As of around 6 am this morning, I am a 65-year-old man. I have been breathing and sentient for 23,741 days. Time to get busy on something interesting.
Welcome to The 10,000 Days Project. I suppose you have to be an optimist to be 65 and embark on a path that stretches to April 2046, but there you go.
What I have in mind is creating a new body of work over the next 28 years or so, interconnected and in conversation with itself and documented here, in this online notebook, as it comes into being—essays, journalism, fiction, photography, audio, all of it made in public, tagged and collared and then released into the wild. By putting work in progress, sketches, mind maps, notes, and dispatches from the what-I’m-thinking-now desk, I am following the urgent advice of Austin Kleon: “Show your work!”1, and Seth Godin's2 counsel on how to find a public for your work.
To think there might be an audience not just for the work but for my halting progress toward a finished artistic product is more than a little presumptuous. But everything an artist does involves the core presumption that what he has written or painted or composed or performed is good enough to find an audience. If you are uncomfortable with that and not prepared for people to scoff at the very idea, find another line of work. No less than Longfellow wrote, “Give what you have. To someone, it may be better than you dare to think.”
Come back every so often. Subscribe to the companion newsletter, which I am starting (actually restarting) as well. In other words, stick around. Could get interesting.
1 The title of a smart little book written by Kleon in 2014 and published by Workman Publishing. It's a succinct volume. Kleon is a visual artist, and Workman did a nice job of working in his illustrations. One of the chapter titles is another admonition: "Share something small every day."
2 Incisive marketing thinker, blogger, and podcaster. Find him here.