9 Reasons You Need to Do a Continuous Creation Challenge Now

Continuous Creation ChallengeWhat does April mean to you?

Do you get super jazzed about the Major League Baseball opener or the Final Four?

(Man, I hope the Mets don’t suck again this year).

Are you desperate for warmer spring weather like we are in Minnesota?

April used to be a “ho-hum” kinda month for me. But no more! That’s because, now, I’m celebrating the four-year anniversary of my personal renaissance. You know, the day my wife Melinda told me she was pregnant with our first son Grant … and then everything changed.

I have another anniversary in mind that I want you to celebrate with me. It’s the second birthday of that thing I constantly forget to tell people about, but that rocks more than a U2 concert (or so people tell me).

I’m talking about the Continuous Creation Challenge, baby!

A Continuous Creation Challenge, “CCC” to the cool kids, is a period of time where you shift your energy from consumption into channeled creation. How long, when, where, what projects you work on, and what forms of consumption to eliminate is up to you.

The goal is to break out of our typical consumption cycle and open our eyes to what’s possible with hard-core creation.

I’ll be doing a 24-hour CCC on April 21. Think I’m stoked? Why yes, I’m stoked!

I know, I know. You’re disappointed I’m not doing a 120-hour CCC again. But this is your year to shine, sunshine!

This is the year April is forever tied to creation. So here are nine reasons why you need to get crackin’ on your CCC lickety-split.

Did I Catch a “Niner” in There?

Continuous Creation Challenge

  1. You want your experiences to happen by you, not to you. Being a great creator is like quality Experience Curating: you don’t let people and moments passively wash over you. Instead, you know what’s valuable to you. You’re focused on bringing meaning to other people’s lives. It feels good to intentionally withdraw from mindless consumption and charge head-first into purpose-filled creation.
  2. The world is challenging you to create more and consume less. You think I’m the only one inviting people to create more and consume less? No sirree, Bob! The Minimalists want you to do it. Scott Dinsmore swears by it. Nobody builds a legacy until they create something worth loving. [Tweet that]
  3. There’s a whole community waiting to support you. CCC dreamers, planners, and doers want to cheer you on and swap stories in the dedicated G+ community. These groovy guys and gals have a reputation of motivation for unconventional (and prolific) creation.
  4. You haven’t created a handmade [that thing you love] in way too long. I use some of my CCC to make hand-crafted cards: birthday, anniversary, Mother’s Day/Father’s Day, or “just because I can” cards. I love delivering ’em and people love getting ’em. Maybe knitting, scrap booking, photography, or art projects are you thing. Whatever floats your boat, you will regain that kid-like spirit you once had making sand castles, block towers, and snow forts.
  5. You want to join the CCC club. Have you seen the awesome people that have done a CCC? There’s Jane the Artist. Amit the Researcher. Denise the Parent. David the Designer. Emily the Pro Creative. Join the list of inspiring people that stumbled and grew a ton during their CCC.
  6. The planning process is exciting (and a little nuts). There are actually two ways to plan your CCC: checklist style or comprehensive guide. Simplicity is the name of the game here just like it is everywhere else. Drive yourself a little crazy fine tuning what to create or eliminate … and then enjoy.
  7. “At first I thought you were crazy, but little by little, I envied you.” That’s what Ciara Conlon told me after I did my first CCC. That’s a compliment in my book, but you’ll get compliments too after people see just how bold and creative you can be.
  8. It’s your chance to show me up. Mindless competition hurts everyone involved. But friendly competition? Now that’s where it’s at! Chuckle and gasp at my upcoming CCC plan and compare yours to mine. Then share your design and the results to see how unique your experience is.
  9. You always wanted to be a DJ. I love taking requests from family and friends for what to create during my CCC. In fact, people are flattered easier than dunking on a six-foot rim when they’re part of the planning process. If Aunt Sally or Cousin Jimmy has always wanted you to make beef jerky or a T-shirt from ten scarves, this is your chance to find out (and do it).

Yeah. You Got This!

Fight the urges tempting you into just one more TV episode. Just one more day of podcasts. Just one more week of reading. Just one more month of emails.

April is your new month of creation.

You have twelve hours (or more) to create this month. You know how to start small. You’ve cut off the radio, YouTube, or zombie apocalypse fiction before.

Don’t know where to start? Get some quick context, a checklist, and a guide.

Don’t feel supported? Get some from the community.

CCC doesn’t seem worth it? Tell that to the people who rave about it.

If not now, when? “Soon?”

We’re counting on you to create something meaningful. So get uncomfortable, let your inner child come out to play, and rock the sweet sassy mollasy out of your Continuous Creation Challenge!

You got this, baby.

For the comments: Tell us when your CCC is, how long it will be, and consider linking your checklist or guide for us to get pumped up about.

Photo credit: kozzmen and Chris JL


8 Responses to 9 Reasons You Need to Do a Continuous Creation Challenge Now

  1. Shanna says:

    I wanted to do one this month! But then I scheduled two extra events that I hadn’t thought I’d be able to go to, and it’s balls to the wall with hitting my targets again. I’m doing some conscious scaling back in other places, of course, but the idea of doing a CCC fills me with such a sense of overwhelm, I know it’s not happening for a couple of weeks.

    I’m having good luck with two techniques, though. Each day I block out an hour to work on an outdoor project. And each evening I shut off my computer at 8pm. No more screens. At first I thought I would read, but I’ve actually been writing. I have so many ideas! For the first time this weekend I had to order a new notebook because I filled all the ones I have. That’s NEVER happened. I always buy them because they’re pretty, not because I need them.

    There’s still a small window of opportunity after Easter, though. I’m still looking for my chance to join the rest of the cool people who’ve done CCCs

    • I could see how planning and doing a CCC would be overwhelming. It’s generally not, of course. Especially if you start small with a twelve-hour window and use the checklist or guide I created.

      You have a lot of notebooks to fill up now. I know you’ll channel that writing into something cool, Shanna! CCC or no CCC.

  2. Erin says:

    For whatever reason I’m still not feeling a CCC for me, personally. I think it’s awesome that so many people are jumping on the CCC wagon, and someday I hope to be one of them. Not this month, though. Actually, the weekend after your 24-hour CCC, I’ll actually be doing something sort of opposite — participating in a 24-hour readathon where the goal is to read as much as possible :)

    I think it’d be cool to do a group CCC retreat type thing. It’d only work if everyone was fine with doing a daily meeting each morning and/or evening, setting intentions and then checking in. But I think it’d help me keep my motivation up. Hmm…

    • Nothing is for everyone. I’m glad you don’t force things that don’t work for you, Erin. And hey, a 24-hour readathon seems pretty awesome! There’s a time and place for hard-core consumption … just like there is for intense creation.

  3. Ethan says:

    Man, I need to do this sometime! 4/21 isn’t going to work for me… but sometime… really!

    I have so many potentials for how I could fill 24 hours:

    1. Completely auditing and rewriting my autoresponders / freebies
    2. Writing business process docs to ready my business for working with a VA
    3. Writing a ton of blog posts to queue up


    • The systems and processes nerd in me is excited for 24 hours of writing business process documentation. I think most people would burn out after about two hours, but you could always switch to other creative pursuits. Maybe a solo music jam session?

  4. Siobhan says:

    The best laid plans…

    I was planning a 10 hour CCC today (Easter Monday, April 21) as I don’t work today but everyone else is out of the house. Unfortunately, my four year old is sick so he’s home with me. We will be doing the exact opposite of a CCC and watching movies/playing video games. That’s good too but not what I had planned.

    Usually I will plan my alone day to read and watch tv/play games. But for today I went through my projects list and chose those that were creative: working on the video game I am writing, playing the oboe, finally framing my grandpa’s WWI medals, knitting, writing, etc. I’m going to still try to do some of this but it is certainly not going to be the focus of my day.

    I do something like a CCC every November when I participate in NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writing Month. Although I still do regular work and other events, by committing to writing a novel in one month, most of my free time is spent writing rather than consuming tv/video games etc. This will be my 10th year and I highly recommend it to anyone with aspirations of writing a novel.

    • Ahh, yes. The best laid plans.

      As the father to two young sons, I know exactly what you mean, Siobhan. I also must say that I love the mix of creative activities you’re working on! When you say you’re writing a video game, do you mean writing code? I’d love to know what else you’re writing (video games or otherwise).

      P.S. Nine years of NaNoWriMo is intense! You get a serious kudos from me for that accomplishment.

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