Some guidance on minimalism and creativity

 There’s only showing up, and trying our best to do good work. Day after day, year after year.

A great quote and a good post that got me thinking about how minimalism relates to my creative process. I am always looking for something extra to add to my creative sandbox. Quite often this is done at the expense of just getting on with creating.

I am quite focussed at being minimal in most things, but when it comes to my own creativity, I find it very easy to convince myself that I need additional bits and pieces. More about my own journey in the coming weeks, but if you are struggling with a desire for yet another foot pedal, then this post may just help.

Choosing Better Work Over More Tools

50 things to do before I am 50 – 50×50

50 x 50 list

I visit the doctor. I tell him what’s wrong. He makes notes, asks a few questions. I answer them and he checks my body. It all seems to be in working order, but he’ll refer me to a consultant, just to be sure.

The doctor wonders whether the issue could be psychological. He asks, ‘have you been under any stress recently?’. I smile, look at him, and explain.

In the past few years, I left a long-term job to go freelance. I have gone through a divorce. I have sold my house (a very long and protracted event) and moved, but have not found a place to call home. Now, I am in the midst of trying to make ends meet financially. Some freelance funding dried-up, stopping some work I was doing. Plus, with all the other stuff going on, I seem to have lost a little direction in recent months. So, perhaps a little stress.

Having explained that, I added that I didn’t think I was worrying about things though. My smile must have convinced him. You can hide so much behind a winning smile. He continued to arrange my trip to the consultant.

Mortality Meanders

Explaining all this to someone was liberating. It got me thinking that perhaps my life wasn’t reaching anywhere near its potential. A trip to the doctor also brings to mind one’s mortality, even if the trip is for something minor. In addition, I have a major birthday on the horizon. I am not quite as young as I once was, a condition most of us find ourselves suffering from.

Amongst all this I found a little motivation, and perhaps determination. It is a cliché, but we only have one life. It is time to focus on the one I have.


I have been told that the best goals are SMART ones, Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Timed – or variations on that theme. That seems like a good idea, and so I am coming up with 50 things to do before I am 50, my major birthday. Specific things within a specific time frame. It is not a bucket list. It is more like a big-ass to do list.

Some things are big, others little. Some are complex, others simple. Some are very personal, others less so. Some will be private, others public… some may change that status as the days roll on. The list may well change too, as some things become either impossible, or completed things lead to further ideas and developments.

The complete list lives here, but I will be posting progress, victories and defeats here. I’ll be using the 50×50 tag on each post. The list is almost complete, and as soon as it is I’ll put it on the page. There are a few things I want to think about before it goes public and make the goals as clear and specific as possible.

However, I am already working on several things on the list. I could refine and define the list a little more, but I am always over-thinking things. It is time for me to just get on and do, to get on and do 50 things by the time I am 50.

To wrap things up, and if you were in any way worried, I went to see the consultant and got confirmation that there was nothing wrong. Got a prescription and a little advice, so all should be well within a short while.

Remember, lives aren’t all glossy and sweet and photoshopped and happy all the time. Lives are messy, mine is and I’m sure yours is too. I don’t want to just share the sweet edited highlights, so this blog may be a little more open in the coming months. In the meantime, I need to finish my list… and look for more work… and build my relationships… oh, well that’s two things for the list. Do let me know what your goals are and how you keep motivated toward them in the comments. See you soon.