Everybody's Continuous Creation Challenge (CCC) is different. That's part of the beauty in this gift to yourself.
Check out what other people's experiences with the CCC felt like so that you can get inspired to join the growing community around it!
And if you'd like to share your CCC experience, I'd love to hear your story and potentially feature it on this website.
My Experiences (Joel)
- My plans for the first Continuous Creation Challenge (72 hours in April 2012)
- My experience with the first CCC
- My plans for the second Continuous Creation Challenge (120 hours in Sept 2012)
- My experience with the second CCC
Awesome People's Experiences
Jane (the Artist)
Jane is an amazing artist and an inspiring creator. Here's what she said about her CCC experience:
“I loooved this challenge! I painted, painted, and then painted some more. I photographed my work and uploaded to my art website. I began my eBook and made incredible progress.
I walked my dog in the country every day, went to yoga, and really tried to let go of trying to figure out everything. I did have an ‘ah ha!' moment when I realized that I needed to focus on what I love doing (making abstract art) and not try to fit in some other box (art journaling). I decided to paint what my soul wants and write about creativity. The challenge was a very clarifying event.
What a true luxury it was to focus completely on creating! I did eat but one meal per day. I listened to music but also enjoyed long periods of silence while creating. In the end it was a great experience.”
Amit (the Researcher)
Amit is an all-around super fella. And his experience shows us that the CCC should feel uncomfortable in some ways and provoke some self-reflection that can lead to big changes.
Here's what he said about his CCC experience:
“I was super productive (and happier than average) on Monday and Tuesday as I wrote 12 research reviews. For me, this is impressive as research is a tiring beast. My original intention was to focus on writing research reviews and then on Thursday and Friday, I'd focus on blog and product content.
But basically, I realized that I'm an addict. That I have much less free-will than I assumed. I frequently check Facebook, my email, Wikipedia, and news sites as a sort of mental break between work sessions. But on self-reflection, none of these activities actually recharge my mental battery, make me happy, or provide benefit. I check and read because I'm addicted, not because I'm trying to improve my life. On the other hand, meditating, going for a walk, laughing, calling a friend, and listening to music actually recharges my mental battery.
I didn't realize just how addicted I was – every hour or so I felt an impulse to consume. Fighting that impulse, over and over again, slowly drained my willpower. When my willpower finally ran out on Tuesday night, I ended up accidently reading a book (my version of TV) until 8 in the morning.
Armed with this self-knowledge, I have begun the gradual process of eliminating these addictions. I am now counting the number of times I go on certain websites each day, as well as total time spent. I haven't set any hard goals yet – small, gradual improvements are OK with me.”
Denise (the Parent and Creative)
Parents – even those with young children – can do a CCC. Multiple times. Denise has some wise words about how to pull it off, what the obstacles might be, and how you might need to frame consumption to make this work for you.
“Like most experiments, it's not enough to do it once. If you try a challenge like this and don't see the benefit right away (but, you probably will), then do it again. The most important thing I learned is that what I need to stop consuming is different from other people. And it took the 3rd attempt to get to this a-ha moment.”
Denise's insight proves that there's no “right” way to do a CCC.
David (the Designer and Stoker)
First of all, have you seen the amazing infographic and timeline that David created to recap his CCC? You'll probably want to read his brief recap post and his pre-CCC post after feasting your eyes on that.
Here's some more of what David had to say:
“I needed to get ahead of my software developer, so using this CCC to whale on specifications was a giant benefit. I was very productive. I noticed too that, even though I hadn't gotten much sleep, I was still quite focused much of the time. I also thought I'd go through more mood swings, but that didn't happen; I stayed very, very enthusiastic throughout.”
Emily (the Pro Creative)
She even inspired me to come up with a new interpretation of the acronym for C3PO: Continuous Creation Challenge Pissed Off.
“After my C3 experience, I'm thinking that how I consume media is even more important than what I consume. Used well, I can use it to give myself satisfying breaks from other things in my life and recharge. Used poorly, I end up feeling like I'm constantly racing through what I'm currently consuming in an effort to also consume the next thing. [It] turns out media wasn't as big of a productivity problem as I thought. It's not about making time, it's about prioritizing.
This was never really about what I was cutting out – it's about what could be gained; giving myself the opportunity to do my best work and reconnecting to my creativity. Not only have I succeeded in that, but the lessons I've learned from it will carry into my creative practices moving forward.”
Robert (the World Traveler)
Robert thought hard before his CCC about creating valuable content for his community. Although he was twitching for Facebook at the end, his 48 hours was actually pretty easy.
He gave up an extensive list of consumption in pursuit of creating blog posts, a permanent resource for his newsletter, a new minimum viable product, and more. The results? Six blog post drafts, a framework for his newsletter resource, outlines of four minimum viable products … with only a few minor rules broken.
Happily, he reported no damage to his human relationships and a better relationship with technology.
What Other People Are Saying
Even people who haven't done a CCC love to weigh in. Here's what some other folks have said about the challenge:
- “At first I thought you were crazy, but little by little, I envied you.” – Ciara
- “Honestly, the idea of creating non-stop makes me tired. I think for me, an unplug period would be more effective. I'd focus on things that recharge me instead of drain me. Facebook? Emails? Nonfiction? Draining. But reading fiction, doing yoga, cooking…all of those recharge me. So maybe it's just a reframing issue.” – Erin