“The most important thing about art is to work. Nothing else matters except sitting down every day and trying.” —Steven Pressfield, The War of Art
This is the 100th post on Design Meets Writing. A small milestone.
The past 100 days have been a journey. I began with a clear purpose for this blog—to keep the intersection of design and writing foremost in my day, and to explore this overlap in ways that might be useful to others. That purpose hasn’t changed.
But I’ve discovered that how I feel about writing every day, publicly, has changed day to day. Some days I can’t think of a single thing to say. Some days I look around and think, “There are so many things to write about!” Some days I am too tired from other commitments to spend much time here. Some days I find myself waking up in the middle of the night, editing a phrase in my head. And some days I haven’t felt like posting at all.
The last time I had a daily commitment was before I graduated from high school. My parents required me to practice the piano every day, and if I missed a day, I’d have to go through my repertoire twice the following day. So every day, from age 5 to 18, I went to the piano. It didn’t matter if I had homework or swim meets or science fair projects. It didn’t matter if I had no one for an audience, or a full auditorium.
What mattered was going to the bench, developing the mentality and skill of an artist, drip by drip. I didn’t know back then that the daily practice of piano would change the way I hear sound, perceive visual patterns, and stand up on a stage. I had no clue these were skills I would later use in writing, graphic design, and teaching. I had no clue that others (not many, but a few) would miss my music in the community when I moved away. (That was definitely the most surprising thing to me.)
In many ways, this blog has felt like piano practice. Sitting down, warming up, putting on my best show, and (hopefully) delighting others along the way. And I have no clue right now how it is changing me, or if what I’m creating is valuable enough to others that it would be missed if I stop.
All this is to say: I’m not sure that I’ll do this daily for 14 years as I did with the piano, but I’ll keep at it a while longer.
Thank you for reading. If you’re up for it, I invite you to start your first 100 days of daily practice on something you care about…it might change you in ways you can’t foresee. And you might make something that would be missed if you stopped.
But there only can be a chance of that if three things happen: You create, you share, and you do so regularly.