It’s a pretty well established fact that mastery in any field, especially the creative arts, doesn’t come from talent alone; deliberate practice – about 10,000 hours worth – is needed to get really good at just about anything.
One way to stay motivated as you go through your practice regimen is to make yourself accountable to others. Often, if we have to tell someone else we didn’t do what we committed ourselves to doing, we’ll find a way to get it done.
A fun way to build accountability into your practice schedule is to blog about the results of your practice. In addition to providing motivation through accountability, blogging can allow you to get feedback on your technique, share ideas with other artists, and build connections with other practitioners and fans of your art form.
Here’s a brief list of some of the “practice” or “challenge” blogs I’ve read regularly; all of them have in common the desire to share the results of one’s creative output on a regular, if not a daily, basis. Take a look and see if you can find some approaches to publishing your practice results that help you grow creatively and are fun to do as well.
This Writer’s Digest blog posts new writing prompts on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Writers are encouraged to share their responses to the prompts in the comment section of the blog.
The Morning Porch
This sweet little microblog provides a 140-character report of what blogger Dave Bonta can see from the front porch of his home, which is often something natural and beautiful. The posts frequently read like poetry!
Daily Painting Practice
Peter Yesis, a oil painter in the Midwest, shares his work as a “daily painter,” which refers to the practice of creating a painting each day, often in a small format or as a study for a larger work.
Carol Marine’s Painting a Day
Marine, who lives in Texas, posts her daily work online in this blog and also offers links to where she sells these treasures. She also lists upcoming daily painting classes that she teaches.
This site offers the work of 12 daily painters. You can sign up for an e-mail featuring their daily output, or you can view each day’s creations on the site itself. It also offers links to each individual artist’s website and videos showing the daily paintings as they are being created.
Gotta Go Practice
This blog, authored by a cello player, offers her ongoing thoughts about the material she is rehearsing and where she is at with mastering the material. I like the informal tone of the blog; it reminds me of hanging out with my band mates in junior high and high school and discussing the music we were learning for school band or our other gigs.
This blog, done by long-time player Tony Hogan, incorporates lots of multimedia in an attempt to help guitarists get better at what they love. Tony posts lots of clips of pros from YouTube and audio files as well (not to mention free guitar tablature, articles and short tips). But someone operating a practice blog could just as easily post video or audio files of their own practice sessions to share and invite comments.
One Mile From Home and A Family Portrait
In 2006, UK artist Julie Oakley set herself a challenge—walk a minimum of one mile from home and record what she saw with a drawing, sculpture, photo or painting, every day for a year. She spent 365 days during 2006-07 doing that, and then started a new challenge blog in 2007-08—draw a portrait of her various family members as often as possible.
She has continued the second challenge into 2009, and the sketches are often quick studies of her loved ones on planes, sitting at cafés, or just going about the motions of living at home. Her work has a lively quality to it that makes you feel as if you want to be there with the family.
With My Boots and Sketchbook
Penny blogs about the sketches and lino cuts she is inspired to make after tramping around the area near her home in rural southern Australia. She also includes a bit of haiku and news about her life. I feel as if I’m chatting over the back fence with her and she’s showing me the sketchbook in person.
My Creative Journey
Blogger Trish from Ohio shares pages from her sketchbook, her watercolor paintings, and creations in her art journal.
The question to you…
Do you have a practice-oriented blog where you share your creative work-in-progress or the output from your daily practice sessions? If so, please include a link and explanation in the comments area below.