Try This

​​​Another week, another road map to creativity (as described in Try 101: The Manifesto). 

A programming note: my teaching life has revved back up, so I’m going to be giving myself a little more time to complete the prompts. This is a good opportunity to reiterate (and remind myself) that Try 101 isn’t a race, it’s not about crossing tasks off a to-do list. It’s a way of life — a lifeline to the maker within us (me, anyway). Keyword: invitation.

Here’s the next set of invitations; as always, you are invited to play along:

Prep + Mise en Place

(1) Write a list of 30 things you love right now. If you’re feeling generous, share your list in the comments section. I’d love to see what you love right now.

(2) For your journal or commonplace:

  • Do a blind contour drawing of your hand.
  • Sit for ten minutes looking out a window. Make a list of everything you see in that time.

Prompts

(3) Here’s this week’s (nonfiction) prompt:

  • Place Essay. Write a short essay about a place you know well but that you haven’t visited in a while. Put yourself in the essay. Try to reveal something essential about yourself in your depiction of this place. Include at least two of the following: food, music, topography, something built in another century, a person native to this place.

If You’re Bored or Stuck

  • Eat a meal outdoors.

All of these prompts (and then some) are to be found in the Try 101 syllabus, an open-source plan for living your most creative life. I’m taking the next year to complete the syllabus and share the results. I’d love to have some company along the way!

Happy trying.

2 thoughts on “Try This

  1. 30 Things I Love Right Now
    1. The university library. It makes me feel like an ant in a glass ant farm of cyclopean proportions.
    2. The summer heat. It is heavy and omnipresent.
    3. My newfound superpower of running long distances.
    4. The industrial design department at this university.
    5. The posters of final projects splayed about on the department walls.
    6. Among the most intriguing projects: single seated smart cars, retrofuturistic guitars, eco-friendly packaging, and hover copters meant for cities.
    7. The feeling of sheer excitement being just on the periphery of all this amazing abstraction and creation.
    8. Being around people.
    9. My sister’s ka’ak cookies.
    10. The smell of coffee beans unleashed on a dour dorm.
    11. The art of palmistry.
    12. The Marseilles Tarot deck.
    13. Mondrian’s abstract geometric paintings.
    14. The idea of math sometimes more than actual math.
    15. Cultivating strength with inner solitude. I’m finding it more often.
    16. Henry Rollins’ story about one-upping Iggy Pop. I keep listening to it.
    17. Driving through Alabama in the early morning.
    18. The future.
    19. The spirit of Alejandro Jodorowsky.
    20. Water boiling.
    21. Uncertainty.
    22. Thomas Ligotti. Specifically the short story, ‘Gas Station Carnivals’.
    23. The sense that I am living out some ancestral memory, that my descendants are backtracking through my life experience trying to find the answer to some crucial thing.
    24. Edward Gorey’s grim book illustrations.
    25. Birmingham. It is dear to me even when I am not there.
    26. The feeling of calm strength that washes over me after running hard.
    27. Remembering that I’ve been preparing for this.
    28. That this is the beginning.
    29. It is time for me
    30. to get back to work.

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