Beth Nyland is Making 365 Somethings

Beth Nyland a "writer/consultant/mama" from the Western Chicago Suburbs is Making 365 Somethings...

Why did you decide to do this project? Answering an item on my wish list, my husband gave me 365: Make Something Every Day and Change Your Life for Christmas 2012, just as I was finishing a year of writing a poem a day. I chose to save this creative project for my birthday, May 1. That day, my daughters (ages 8 and 10) began the Make Something 365 project together. Every now and then, my 15-year-old son contributes as well.

My theme is words, because I wanted to stay close to my passion for writing while stretching into new creative territories. My daughters chose cats and mustaches as their themes. Although they don't make something every day, they conceive of something every day. When they do produce something tangible, the results are always clever and often hilarious.

How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life? I'm just 23 days into this particular creative journey. But I think I may be developing an addition to daily discipline:
  • In 2011, I participated in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), which taught me that through daily visits to the keyboard, I can generate more than 50,000 words in a month!
  • In 2012, I wrote a poem a day. Thanks to the leap year, I composed 366 poems. Not bad for a business writer.
  • At the start of 2013, I engaged friends and strangers in Just 99 Days: Daring to Dabble in Daily Discipline – an exercise I plan to lead again, tweaking the process and my support so the experience is better every time.
  • Then I learned that April is National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo), so I wrote a poem a day in April 2013. Another 30 works in my growing archive.
  • When my birthday arrived on May 1, 2013, I began Make Something 365, along with my children.
Make Something 365 is different, and I'm loving it. As a writer, I usually compose on screen via keyboard. Make Something is pushing me to work with my hands in different ways, to exercise my creativity in more tangible, three-dimensional forms. I'm no Picasso or Rodin, but the exercises are fun.

To keep myself accountable for daily results, I'm posting each day's work on my blog. I became accustomed to this discipline during my 2012 poem-a-day exercise. Still, publishing unpolished, fast work is, well, character building. But for me, this journey is not about turning out works of art. Instead, I'm enjoying the daily commitment to play, solve problems, think differently, and live true to my believe that we are all creative -- regardless of age or skill or confidence level.

Having my children along for the ride may be the best part of this experience. We talk about Make Something at breakfast, dinner, in the car, all the time. They are wildly creative in generating ideas for their own work and mine as well. They work fast, without fear or hesitation. Their bravery and wisdom are inspiring me to return to that childlike state as I approach creative challenges at work, at home, in relationships.

See all of Beth's somethings HERE.

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