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.

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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!

Are you a Cohen or a Dylan?

When you create, do you work quick & dirty or slow and deliberate? http://www.kimwerker.com/blog

I love this piece about Leonard Cohen (painstakingly slow writer of songs) and Bob Dylan (fast writer).

I’m certainly more a Dylan than a Cohen. If I can’t nail something down quickly, I’m far more likely to drop it than to spend years (or even months) getting it right.

When I started thinking about why I work this way, I recalled that I often say I do my best work when I’m angry.

This is true, but there are variations on the anger that drives me to create things. Often, I’m most motivated by a crushing disappointment that quickly turns into anger over something or another that was done poorly – so I do it better.

But though I often create great work out of anger or frustration, I also create great work out of a kind of hysterical mania. Instead of being driven by an overwhelming negativity, I’ll be driven by an overwhelming need to make something that simply has to exist in the world right this very moment. Though not an angry experience by any stretch, the urgency of it is not unlike the urgency I feel when anger pushes me to lash out.

In any case, I am certainly not a broody creator. I don’t strive for anything I make to be perfect, which is why, I think, I’m far more inclined toward quick-and-dirty. If I overthink anything at all, it’s extremely likely it’ll end up terrible.

I’d never thought about the relationship between my speed of work and the emotions that drive me to make it. I’m glad I came across this piece that led me to the connection.

So, what about you? Are you more a Cohen or a Dylan?

Source: Some People Are Cohens, Some People Are Dylans | Submitted For Your Perusal