Reflecting on 31 Days of Creativity

For communications consultant Helen Reynolds (@helreynolds on Twitter) January 2020 has been an inspiring month. She’s pushed a whole bunch of people beyond their comfort zones in her #31daysOfCreativity challenge. Here, I’m reflecting on what I’ve done and what I’ve learned.

Day one saw me fighting my journalistic instinct of not wanting to write a story where none existed, and to imagine a headline for what made a successful 2020 for me.

Fake newspaper clipping: Culture change kickstarts BigCorp
Starts: Scandal-hit BigCorp's multi-million pound turnaround is being credited to an external consultant's programme of putting staff training first...

It felt painful, and I don’t think I actually posted it onto Twitter.

Day two allowed me to use my favourite notetaking app Concepts on the iPad to illustrate how to make toast:

Day 3 was an exercise in being concise, and thinking about things that made me smile. Putting 7 items into a single tweet was a challenge. A lot had to be sacrificed to get point 5 in.

Along the way, I learned my creative type was a “sensitive soul“, got very silly about crime in a place called Earnest (where so many things start), wrote bad fridge poetry and a worse limerick.

I would revisit iPad sketching in Concepts a couple more times, and pushed through barriers that often prevent me putting things online. This was meant to be visualising my style:

Sketched words including: Insight, Learning, data, vision, content, collaboration, helping people work better

The thing I’m proudest of is this sketchnote drawn after day two of the Microsoft Ignite on Tour event in London. It really felt that I’d improved my skills in Concepts, and was more confident in getting that across.

Sketchnote of the From Geek to Chic talk with line images of Dona Sarkar and Dux Raymond Sy, and 5 steps to build your personal brand.

I didn’t get to complete entries every day, and some appeared late. Some exercises were always going to take too long, and others were always going to be too much of a challenge.

Nevertheless, 30 days on, I believe I’m more ready to jump into creative challenges, and I’m more willing to trust I will be judged on the idea rather than the execution.

My takeaways from 31 Days of Creativity:

  • There’s little harm in giving it a go and pushing past your initial fears
  • Do keep track of time
    • and keep track of the original goal
      • but let the activity find its own path
  • Find time to be obtuse, tangential, or even silly

Learn more about Helen Reynolds and CommsCreatives at https://commscreatives.com/ and browse back at people’s efforts on Twitter at https://twitter.com/hashtag/31DaysOfCreativity

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