Well all…2013 has come and gone and I’ve been thinking a lot about this little Suburbativity52 Challenge that our family set out do to this past year. The goal of the challenge was to add more creativity to our lives by doing something creative each week. And I have to say that on the whole I think we succeeded!
I can proudly say that each and every week last year we plugged away at doing something creative. And in the process of doing our challenge, we discovered some things along the way. Here are a few things we learned….
1) Simple is good.
Sometime our projects or activities were simple and might not be considered that “creative” — whatever that is, and whoever gets to decide that — but to me, they still required us to work our creative muscles. And I consider that a success because even though we weren’t necessarily creating museum-worthy works of art, at least we weren’t just sitting around watching TV or spending unnecessary money at the mall. One thing I learned too is that sometimes the simplest projects ended up being the ones I liked best. And simple isn’t always easy – boiling things down to their simplest form can actually take a lot of work and require a lot of creativity.
2) Creativity is important, and necessary.
In this ever crazy, hectic 21st century that seems to constantly demand more and more of our time, carving out time to work on our Sub52 challenge wasn’t easy. But to me, it was absolutely necessary, and just like exercising or anything else worthwhile, you have to make it a priority and you have to commit. That’s why I started the blog – I knew we would need the accountability to help us stick to our challenge. And it worked!!!!
3) Blogging is hard work…but fun!
During our Sub52 challenge last year, we discovered that coming up with project ideas or activities and finding the time to complete them wasn’t the hardest part about the challenge…. blogging about it was! Taking and uploading the photos, writing and editing the posts – those were way more time consuming than I realized they’d be when we set out to do this challenge. Especially since the blogging had to be worked in around our full time day jobs!!! Coming up with interesting, grammatically correct posts was also a challenge for me, especially since I don’t consider myself a writer. I will say though that, in spite of the time required, I found writing the posts to be VERY satisfying and in and of itself a very creative process.
4) Let your muses guide you.
We learned a lot about the process of creating during our challenge last year. I think the most important thing is that you don’t need to have everything figured out at the beginning. Just plot your general course and then let the creative muses take over.
As you start your creative work, ideas and solutions that you never thought of at the beginning will pop up and the results can be very different, and even much better, than you originally envisioned.
5) Send that Perfectionist packing!
The second you start comparing yourself to other Makers’ works and creations, you are doomed. You simply must nip that in the bud NOW!!! It really will kill your joy, and isn’t that why we’re doing this….to have more joy???
Also, if you’re working with your child or children (or in our case a teenager), make absolutely sure your end goal is not to create something “perfect” because you’ll end up squashing your child’s/teenager’s creative enthusiasm in about two seconds flat! Also, let them take the lead and come up with ideas – they are natural creatives!!!
6) Lastly, embrace the mess!!!
I love the above quote and couldn’t agree more. Getting creative gets messy sometimes – there is just no way around. Especially when glitter’s involved!
We’re looking forward to more FUN!!!
In looking forward now to 2014, we’ve decided to continue with our creativity challenge and this blog and keep the fun going…because it is definitely a TON of fun for us!!! I’ve decided though to change things up slightly this year. We’re still going to work on our creativity each week, but may not necessarily complete a project each week. So one week will probably be our planning, inspiration, and brainstorming week — and maybe even starting the project — and the following week we’ll complete the project. This will hopefully give me a little more time to complete the blog post and also hopefully eliminate a little bit of stress – because that’s the last thing we need in today’s stressful world.
This year, I also hope to complete our blog banner (which we started last week in Week 9!) and do some detailed tutorials on some of our projects from last year. And guess who got a new camera from her sweet husband for Christmas???? So hopefully you’ll be seeing improved photos this year (as soon as I figure out how to use the aforementioned camera!), as well as an updated look to the blog.
But before we forge ahead, here are a few of my favorite creations from 2013, from our family to yours! These are my favorite because of either their simplicity, or because we had a blast making ’em!:
We hope you’ve enjoyed being on this creative voyage with us, and hopefully we’ll have more to join us this year, because when it comes to creativity, the more the merrier!!!