31 Days of Creativity 2017

Back by popular demand, we are kicking the year off right with another 31 Day Creativity Challenge.

The Challenge: January 1–31, 2017

For the entire month of January, we are challenging ourselves to making something every day. The goal is consistency—making a habit of making.

Daily from Seth Godin’s Blog

“There’s a fundamental difference between the things you do every day, every single day, and the things you do only when the spirit moves you. One difference is that once you’ve committed to doing something daily, you find that the spirit moves you, daily. Rather than having a daily debate about today’s agenda, you can decide once that you will do something, and then decide every single day how to do it.” 12/21/2014

Making Something Every Day

In the spirit of developing good habits of making something every day, even if the spirit doesn’t show up, here’s the challenge:

  • One: pick a single discipline for the challenge. For example, if you want to develop photography skills, take a photo every day. The idea is to help you get better at something.
  • Small: commit to something small. For example, if you want to develop writing skills, write something short every day. Don’t bite off more than you can chew.
  • Posting: we will be posting our creations for others in the group to see. This accountability helps, and it’s useful to trace your progress throughout the challenge.
  • Rest: feel free to take one day off each week. Even God rested on the seventh day.


If you are like me, you probably already sensed some resistance to this idea. Here are some voices I just heard as I wrote this:

  • I’m not a very consistent person—I probably will poop out half way through.
  • I’m rusty.
  • What if I do something that isn’t very good? How embarrassing.
  • This is going to cost me something. It takes time, and time is money. Is it worth it?

If you hear voices like that, then maybe you should listen to them and not sign up. Or maybe you will decide not to let them limit you, that it’s better to make something than nothing, and that this could be an interesting learning experience. Either decision is fine.


Anyone who completes the challenge every day, or is the most consistent in the group, wins a prize.

Join In

If you’d like to participate in the challenge, just send an email to (Ken at AccentInteractive [dot] net) and let me know what you’d like to do. Then start creating. Once you have something to share, post it online and send me the link to it so I can include it in our list of participants.


Geneva: Emoji Design

Spencer: Drawing Shoes

Tennyson: YouTube Videos

Benjamin: Lego Mosaics

Ken: Writing first drafts of curriculum for Creativity Labs (300-500 words per day)

  • Jan 2: 493 words on Mindset
  • Jan 3: 406 words on Capture Machines
  • Jan 4–6: presented on Creativity: reversing, modeling, walking, design analysis & derivation, duos
  • Jan 9: 372 words on Reversing
  • Jan 10: 480 words on Walking
  • Jan 11: 415 words on Trios
  • Jan 13: 4 pages of program design on Trios
  • Jan 15: 290 words on Keep Going
  • Jan 16: 202 words on Exaggerate, Substitute, Simplify, Mash-up

Barney: 30 Preliminary Story-Stick Bible Routines

This involves:

  • Study/find and select the Bible Stories I want to Illustrate
  • Read the Bible Story over several times to discover passage purpose
  • Identify the exact words/ideas inherent in the text that I can select images/illustrations for—ones that I have in my Story-Stick Collection Book
  • I will return to each of these to write them up in the future, as I can.

These are the Bible Stories I am working on:

  1. Jesus Calms the Storm—First Draft is now written, Matthew 8:23-27, Mark 4: 35-41, Luke 8:22-25
  1. Blind Bartimeous Healed—First Draft is now written, Matthew 20:29-20:34, Mark 10:46-52, Luke 18:35-43
  1. Parable of the Persistent Widow—Luke 18:1-8
  1. Healing of Centurion’s Servant —Matthew 8:5-13, John 4:46-54, Luke 7:1-10
  1. Jesus and John the Baptist—Luke 7:18-35
  1. Parable of the Young Rich Ruler—Matt. 19:30, Mark 17-27
  1. Disciples on Emmaus Road—Luke 24:13-33
  1. Jesus Sent Out the Twelve—Luke 9:1-9
  1. Jesus’s Transfiguration—Matthew 17:1-13, Mark 9:2-13, Luke 9:28-36
  1. Faith of the Canaanite Woman— 15:21-28, Mark 7:24-30
  1. Jesus Heals the Demon Possessed Boy
  1. The Ten Virgins— Matthew 25:1-13 
  1. Jesus Anointed by the Sinful Woman— Luke 7:36-50
  1. Jesus Anointed at Bethany— 26:6-13, Mark 14:3-9, John 12:1-8
  1. Parable of the Rich Young Fool—Luke 12: 13-21
  1. Temple Tax: Coin in the Fishes Mouth—Matthew 17: 24-27
  1. Moses Basket—Exodus 2:1-10
  1. Lost Sheep— 18:1-10, Luke 15:1-7
  1. Jesus in the Garden— 26:35-46, Mark 14:32-42
  1. Last Supper— 26:17-30, Mk 14:12-26, Lk. 22:l4-20
  1. Widow’s Mite—Luke 21:1-4
  1. Beatitudes— 5:1-11, Luke 6:17-22
  1. Arrival of the Wisemen— 2:12
  1. Jesus Calls Matthew— 9:9-13, Mk. 2:14-17, Lk. 5:27-32
  1. Prodical Son—Luke 15:11-32 
  1. Peter’s Denial— 26:69-75, Mark 14:66-72, Luke 22:55-62
  1. Judas Betrays Jesus—Mark 14:10-11, 43-51 
  1. Jesus Before Pilate—Matthew 27:11-26, Mark 15:1-20, Luke 23:1-25
  1. The Crucifixion— 27:31-31-56, Mark 15:20-41, Luke 23:26-49
  1. Tomb and Resurrection— 28:1-15, Mark 16:1-16, Luke 24:1-12 
  1. Mary Magdalene at the Tomb—John 20:10-18

Wolf: Drawing/painting

Barbara: Writing

I will work first on some clean-ups to my 5MTF manuscript, submissions to at least 5 new agents, and entry in a contest – all that has to be done by no later than January 11.  From then on, I will be working on writing my new novel.  So all time spent supporting my writing efforts will count as creative time this month.  I am shooting for at least an hour a day of effort.

  • Jan 1: Made 2+ hours of edits to 5MTF
  • Jan 2: I did 3.5 hours of edits today from the suggestions of my reader Peggy.
  • Jan 3: Two hours of revisions – completed all the suggested changes from Peggy and Christina. Will do contest submission next, and then agent submissions!
  • Jan 4: Spent 1 hour preparing contest entry materials!
  • Jan 5: Contest entry completed in today’s work session!  Finalists are announced March 21.  Not holding my breath – but hey, why not!
  • Jan 6: Cleaned up my submissions list from the last round of rejections and submitted to one agent.  Several more on the list ready for tomorrow.
  • Jan 7: I submitted to three more agencies today and eliminated a few others from my list after researching them.
  • Jan 8: Reviewed the 7,000 words I have written so far on my new novel.  I also spent time researching news articles for the framing quotes that will start each “Part” of the novel.
  • Jan 9: Researched more agents and made two more submissions! That totals seven – which is where I will leave things for now.
  • Jan 10: I entered two contests – the Catherine Award and the Fab Five Contest for unpublished writers.  Finalists for both are announced in April. Tomorrow, I will view a webinar recording that I purchased with tips for selling your novel in 2017. Then, on January 12, I will begin spending time JUST on writing for the rest of the month.
  • Jan 11: Met my goals for Jan 1-11, concluding today with listening to a useful 90 minute webinar from the former publisher of Writer’s Digest. Already got one rejection from the queries I sent out recently! Tomorrow, I start pure writing again! Yay!
  • Jan 12: 508 words. Got a newsletter that pointed to an article today by journalist and teacher Roy Peter Clark. Among the things he says he learned in his 40-year career: “Zero drafting: I may have learned this from Chip Scanlan. It’s a practical strategy for lowering your standards. Before the writer is ready to write a First Draft, he or she writes something more tentative, a quick draft to expose what you know and what you need to learn. All journalists should write earlier than they think they can.” Here’s some zero drafting! This scene will go in Part 3 of the book – the section entitled FIRE: “Sami flipped through her notes one more time looking for the figures from the last New York meeting…”
  • Jan 13: 768 words “Sami returned to her office.  She started hurriedly packing up her things as though she were evacuating her office…”
  • Jan 14: 638 words “When Sami finally walked out the door, as the sun was setting, the sky was glowing an eerie orange and gray…”
  • Jan 15: 1065 words “That night, they went to dinner at a nice Italian restaurant in Greenwich Village.  Sami was struck by two things that night…”
  • Jan 16: 869 words “The next day, they shot the publicity photos that Dan had mentioned. A professional photographer took headshots of each of them.  Sami spent a full half-hour with the photographer, decked out in the navy blue suit with the short skirt that she’d purchased for the occasion, taking dozens of shots…”
  • Jan 17: 921 words. Two very different parts of the book: “She looked out the window and saw only thick, black clouds…” “Ginny opened Sami’s office door and poked her head in…”
  • Jan 18: Writing Exercise from Pen on Fire by Barbara DeMarco-Barrett, host of Pen on Fire Radio program and writing instructor:Exercise: Imagine a friend has come to you for help. She dreams of becoming a writer but is burdened by fears.  She worries she has no talent and has nothing to say. Perhaps she worries she’s taking precious time away from her family to pursue selfish dreams to write.Write to that friend and give her hope. Dispel each of her fears, one by one, so that when she is through talking to you and revealing her heart, she will be willing to give the writing life her best effort.

    Then imagine YOU are this person.  Write a letter to yourself about your plans and projects as a writer.  Be specific.  What would you like to write? What is your goal? What is your most extravagant dream for your writing?

  • Jan 19: 968 words “Sami arrived for her five o’clock meeting with Dan to find him sitting at his desk doing nothing…”
  • Jan 20: 841 words “Sami heard a commotion. She stood to have a look, when through the open door of her office she saw a man in jeans and a flannel shirt crossing the floor, weaving in and out of cubicles, making his way toward her. “
  • Jan 21: 1,356 words “Her own phone rang. Dan.
    ‘It’s not a good time, Dan,’ she said.
    ‘I need you in my office,’ he said.  ‘Now.’…”
  • Jan 22: 1187 words “The 405 was coming up. She sped up and began weaving between cars to gain an advantage.”
  • Jan 23: 1295 words “Once again, Sami heard the voice of an operator saying, ‘Will you accept a collect call from Samantha Creamer?'”
  • Jan 24: 578 words “Sami looked around carefully before walking out of the McDonald’s.”
  • Jan 25: 689 words “Another Exercise from Pen On Fire: Exercise: Imagine how you’d like your writing life to be five years from now. What is your dream? How would you like to live your future? What will you write?  What will your writing space be like? Visualize yourself in a writer’s life….  In some senses, I am already living that writer’s life – especially this month as I return to a cadence of regular writing after several months off.”
  • Jan 26: 684 words “‘Carter Denley,’ he said in his most aloof, professional voice. ‘Samantha Creamer,’ she replied in a throaty whisper.'”
  • Jan 27: 508 words: “The morning of the public offering, Sami rose at four-thirty and took a full hour to do her hair and make-up.”
  • Jan 28: 729 words “Dan raised a glass of orange juice. ‘A toast,’ he said, ‘to Biz Software, publicly-held company!'”
  • Jan 29: 968 words “The celebration lunch had been a lot of fun. A hotel banquet room seated the fifty guests who shared a buffet lunch and a lot of Champagne. “
  • Jan 30: 1047 words “She was ten minutes late meeting Carter in the hotel lobby. It was the shower that had held her up. She had to wash the afternoon off her face, her hair, her entire body. She thought of Lady Macbeth trying to wash out that damned spot.”
  • Jan 31: 1153 words “The evening was clear. Sami stared at the yellow sun that was lowering in the western sky. She had looked down at the floor the entire walk from the elevator to the table.”

Meaghan: Writing

I will write a paragraph each morning about something (people, place, thing, idea I had) from the day before. Almost like a public journal. I’ve never had a blog so the things I write are either very public or very private. I want to try to find a voice more in the middle.



Ken writes on topics like creativity, work, and productivity. Learn from his discoveries…and his mistakes.




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