As this year kicks off, I’m experimenting with methods to weave new habits and creative behaviours into my daily routine.
I recently announced my new project, 52 Ways to be Creative. During each week of this year, I plan to spend a few hours developing an existing creative skill, refreshing a forgotten ability, or learning something entirely new — all in the spirit of exploration, community and growth.
I'm inspired by the calm energy of kaizen, an approach that requires making small, continuous changes over time.
Kaizen is a Japanese word meaning ‘improvement’ or ‘change for the better’. The concept of process kaizen, developed in production environments, suggests continuous improvement over time.
In his book. One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way, Robert Maurer tells stories of how individuals and business have tapped into the power of kaizen to reach their objectives and improve outcomes.
Specific to creativity and the anxiety that can be experienced when trying to accomplish something great, he writes,
‘If you’ve always wanted to be a songwriter, for example, you will not achieve your goal if you get up from the piano keyboard out of fear or creative blockage and spend the night watching television instead. Small actions (say, writing just three notes) satisfy your brain’s need to do something and soothe its distress. As the alarms die down, you’ll renew access to the cortex and get some of your creative juices flowing again.’
— One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way, by Robert Maurer, page 28
Over the next year, during 52 Ways to be Creative, I hope to discover more about what makes different creative disciplines unique and special, while improving my own artistic practice incrementally. I’m curious how many people and creators I’ll meet along the way.
You’re invited to join me for skill shares and collaborations. Have an idea? Feel free to get in touch.