One foot in front of the other...
Yesterday evening before going to bed my eye caught this post on Steemit where the author writes about how she managed to write 100 posts in 100 days. The basic idea of course was that she focused on writing just one post a day for 100 days in a row.
The idea is so simple but at the same time so magical. Anything could be done if we do it just today. And then tomorrow, and then the day after that.
Imagine you want to write a book with over 300 pages. If you approach this task as a whole, it's a gigantic undertaking and you most likely fail somewhere around page 20.
But if you just write one post a day which is around 500 words long or less and share it on your blog anywhere on the web and later post it in your document for a book, then pretty soon the magic kicks in and you will have built a life-lasting habit, build up your skill of writing, found your voice while building an audience.
After less than a year, you will have your book ready and it will literally sell itself.
Some people write longer posts each day and publish shorter books (maybe 100+ pages) on Kindle. This way you can even complete one book in a month.
Another example: imagine you want to create a monumental cycle of drawings in a year. At first this task is too big. But if you focus on drawing just a section of your drawing, then again it's nothing big at all.
The same applies for any creative endeavor: writing, drawing, painting, composing, practicing any skill, building something digital or physical.
What's important here is that you do it one step at a time and share this step online immediately. If you don't share it, you won't receive valuable feedback, won't build your audience and while you still may complete your work many days later, nobody will know about you and your work.
If you practice your art in public, the universe will provide.
One foot in front of the other...
So last night I woke up when it was still dark. My head was heavy and a thought came that I should skip composing the first thing in the morning when I get up. After all I will feel less than perfect. Nothing will happen if I skip one day, right?
If I skip one day, the same idea will come to me the next night and the next and pretty soon I will find out that I want to abandon my project of composing 200 opuses whatsoever.
It so easy to quit, right?
But at the same time so easy to continue, if you I do it just for 15 minutes a day.
So I did. I started creating my Op. 69.
One foot in front of the other...
I'm glad I have managed to create my organ piece yesterday in the morning. It wasn't easy.
The night before I had my big doubts about its worth, about the worth of my efforts in general. It would have been easy to give up. But then I wouldn't have finished it this morning...
So every time I give up something, I sacrifice my progress. Every time I don't work out or go to a gym, I sacrifice my physical development.
Every time I don't floss my teeth, they are getting a little bit less healthy. Every time I overeat, I feel heavier. Every time I go to sleep too late, I feel a little less capable to function properly the next day.
Every time I interact with toxic people, I'm sacrificing my emotional health. Every time I skip practice (drawing, improvising, composing, sight-reading, writing) even for 15 minutes a day, my creative muscles atrophy.
Every time I complain about something and don't feel grateful, I'm sacrificing my spiritual health.
But it turns out it doesn't take gigantic efforts to do any of these things right.
Just a little bit of practice today means big results in 10 years. I think I'm that patient. Not always, of course. But I'm patient today.
Are you patient today too?
I'm writing these words knowing they won't be perfect. Maybe the ideas won't be clear, maybe I'll overlook some grammar and punctuation mistakes (I hope to catch them though). Maybe it won't resonate with my readers.
It doesn't matter. The ideas came to my head and I have to release them. Make way for some new ideas.
This is particularly difficult to understand for perfectionists. I mean maybe they understand this concept but their inner fear of failure, of half-baked ideas stop them from producing their life-work.
Not for me. I'm fully aware of my own imperfections but I'm practicing and hopefully practice will make my art better over time.
But it's important to keep shipping it. To keep failing in a place where other people can see it and be affected by it. Maybe even criticize it. Only then art happens.
Of course, I could write these thoughts in private, maybe in a notebook and lock it in a drawer. Sort of a journal. Artists can practice drawing in their studio and never let others to peek on their creations. Musicians can play an instrument in the practice room and never to appear in public. Writers can hide their manuscripts from the world.
And this would be quite selfish. To rob the world of your art, to hide it in the closet.
This is not enough. We have to be open about it. We have to show the process of creating to the people, to our future fans, fans who maybe will support us in the future. Fans who perhaps will be inspired to start creating themselves.
That's how you get positive feedback. That's how you grow.
So first thing in the morning today I already worked on my Op. 68 for solo organ. When I was done for the moment, I immediately took a photo and shared it online, to my social channels.
It's not finished, not polished, not ready.
But I'll ship it nonetheless. I hope you'll do the same.
You and me, if you consider yourself an artist, must have a feeling sometimes that nobody can understand what's going on in your head. Nobody but you.
Not your friends or your family or your boss. Oh yes, I forgot... artists don't have bosses. And even if they do, they don't wait for orders what to do next.
Yes, once in a while you meet another artist. Then you recognize each other instantly, greet each other and move your own ways. Like passing ships at sea.
Some artists form communities, tribes of like-minded people who support each other. But at the end of the day artists are still left with their own thoughts.
And this situation makes them feel lonely at times.
But that's OK. Because art can't be born in a chaos. You need silence to organize your thoughts or to hear what Muse is whispering into your ear.
Sometimes you feel sad that nobody in the whole world can tell you it's gonna be OK. Sometimes you feel proud precisely because of this. Whatever the case may be today remember this:
Your mission is yours and yours alone. Everybody else has their own mission. Even if they don't know what it is yet.
I don't know what to write today. I don't know why but my head is empty. Maybe it's because of waking up at 4 am last night. Maybe because I haven't written for a while. Maybe it's because I have only a few minutes to write before having to run to church to play for diploma ceremony.
Whatever the case may be I think sometimes you too can feel empty. What do you do then? Do you skip creating and hope for a time when the inspiration will strike? Or do you sit down and bang out those words no matter what?
When I say, my head is empty, it's not entirely true, I have created an organ piece Op. 67 this morning, scheduled to publish a couple of blog posts on organduo.lt and even live-streamed my transposition of Bach's C Major Two-Part Invention No. 1 into D Major. Later in the day, I will draw my daily Pinky and Spiky comic strip. This time about lemons and oranges. I will also improvise in the church and hope to live-stream it. And perhaps share my today's experiences in another video in the evening.
Something has been bothering me lately and I haven't been able to put my finger on it. But I will. And I'll write about that once I do.
Until that time I'll continue to create in text, pictures, audio, and video no matter what and share it with the world. Because sitting down in front of a blank screen is better than not sitting at all.
And I hope you'll create something too because when you create, miracles happen.
I’m so delighted to be able to talk to you about something that is very interesting: creation of new art forms, of new compositions. I hope you had the chance to create too.
First thing in the morning today, I edited my newest piece, I dedicated for Göran Grahn, organist and friend from Sweden. It’s called Kyrie Orbis Factor, based on a Gregorian chant tune. And then, of course, I posted it online, shared it with the world, and then I created a drawing, a comic about Pinky and Spiky. I think that they were looking for strawberries and cream. But, their pets were hiding strawberries and cream from them, so, they were rather angry.
So, I again shared it with you earlier in the day, and I live streamed a few of my improvisations from the graduation ceremony today, which is also a form of creation, right? So, the day for me was quite creative, and I hope that you can create, too, in either text, pictures, audio, or video, and share it with the world. And don’t stop there, because tomorrow, you will have a chance to create, share, and repeat again.
Thanks, guys, I hope this was useful to you. And let’s create something. And remember, when you create, miracles happen.
Today I am going to talk about how can you become creative. This is a common question we all hear right? We all know that creativity is important, that creativity has amazing benefits to our life but the question is how to be more creative and my answer is very simple. You have to practice creativity every day. It’s just like cleaning your teeth or brushing your teeth or practicing any type of activity that you want to improve. So when you want to improve creativity you have to understand that the creative side of your brain is like a muscle. You have to basically exercise this muscle every day a little bit. You don’t have to spend hours and hours doing that but not doing it, it will sort of become weaker.
So I suggest and I practice this, spending some time doing some creative activity, either writing something or playing something or painting or drawing something and then sharing it with the world. It’s really beneficial to get positive feedback. When you share something with the world you suddenly start to realize the impact your art is having, right? Because of this creative activity of sharing. So don’t keep your creativity under the table because it’s quite selfish then. I know a lot of people are afraid of sharing because their art or any type of creativity is not perfect, right? But we have to leave that perfectionism at home and understand that no one can achieve perfection, right? We can strive for that but really I think what’s important is to practice daily sharing or not necessarily daily but you have to do it regularly, right?
So talking about how you become creative it’s just a matter of regular, persistent and connected practice, right? Regular means that you set up a time to do it every day or every week, twice a week, how much time you have to devote to that I don’t know. At least fifteen minutes a day. This seems to be a good activity. For example you can create a drawing in fifteen minutes in your small pocket notebook, right? Some kind of picture with pencil or pen. It doesn’t have to be large, right? And in fifteen minutes it’s plenty of time. It’s like a sketch, right? So don’t try to be perfect at first, right? Try to do it and the process itself I think will lead you to perfection later on because it will take years and years to achieve that perfection.
So you have to understand one more thing about it. Think about what kind of activity draws you the most. Either you are a visual person or an aural person, right? What excites you the most? What kind of activity could you do? Could you do some visual activity or could you do some creative activity with sound. That would be music, right? Or you could write something with works like poetry or creative writing or story telling or some kind of essay, right? That could be done. Other people like to invent something with your hands, right? You don’t have to do it with pictures or words or sound but you could do it with your hands too. This is also creative.
So I think if you feel the urge to become a little bit more creative every day this is a good thing. You just have to try something today for fifteen minutes. And I can challenge you, right? Today after you’re done watching this video why don’t you create something in fifteen minutes, right? And then share it with the world, wherever you are, wherever your future fans are, right? On which platform you’re using. It could be anywhere. So you could create a piece of music, right? That would be wonderful. Of course in fifteen minutes you will not be able to create any advanced musical piece but you could improvise, right? Record yourself or live stream it and that would be perfectly valid way of creative activity, right?
You could draw a sketch as I mentioned before, you could write a poem in fifteen minutes, right? You could build something in fifteen minutes, maybe not entire thing but maybe a fragment of it, right? If you have an idea of building something you could imagine what would be the first step and do the first step today, right? And tomorrow you will take the second step, right? So that’s a good way of thinking of I think. Try to do this before you end this day, before you go to bed, that would be wonderful and share it with the world because when you create miracles happen.
What I found helpful in such situations is to have some kind of daily practice which keeps you grounded when the world is moving too fast around you.
For me it is organ improvisations, composing music and creating Pinky amd Spiky comic strips every day.
This is what I drew today:
I hope you will find some daily practice that works for you.
I would say to create something in text, pictures, audio or video in as little as 15 minutes a day and sharing it with the world has the potential to change one's life over time.
This is because after 67 days it becomes a habit, a good addiction so to say, the one which we wait for during our day.
Then sad and painful experiences don't make much of an impact on us because our lifes become more centered and focused.
If you don't know what to create, simply document your day noticing something you did, something you saw or something you heard other people say.
Because of this habit to create a short funny comic strip about Pinky and Spiky every day and share it with the world, I was able to create this today:
Hope you will create something and share it with the world before you hit the bed tonight.
I listened to the James Altuchers' podcast this morning and an idea struck me which was actually related to the organ world.
All of this happened during the time I prepared the bread to be baked in the oven with real fire-wood in our summer cottage.
45 minutes later I was done, washed my hands, ran to the computer and began typing frantically. This post was based on the idea of 3 steps to master organ improvisation. Yes, this idea came to me as I listened to the conversation with the stand-up comedian and actor Jim Norton.
You see, how ideas can come to you in all those strange places and times.
You don't need a special inspiration to write something worth reading. Just keep your ears open and very soon you'll hear a sentence or two which will seem vivid.
Maybe strangers passing by will say something to each other. Maybe your friend will say something crazy or even so mundane that will make you smile.
Make your mind's train of thoughts stop for just long enough so that you can notice what you notice.
You can draw a doodle too and post as illustration.
Write about that today.