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Recently, I asked folks on instagram to give me suggestions for 10 New Things I could make.

My plan was to make 10 new things within a work week - 5 days.

I received over 75 suggestions, typed them up, printed them out, cut them up, and threw them in a bowl, then picked 10 at random.

What started out as playful exercise/experiment that didn’t require much forethought - because I literally had the idea, and then posted it on Instagram 5 minutes later - became an interesting case study for how I approach my work.

Here are the things I noticed that I noticed:

  1. The experiment was a way for me to avoid doing regular work that I needed to get done. I realized I had a pile of invoices I needed to send out. A small pile, but work that I needed to do to get paid to do more of the work.

  2. The other thing I noticed is that I’m currently in creative limbo - a creative purgatory. I know I have a vision for where I want my work to be, and I’m living in the tension that my work isn’t there right now. I don’t like this feeling. So rather than dig into that feeling and find a way to push my work through to that next level, I created a distraction. We all do this. I noticed that I do this by creating more stuff. Sometimes folks do this by consuming unnecessary things. I often do it by producing unnecessary things. Producing unnecessary things is a great impulse to have - it’s basically the impulse to make art (unnecessary things).

  3. I can talk myself out of making anything new. I went through the list and thought - why do I need to make any of this stuff? All this stuff already exists. Why should I waste my valuable time and resources to make new things, when I could just go shop for those things. Again, not the point of the exercise, but it revealed where my head goes.

Published on by Eric Trine.

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