
At one stage, I was inspired by the stories of the people who worked in secret crypto services during world war 2 in Australia, so I learned morse code.
Oh, I continued to learn new online skills and tools such as OBS which has been great for my online video demonstrations and while mucking about in it, I came upon an idea to create a loop of myself to pretend that I’m actually in a meeting while I could just be in the kitchen making a cuppa instead. I got many responses from people who thought it was a laugh.
Learned OBS and loved dabbling with it to create a video loop of myself to use in online meetings
During winter I was inspired by Dick and Angel Strawbridge with their show Chateau in the Country and loved all the creativity of Angel and how they recreated their fabulous chateau. I was so inspired that I started to think of ways I could do the same. I started hacking branches and flowers to “try and bring the outside in”. I became a lot more interested in the plants around our house, even propagated some rose bushes and was pleasantly surprised at the result…
My plan in the new year is to focus on a new skill which will be “container gardening”.
I forgot that I had another creative expression during lockdown 5.0 was to draw how I was feeling every day in a Covid art journal. Every day I drew various cartoons in it and it was interesting to try and think about my feelings and express it in art form with colour.
I still had time to dabble in different online tools like this one:
By far another skill and creative expression this year was my knitting where my skills increased considerably where I am doing more intricate stitches such as colourwork and cables. I challenged myself and knitted my ‘owl jumper’ twice – one for me; one as a gift; three 12 ply jumpers (for me and gifts); a beautiful angora cardigan and a jumper with some leaf colourwork around the shoulder. Every single jumper is worn delightfully. I love them all.
For my French language studies, I started using a picture dictionary to create stories and then write them out in French, get feedback from French natives (I use the app, Hello Talk) in a way to remember the vocabulary (because I put them into context)
Oh my god.
Just by doing this exercise, it’s made me realise that I HAVE been doing a LOT of creative projects this year. TONNES of them in different ways through my language learning, my knitting skills and also picking up different one such as the drawing and the writing of the virtual tour diary.
Initially I thought it was one boring year where I did nothing but I actually achieved a lot in a year and had so much creativity in it that I seem to have forgotten about it!
It was delightful to go back through my old blog posts of 2021 (I’ve captured it all in there but I doubt anyone reads these as these are mainly for me) but also going through the Tweets this year, put it all into perspective for me. My Twitter timeline is an expression of everything I have done or have gone through.
(Side note: I wonder if there’s an app that can capture all the tweets from a certain time period and put them into a video format?)
So there you go. How surprising is this?
I started out pessimistically thinking this year has been a NOTHING year for me and in fact along with ALL the above wonderful creative expression at a time in my life where lockdowns just got me down, and sad I had time for all the above PLUS I read 83 books (see all the reviews on my YouTube channel) this year AND learned to run achieving to run 10KMs with the Couch to 10K app.
Well all is well now. I can be happy that 2021 was indeed, a creative year for me.
Thank you Meredith for this creative daily challenge and I have loved every day when I looked forward to the prompt in my inbox. It was the first email I looked out for every day because you gave me another focus away from my work and away from myself.
If you haven’t signed up for her newsletter then do yourself a favour and do that now!!