A Year of Creative Habits: Week 9

Brush fire in Kailua-Kona, March 2, 2016.

I've committed to 2016 as being my year of creative habits. Inspired by a year-long course led by Crystal Moody, I intend to fill a sketchbook page every day and share an image of my process or completed page on Instagram. Each Monday, I'll collect my pages and list observations of the past week and my intentions for the following, here on my blog.

In February, I chose to create a daily image inspired by poetry. March began with no particular theme and I'm waiting to see how that affects my work. :D

If you'd care to see what I did in Week 9 (February 28 - March 5), the following links lead to my Instagram stream.


Last Wednesday, I saw smoke in an area below the main highway, just before noon. It was a fairly breezy day and before long, I was able to get a shot of a raging brush fire (above). I posted it to Twitter and within an hour I had more impressions and engagements (whatever they mean) than I've had in an entire year. 

Just like that, I went from diligent creative to unwitting photojournalist, or even a fire lookout. No one cared about the fuzzy quality of my photo or what I had to say about it. They just wanted to see how big the fire was and where it was located.

It had taken me a long time to finish my sketchbook page that morning and I wasn't totally pleased with the result. Yet it took less than a minute to snap a picture of the fire, post it and create interest. What's that about?

I recalled reading something about creativity and fire so I searched through my Kindle highlights and found these lines from Wild Creative, by Tami Lynn Kent:

The best gift we have for ourselves is to give light to our brightest fire; and the best gift we can give to others is to share the warmth it creates, not by dispersing it but by carefully tending the fire within.

My intention in sharing the photo was to tell people what was going on. Maybe someone who lived in the area hadn't heard about the fire yet. My intention in posting my creative habit for the day was just to prove that I did something, that was my commitment. I succeeded in both and the number of shares or likes didn't relate to my intentions at all. It only mattered to me. In only matters to me.

At this point, my brightest fire may just be my commitment to finish a sketchbook page every day and share it. Nothing noble, sexy or newsworthy except that I'm actually doing more than that. I'm learning to draw faces and the human figure, doodling in my planner, and making art for my walls.

My creative habit needs to be tended and stoked, yet it's spreading like wildfire.