I’ve observed that our society has become preoccupied with the concept of “perfect timing,” from the fifteen minutes it takes to bake a cupcake, to wanting relationships and job prospects to pop up at the most opportune time. The way this obsession has hit me is by appealing to my creative sensibilities. I have fallen victim to a bad habit many creatives, especially writers, have come to employ: waiting for the perfect moment to put the pen to the page, for the movement of the muses, for inspiration to strike in a swarm of brilliant ideas. The major flaw in this mode of thought is that nothing ever seems to get done, and procrastination is inevitable. If you wait for that fated moment, you’ll spend your time dreaming of doing work, rather than digging in and getting it done. I unfortunately have been guilty of this too many times.
At the heart of this obsession with doing things at the right time is an obsession with perfection. As far as creative souls are concerned, nobody wants to make work they’re not proud of, and everyone strives to make their masterpiece. We all want our produced work to be as good as our ideas, but in order to get there, we have to learn how create well, and make messy drafts along the way. The fear of imperfection is what keeps us locked inside the cycle of procrastination.
One mass effort to break this cycle is the 100 Day Project, a collaboration between artist Elle Luna and The Great Discontent Magazine. Luna explains the project, inspired by a Yale School of Art workshop led by Michael Bierut, in simple terms; “basically, if you can dream it, you can do it. The only premise? Participants have to do the same action every day for 100 days, and they have to document every instance of 100.” The idea, if you stick with it, is to shake your focus from perfection to creation. In her interview with The Great Discontent, Luna says of the project, “the great surrender is the process; showing up day after day is the goal. For the 100-Day Project, it’s not about fetishizing finished products—it’s about the process.” The project is meant to help artists prioritize their creative process as part of their daily routines, to push through the uncertainty and simply make art.
The 100 Day Project was designed as a social media campaign rather than merely an art project, meant to build a community of artists for collective inspiration, motivation, and momentum. Officially, the project began this spring on April 6th, and will reach its conclusion on July 14th. I have decided to embark on this mission when for most, it is three-quarters of the way complete. It is apt that I have always been a late bloomer, the type to show up once the party’s already started. Although being this late to the starting point is the perfect excuse not to run the race, it would completely shoot down the message of the 100 Day Project to wait until the next time it kicks off. I’ve decided to procrastinate no further, and make no more excuses. My journey of 100 days starts here: 100 Days of Words. Using dictionary.com’s handy word of the day feature, I will write in one form or another, inspired by the word that has been tacked to the calendar for that day. Ironically, the word of the day for June 23rd, the last day before I put myself to task working on this project is “otiose.” The primary definition for “otiose” is: being at leisure; idle; indolent. Hopefully, this is a word I will leave behind with its designated day. How perfectly poetic.
Read Elle Luna’s full interview with The Great Discontent here: Elle Luna: 100 Day Project
More information about the project: #The100DayProject
Cheers to creating and the 100 Day Project,