Join Me in Year of Making 2018!

When I embarked upon my first Year of Making on New Year’s Day in 2014, I had no idea that my commitment to daily creativity would lead to some profound changes in my life.

Though I haven’t publicly documented my daily makes since the end of that year, I’ve continued to practice the habit I formed. Every day, even for just a couple of minutes, I make something. Some days it’s a few stitches on a knitting project, others it’s several rows on a crocheted blanket. Over the years, in part motivated by my decision to prioritize creating on a daily basis, I’ve learned how to bake bread, how to make soap and lotion from scratch, how to carve stamps. I’ve sewn blankets and curtains and pouches and bags. I’ve made some clothes, some gifts and lots of (admittedly mediocre) food.

But more important than any project finished or skill honed, through Year of Making I’ve put creative adventuring at the centre of my daily life. By chronicling my efforts in 2014, and using that public accountability to help me stick to my commitment, I went from having to work hard to find time and space for creative projects to having that time and space simply be a part of how I approach my every day.

As I tried to find space to wind down 2017 by looking back and peeking ahead, I realized that I’ve started taking my creative habit for granted. It’s become such a normal part of my life that I’m no longer using it as a way to seek out adventure, but rather as a way to continue with a status quo. I could use some more adventuring, though.

So in 2018, I’m going to again try to document my making every day.

The big difference this time around is that I already have the habit, but I’m also now working a day job. So though creating daily has become as routine as showering and eating, my ability to create adventure is affected by my being outside of my house for nearly nine hours every day. Which means the nature of my making may change, and the kind of adventures I find exciting may be affected, too.

In any case, I think sharing my daily efforts will help me keep this priority front and centre in my life. And, obviously, this will be way more fun if we do it together.

Join Me in a Year of Making in 2018!

Create a stress-free creative habit! #yearofmaking2018 – http://www.kimwerker.com/blog

If you’ve done a daily making project at some point – or ongoing – over the years, please join me again!

If you’ve never done something like this, then consider this your friendly invitation to create a stress-free daily creative habit.

The stress-free part comes because there are no rules other than to spend at least a minute or two every day making something. You don’t need to finish anything (though of course you’re welcome to), you don’t need to declare major goals to reach. In other words, there’s very little room for failure here. If you find yourself bed-ridden with a terrible flu, skip that day. It’s okay! There’s no judgment here, and there’s especially no pressure to declare a year-long project a failure because of one or two missed days. What a shame that would be!

To sum up, here’s what a Year of Making entails:

  1. Commit to making something – anything – even just for a few minutes, every single day for a year. (You get to decide what “making” is. Does mac and cheese from a box count? Up to you!) (If you aren’t reading this on January 1st, who cares? A year is a year no matter when you begin – so just begin!)
  2. That’s it 👆.

#yearofmaking2018

Use the hashtag #yearofmaking2018 when you post about your progress. Especially if you’re just starting out, I encourage you to post every single day – even if your photo is blurry or poorly lit or your cat photobombs it. This is key to participating with everyone else – this is where you’ll find your cheering section, your gentle nudging, your partners in creative adventuring.

If you share on Instagram – which, in my opinion, is a fabulous place to share a daily photo – you can now follow hashtags in addition to people. When you open this link in the app on your phone, you’ll see an option to follow the hashtag (this doesn’t seem to appear as an option yet if you open the link in a browser). (I’m on there, too, obviously!)

Join the Group

Though I’m a huge fan of publicly chronicling creative experiments, I also know that it can be incredibly liberating to share only in small places where I know I can feel safe and confident that people will be above-and-beyond supportive.

A grand gathering of fellow adventurers has formed over in my Facebook group, and I hope you’ll join us there for sharing, for asking, for musing aloud, for celebrating and, when needed, for commiserating.

Just click the button to join and I’ll approve your request ASAP.

Grab the Ebook

At the end of my first year of making, I wrote up a lot of what I’d made and learned and I created a bunch of worksheets to help new adventurers get going. I updated the ebook last year, and it’s on sale through January 9, 2018 (for 2018 divided by 2: $10.09).

Year of Making ebook: Tips & Worksheets for a Stress-free Creative Habit

Or the Daily Making Jumpstart

If you think a more directed approach will help you get going, the Daily Making Jumpstart will nudge you through a couple of weeks of daily activities to get your creative juices flowing. (The Jumpstart includes the Year of Making ebook, too, so you’ll get both the nudging and the worksheets.) Sign up here!

The Point Is Zero Stress

Daily projects are a huge commitment, and it’s really easy for them to feel like an exercise in failure rather than an adventure of growth and exploration.

The thing that makes a Year of Making so amazing is that even though it’s a pretty daunting commitment – to do something every day for a year – the bar is set really low, and you (not me! not anyone else!) are in charge of what counts.

I can tell you for certain, after completing four Years of Making, that if you’re kind to yourself, if you set yourself up to succeed and let yourself off the hook when you need to, the reward will be the deep and lasting satisfaction of looking back at the end of the year and seeing how much you can accomplish in teeny tiny steps. Better yet if you’ve made friends in the process.

❤️ ❤️ ❤️

How to Get Better at Making Something

Carve a stamp that says it all: Ok! https://classes.kimwerker.com/courses/stamp-camp

I just saw this post: How To Get Better At One Thing In One Month: A formula that’s guaranteed to work.

And I was excited to see what it was all about.

This part at the beginning made me nod my head very hard: “Sometimes we focus so much on getting great at something that we miss the opportunity we have to get better.”

But then I kept reading, and I was like, hold up. This is just… overly complicated. There’s a way simpler “formula” for getting better at one thing in a month.

Here’s how it goes: Just do lots of that thing in a month.

That’s it, dude. All it takes to get better at something is to do it lots, and the way to get yourself to do it lots is to commit to doing it lots. Which isn’t necessarily an easy thing to do, but it is simple.

Sure, you can spend some time figuring out how to define “better”. And sure, you can spend some time getting in touch with why you want to get better at it. But honestly? Enough thinking about it, and just start doing it. You can figure out the whys while you’re at it, or after you’ve done it.

There’s something stuck in your brain, something you desperately – maybe secretly – want to get better at. The only thing you need to do is just show up. Stop thinking about it so much you never do it.

Get ambitious and commit to doing or making that one thing every single day for a month. Or commit to doing or making it a few times a week for a month. Anything less than that isn’t really making a commitment to get better at it.

give yourself a gold star every time you show up – CLICK HERE TO GET MY FREE DAILY ART/CRAFT TRACKER!

I've spent years making something every single day, and in doing that I've gotten better at making lots of different kinds of things, and way better at trying new things. Hell, I've even gotten better at getting better at things.

This month, I'm training for a 5K. How I'm doing it? By making sure I show up for the workouts. I could wax on for ages about why I'm doing this at this particular time in my life, and why I've gotten further into the training than I have any of the other times I've tried, but really it comes down to not thinking about it. I don't need to justify myself, I don't need to justify my methods, I don't need to dig deep into what kept me from doing this all the other times I've tried. I just need to do it.

What's nagging at you that you want to get better at? Will you show up for it?

Compulsory Podcast Episode 202: Betsy Greer

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Betsy Greer is a writer and maker who lives in Durham, North Carolina. For the past fourteen years, she’s written about craftivism, the place where craft and activism intersect, and she loves discovering the ways in which people use (and have used) the two together. Currently, her main craft project is You Are So Very Beautiful, in which people make affirmation signs then leave them out all over the world for others to find.

We talk in this episode about the value of letting what we need out into the world, and about being in a flow state when we create. If our conversation got you thinking, let us know how in the comments!

Show Notes and Links

Find Betsy on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Check out this short video about You Are So Very Beautiful:

"You never are alone. It's important to remember that." – Author and craftivist Betsy Greer on Compulsory Podcast. http://www.kimwerker.com/topics/podcast

Support Compulsory Podcast on Patreon and get exclusive clips, and more!

Join Me for Some Spring Cleaning!

Spring Cleaning for Creative Fun – join in at http://patreon.com/kpwerker

I don’t know about you, but my creative spaces – both in my house and in my brain – are a total disaster these days. Time for some serious spring cleaning!

Starting today, and continuing every Monday and Thursday for a few weeks, join me over on Patreon for a simple yet grand adventure to get these physical and figurative creative spaces into shape so they can help us have the be our best creative selves.

Check out Day One!

Compulsory Podcast Episode 201: Cheryl Arkison

In this first episode of Compulsory in two years (two years!), we return to our roots with an honest conversation with quilter Cheryl Arkison about the power of habit in creative life, and about embracing the mess of, well, pretty much everything.

Show Notes and Links

Learn more about Cheryl Arkison and her work at cherylarkison.com and connect with her on Instagram and Twitter.


Compulsory is made possible by the support of listeners! Get exclusive clips and behind-the-scenes treats by becoming a patron today and helping me cover the time and cost of creating a great show.

Sign Me Up!   


Quilter Cheryl Arkison on Compulsory Podcast. Listen at http://www.kimwerker.com/topics/podcast-2

Participatory Performance Art?

My ongoing attempts to address the challenges of running a totally made-up kind of business doing totally made-up kind of work finally (some of you may heave a sigh of finally) have me considering that it’s quite possible my work is more an ongoing effort in participatory performance art than it is like any other kind of definable business that involves making products and selling them.

This is much of why I’m so excited about Patreon – OMG to make a living and continue doing this weird/awesome work? Yes, please.

I explain it better in the video above.

I can’t believe it took me so long to uncouple myself from the rules of capital-B business so I could finally see things clearly enough to maybe have them succeed. Holy crap!

I’d love it if you’d become a patron. Like literally and truly and deeply love it. Your patronage will enable me to continue forcing myself to see my work as a totally nontraditional artsy business, which is what makes it what it is.

And in doing that, it’ll enable me to make way more work, and I think you’ll enjoy that very much.

(I’ve just learned about a couple of very cool things that will enable some amazeballs spontaneous, interactive fun for patrons – so stay tuned for more to be added to the rewards!)

Don’t be shy if you have questions about Patreon and how it works. Ask away!