In the most recent newsletter, I wrote about how I’m spending “dead week” — the no man’s land on the calendar between Christmas and New Year’s Eve.
This afternoon my wife said, “February has 3 fewer days than January. Shouldn’t we attempt our New Year’s Resolutions now?” An excellent idea! Turn the 30-day challenge into the 28-day challenge:
There are exactly four weeks in this month. What can you do with them? (I’m going to go on a diet and try to write a book proposal… because misery loves company!)
PS. There’s still time to get the new calendar!
One month left, but it looks like we might actually make it. Know someone who needs to keep on top of their creative work in 2018? Get them a wall calendar.
For big, important creative work, not just the day-to-day meetings and appointments, a paper wall calendar is a simple, visual tool that helps you plan, gives you concrete goals, and keeps you on track.
The comedian Jerry Seinfeld has a wall calendar method that helps him stick to his daily joke writing. You start by breaking your work into daily chunks. Each day, when you’re finished with your work, make a big fat X in the day’s box. Every day, instead of worrying about your total progress, your goal is to just fill a box:
“After a few days you’ll have a chain,” Seinfeld says. “Just keep at it and the chain will grow longer every day. You’ll like seeing that chain, especially when you get a few weeks under your belt. Your only job next is to not break the chain.”
Amassing a body of work or building a career is a lot about the slow accumulation of little bits of effort over time. Writing a page each day doesn’t seem like much, but do it for 365 days and you have enough to fill a novel.
Work + time = art.
Buy my new wall calendar and you’ll have little bits of monthly encouragement along the way. Best of all, when you’re done with the year’s work, you can cut the calendar down the middle with an x-acto blade and you’ll have a dozen images you can play with. Add a 13×13 inch frame, and voila! Cheap art to hang back on the wall.