Last year at this time I completed a small project called the 100 Day Project.
Each day I took a photo and posted it to Instagram, each telling a micro-story of the persons, places, and things we cherish here in the D.R.
It proved to be a wonderfully powerful excercise in gratitude. The project was a consistent way for me to (re)focus on the beautiful and powerful stories, characters, and settings that make up the fabric our day to day.
This Year’s Project Focus: 100 Days of Writing
This year my project focus will be a bit more audacious. While I’ll still be using Instagram (and probably Twitter and Facebook) to share my work, my focus this year will be to publish a daily article or essay for 100 days. I’ll be using these hashtags to make my work searchable: #100DaysOfWriting #100DaysOfPublishing or #100DaysOfDoingTheWork
Here’s a few of the big “Whys” driving this project:
Show Your Work, Battle The Fear
Why share on Instagram?
Well, per the rules, sharing your work to the world is an essential piece to the project. That’s probably because sharing your thoughts and work and creativity with the world is often really freakin' scary—opening myself up to criticisim, mockery, failure, death!
Ok, maybe none of those things will happen (certainly not death), BUT the fear —the Resistance, the Lizard Brain— are real things when we go about putting oursleves out there in vulnerable ways. That is the fear I want to get better at battling.
Discipline of Creating
Another benefit of this project which I experienced last year is learning the discipline of creating. Creativity is a habit. One of the powerful quotes from this The Great Discontent article which explains this submission to the process of forging a habit of creativity —
“I remember the first time I saw Picasso’s painting, ‘Guernica.’ Next to it there were sketches he had done. Sketches? You mean it didn’t happen in one fell swoop? No! ‘Guernica’ was a long process of experimentation, and I’ll never forget realizing that. Creating work is about surrendering to the process. It’s about the act of creativity, which exists as an action and not as a product.”
I want to turn pro in all the important areas of my life—in my faith, in my family, at work, in friendships. I mean, Who doesn't, right? And pros show up every day with consistency and perseverance and ready to do the work. In my work I want to forge an attitude of eager professionalism, not the soft resolve of an amateaur who only does the work when it’s convenient or when the mood strikes them.
Pros show up rain or shine, hurt or healthy. Several of the thought leaders I look up to, the “pros” if you will, stick to a daily writing habit. And the ones that don’t publish daily, still write daily as part of thier creative routine.
I’m curious to discover how forcing myself into this habit will shape my body of work, my own creative process, and my ability to ship consistently.
Perfectionism is a wonderful way to hide from the scary thing of putting your thoughts, ideas, and work into the world. It’s a tactic of [the Enemy, the Lizard Brain, the Flesh, the Resistance] —whatever you want to call it— which is used to paralyze us and hinder us from producing matterful work and solving meaningful problems. Though I think my ability to publish even when posts aren’t perfect is better than many, I’m self aware enough to know that I still struggle with hemming and hawing about making an article perfect.
Perfectionism is a disease. It stifles our ability to do the work, connect with others, and make an impact with our thoughts, ideas, and leadership. My hope is this next 100 days is a powerful perscription to killing this disease.
My challenge to anyone looking to battle the fear, fight perfectionism, turn pro, instill the discipline of creating, and build thier body of meaningful work to join this project.
Good talk, see you out there.
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Steven Pressfield on battling "The Resistance" and turning pro.
The 80 second recap of The 100 Day Project‘s #100DaysOfDominican project.
Find out more about the 100 Day Project at The Great Discontent here.