An inspiring story
I recently had an email with an inspiring story. It’s a story about getting a drawing habit going, and succeeding at it, by sharing it with someone you love and trust.
It’s a story about giving, too.
I want to share it with you today because I hope it will inspire you to do the same.
Linda and her granddaughter
Linda and her granddaughter are both interested in drawing.
They set themselves a shared challenge, to draw something every day for 30 days. But Linda went a little further to inspire her artist granddaughter:
I proposed that if she would draw at least one picture a day for thirty days AND ask me if I had drawn each day, that I would give her one dollar a day. There could be no missed days and she could remind me as many times a day that she wanted to make sure that I had drawn.
Share your commitment
Shared commitment like this is so powerful, because you don’t want to let someone you care about down.
The motivation you get from that can be stronger than the fear of getting started, of committing to something that matters to you.
You can do this publicly too. I recently started a daily writing habit (funnily enough, I let Linda know I was doing this, and she’s checked on me a few times over email!)
I wanted to get this habit going because I wanted to publish blog posts more regularly here. So, I committed to everyone who’s subscribed to this blog – about 4000 people – that I was going to publish a blog post every Thursday.
That’s a pretty public commitment. It works for me, too, because I care about the people who read this blog, and especially the people who sign up to get regular updates. I desperately want to be able to give people information and ideas that will help them get a drawing habit established and grow artistically.
How has my writing habit gone? Well, I’ve missed the Thursday deadline a couple of times, and haven’t got the post published till the day after. But I have kept up a weekly schedule for a few weeks now, and I’ve never managed that before.
If I find myself struggling to get a blog post out, I think about that public commitment I made, and it spurs me on to work a little harder to get one done.
Shared commitment, either public or private, works.
What I love about the way Linda has done this is that she is giving the rewards to her granddaughter. She gets a dollar from Linda for every day she draws (my wife just pointed out that Linda will be broke if she keeps this up!)
But actually, I think Linda is the one who is really getting the reward here. Because she gets to see her granddaughter drawing every day, growing and developing her art. She knows that she’s been the inspiration behind her granddaughter’s artistic growth. That’s such a gift.
And Linda benefits too, because her granddaughter is keeping her accountable to her commitment to draw every day. It’s reciprocal.
In fact, Linda told me that she was inspired to start this challenge after reading one of my blog posts, if not now, when? a little while back. It’s incredibly fulfilling for me to feel that something I did provided the small spark that started Linda’s challenge. That’s my reward.
What’s your story?
I think Linda’s story of herself and her granddaughter challenging each other to start and stick to a daily drawing habit is an incredibly inspiring one. I hope it inspires you too.
I have one thing I’d like to ask of you:
Ask yourself, now, this minute: How can you share a commitment to daily drawing? Who can you commit to? What reward can you offer them to keep their own commitment going?
If you can come up with an answer to this, then perhaps it won’t be quite so scary to start. Perhaps if you can find someone who you can support and who can support you, it will help you to see past the fear of starting, to know that you can handle it fine.
I want to leave you with the hope that Linda finished her email to me with:
What a joyful experience to have with my granddaughter and her imagination. I really think that this time I will make it to the completion of the thirty day drawing project.
In fact, they both did make it to thirty days. Then they did another twenty. Then twenty more. Now they’re aiming for a whole year.
Now that’s inspiring.
Best wishes, and thanks for reading.
If you want to commit to a daily drawing practice, to making a greater effort to growing and developing your drawing skill, I have a drawing practice program called Creative Triggers that’s designed with this single goal in mind: To help you develop your drawing skill through a regular drawing habit.
It’s based on a tried and tested method to help you get your habit started and keep it going, with a roadmap of simple, enjoyable drawing exercises to build your skills. The active community of artist members will help you to keep your drawing habit on track.