Thirty Days Later – What I've Learned (Day 30)

In the words of Dora the Explorer, “We did it, we did it we did it YAY”.

On September 14th I got an email from seanwes about the daily writing challenge. Each morning there would be a writing prompt and a quiz of what to do for the day. This blog – has been around for some time.

Previously, I’ve deleted posts, restored them, questioned myself, was inconsistent, and yet I knew I wanted to write publicly but didn’t stick to my original topic which was, “my design journey”. Originally I wanted to document my journey to becoming a designer. As I look back it would have been a great topic with a place to reflect on a few experiences and what I’ve done to get to where I am now. No need to feel regret because I have not arrived yet. ( I believe you should always be learning).

I can finally say I completed this writing challenge. And there have been many times I wanted to simply walk away and not write publicly anymore. Yet the discipline in showing up daily has proven its self. Its not easy. The sooner you are willing to analyze and ask yourself the question of, “whats the worse that can happen”, the sooner you can get over your fears and figure out whats next. It’s okay not to be okay and its ok to look like a fool to others. Just keep it moving and don’t let that stop you. (Half the time no one is paying you any mind anyway).

The journey of being in the arts is a difficult one as not many people see or understand its value. Often times people think that being a designer means that you aren’t really “working”, that you should be happy because you get to enjoy what you do.

Yet there are still places of void, annoyance and frustration that occur.

Ira Glass says it so well when he says, ”

“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”

It makes no sense to keep talking about the past, but to focus on the future. I do want to continue working in design and to continue lettering and design. However I want my work to impact people’s lives. I want to do work that I believe in.

The culprit: taking on too much.

As one gets older the challenges that come into play that many people can relate to is making time for the things you enjoy. Early September I decided to take a swim class as its been on my bucket list of things to do and I had to go at it alone. Many people said they wanted to learn and either didn’t make room on their schedules, weren’t financially ready, or just weren’t serious. Anything you want to accomplish in life will always require some form of sacrifice. 

I’ve decided to revisit this idea of my design journey to entering the world of Industrial Design as I’d like to work for companies like IDEO, Smart Design and Frog Design. IDEO is my top choice since they are focused on creating an impact in peoples lives through design. 

Design has always been my passion and I am going to revisit the basics, the principles, the elements, practicality of it and so on. But first lets talk about what I learned over the past 30 days of writing publicly.

So here’s what I’ve learned:

  • Having a theme makes everything easier.
  • Research first, and write in private first.
  • Learn to document everything.
  • People will find some interest in what you are saying, but having a clear ideas of where you are going makes it a whole lot easier.
  • Define your own meaning of success.
  • Know why you are blogging (purpose)
  • Define who your blog will help
  • Give credit where due (link back to other peoples posts)
  • Don’t worry about the analytics when starting out.
  • Have a specific time, place and tool that you write (type) with.
  • Know when inspiration strikes (mine tends to be in the middle of a project or early in the morning).
  • Remember to edit (note to self)
  • Be consistent – establish your own publishing schedule and continue to write daily even if you don’t publish publicly.
  • Lastly, enjoy the process.

Writing for thirty days straight was challenging but fun, I’ll continue to write daily and I know what direction I am headed in. I will not be publishing daily like before, butt I’ll be going back to the basics  when it comes to design. I’ll be revisiting the fundamentals of drawing and design and work my way forward.

So now, shall we visit the email that got me pondering and answering questions to face my own reality?

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