I don't know why so many people need/appreciate projects with boundaries and goals to help them get creative juices to flow—maybe it's because we're use to quantified things in our practical life—work hours, tax deadlines, legal ages, number of questions on the test, etc. So structure helps us do something that's both voluntary and formless, like creating for ourselves—and not just art, it could be electronic projects, baking, learning Farsi, etc.
We're squat in the middle of NaNoWriMo—what challenges do you join or set for yourself? What challenges do you wish you had? Anything you've created? Want to get company for? What category does it fall into, what do you put into it and what do you want out of it?
Here's my current tally:
- Photography- Project 365, the self portrait version (I didn't realise people were doing different ones! I feel like a mook who's very tired of her face on day #46):
This is a serious challenge, and my second time around (I made it to 85 the last time). It's also an incredible learning experience, and invaluable with my new camera and all the confusing settings (why won't you autofocus you hateful thing???). I do have a couple of days where I just turned the camera in the device on my lap at my face and said fuckitall, but most often there are lighting setups, multiple shots to choose from, and actual thought put into it. Also, if I need a personal shot in just about any mood, I'm golden—I've been recycling the last set for five years.
- Drawing- Kiss A Day Sketch Challenge:
This is a tweak to a challenge nctrns set me a while back, because I fell into another rut of feeling I just couldn't do. Of course I can do, and I need to exercise the do muscle. So this morning I drew picture #26 of 30 of a month full of kisses with my favourite fanship, and I'll be both relieved and sad to see the month come to an end. And I need to reflect on what I've learnt as a result—about the tools (all digital, trying to play with brushes) and techniques (oh, so many ways to shade, so few I get right when you're working in monochrome), and then pull that into my more long term stuff.
- Exercise- Kettlebells:
I'm not (re-)started this yet, but these suckers are the only kind of exercise for exercise's sake I've ever been able to tolerate past a month. And I really need shoulder exercise. I don't have a gym anymore, but if I can start with 10 minutes of a 5lb ball in constant motion every morning, who knows where it might go? Health problems have prevented me from exercising much in the past five years, and my metabolic luck can only go so far.
This is another to do challenge/routine. I want to set myself either a number of pages or a block of time reading a "real" book, because I should be ashamed of the number of unreads I've let pile up on the Nook. I read masses of fanfic, and I like it, but I want diversity back.
- Baking-Low glycemic:
Since discovering my migraines are also triggered by blood sugar swings, I've been pretty diligent about avoiding them. But I'm a dessert ho—damn, I like my tasty food in general. So I'm all about proving to myself and my co-workers that it can be tasty. And the peanut butter brownie on my desk is pretty convincing. So I'm working my way through converting my favourite desserts to eliminate white sugar and wheat flours, etc. And it's fun, even if I get into month-long pie "ruts" (Dean Winchester's dream girl, I am, especially since I'd still let him boink Cas).
I have a coworker that keeps forcing British documentaries onto my portable hard drive, and I am just letting them pile up. I need to stretch more of my brain, so I'm going to start peeling them off, with two or three episodes at least a normal weekend. LEARN STUFF FROM SOMEWHERE OTHER THAN QI.