When working with creative code and DIY electronics, it’s common to go through waves of inspiration. You might have the idea for a project and are actively collectings parts to make it happen. And then suddenly months go by and you haven’t done anything. I think it’s important to establish a daily practice of working on your projects to help prevent wasting half a year or more of inactivity. Here are a few ideas to get you started on starting a daily practice.
You have to remember what inspired you to get involved in making these projects in the first place. You must have some sort of curiosity inside you that’s looking to explore areas like new technology and ways of building objects. As you get more involved and come across various setbacks, it’s important to return to the origins of your interest.
A vision board plays up to the idea mentioned above. It’s an arrangement of pictures that can help remind you of what you’re looking to achieve in your creative practice. A common place to store a vision board these days is on a site like Pinterest, but you can also make them in a web app like Canva which helps create graphics on a grid.
Set a timer for ten minutes and open up your projects. If you want to just stare at your projects for ten minutes that’s fine, but it’s likely that you’re going to start to do something. The timer on your phone will do just fine for this task.
If a tree falls in the forest, does anyone know it fell? If you’re working on projects like the lone wolf tenor, who’s going to care if you stop working on your projects? It’s important to tell people what you’re up to so that they hold you accountable, but better yet if you work with someone also doing this kind of thing you can keep in touch every week to see how it’s going.
Write down how you did today, and even if you didn’t do much, you are creating a process where you review your progress. Be careful to keep your daily review positive and don’t be too hard on yourself if it takes a few days to get back on track. Otherwise the journal would be defeating the purpose of helping the situation.
Ultimately starting a daily practice is your responsibility, and you have to make the choice if you want to spend the time to improve your skills and start to get your projects up to the level where you are comfortable showing them to others.
How we see our work will shape the results we get. It can be useful to think of your projects in terms of various metaphors that might help bring the projects to fruition.
One such metaphor can be to think of your projects as hard labour. The individual projects are like rocks which you have to bring to the factory for processing into more refined products. However, this is not really an enjoyable metaphor.
Maybe your projects are like water? The ideas build up in ponds, and as the hot weather in the atmosphere (inspiration) brings them up into the sky, they then drop down on the world in the form of finished worked, where the cycle begins all over again.
Try to think of images such as these when you are a little lost and not sure how to get back to home base creatively.
Just starting out with the Arduino, and not sure which board to buy? This video will help you narrow down your choices a bit.