Creative Seasons

It’s 2020. The days have blended together. I wanted to break out of this pattern and do cool self improvement-y things. But I wasn’t sure by when, or how.

So I did a 30 day writing challenge. I feel a bit worn down by the experience, but also great that I finished it. I wondered if I should extend this writing challenge into a longer season of writing.

In business, it’s typical to operate by quarters (Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4…)

I see this as a way to temporally divide – and hopefully conquer – our time.

How could I co-opt this idea of seasons for the sake of personal goal-setting?

What is a creative season?

A creative season is a time you set aside for yourself to pursue creative goals.

It could be writing, producing podcasts, or any underwater basketball weaving (you read that right). Whatever it is, it’s probably a hobby or side interest of yours that you want to take more seriously.

You might be wondering—why bother? How is this different from just having a hobby?

Or maybe you don’t think of yourself as creative, like I used to.

Here are a few non-intuitive benefits of doing a creative season as a service to ourselves.

Benefits of a Creative Season

There’s a dualistic magic to doing things in seasons

  1. You provide yourself with some upfront structure
  2. “Season” implies there’s an end

I’ve long believed that freedom without structure is its own kind of madness. Creative seasons are an invitation to be more specific:

Before NaNoWrimo, there was a creative fire I was not feeding. I knew I wanted to write, have been putting it off for a while, and…why not end 2020 feeling a tad more productive?

One of the reasons I kept putting it off was because I had the assumption that once I start, I couldn’t stop.

Even writing that down sounds silly, but there was a real sense of self-imposed pressure. That’s why NaNoWrimo appealed to me; the challenge would last 30 days. There was a clear end, and it was up to me to continue if I wanted to.

Knowing that I could take a break in advance took a huge mental load off.

This preempts the self judgment of quitting. Instead of goals and numbers on a paper (or app), a creative season reminds me that I’m human, that there are ebbs and flows to my energy. And that, if I choose to, I can do nothing.

If anything else, naming this a “creative season” is just marketing – but to myself. It’s a way to bring aliveness and energy to my interests.

Surprisingly, crossing this milestone of has made me want to continue the 30 days of writing into a season of creative work.

I’m not sure what it’ll look like (that post is coming soon) but I’m sure as hell excited to have created meaning in this.

What do you think of a creative season?

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