The question I am asked most about calligraphy:
How do you find the time to practice?
Today I’m going to give you a list of 5 Ways to Add Calligraphy into Your Busy Day.
Before I begin, I want to mention that these are ways to add a little extra calligraphy to your day – when you’re pressed for time. The long-lasting benefits of a calligraphy practice shine when you allow yourself intentional time regularly to learn and practice this skill. For more, please read this post to the very end.
There are several ways to practice Modern Calligraphy. Along with this, there are also different tools that can be used for calligraphy practice including, a paintbrush, brush pen, iPad, marker, and pointed pen to name a few.
Of the supplies listed above, it’s worthy to note that practicing calligraphy with a pointed pen and ink or with a paintbrush/paint may require a little added time – it takes about 5 extra minutes to gather supplies at the start, and then clean your supplies at the end of your practice. Plus you’ll need a little more space to practice in this way. I’ll go into more details about this in a future blog post.
For now, let’s start simple. Let’s focus on the basics. The basic strokes are foundational to a successful calligraphy practice. In modern calligraphy, the basic strokes, once combined, form the majority of the lower case alphabet.
AND, the good news is, the basic strokes are the same no matter what supplies you choose to use! This means that once you learn and build muscle memory for the basic strokes, your knowledge is transferable to all of the different ways you choose to practice modern calligraphy.
Without further ado, here’s a countdown list with my Top 5 Ways to Add Calligraphy into Your Busy Day.
#5. SET YOUR ALARM 15 MINUTES EARLIER
Ok, I’m not saying wake up earlier and work out or something crazy like that! (Unless of course, you’re a morning person & love to work out. Then, by all means, rock your badass self)! I’m saying set your alarm 15 minutes earlier and savour the quiet time you spend practicing calligraphy.
In case you weren’t aware, calligraphy is a great way of practicing mindfulness. So if you’ve been wanting to have a morning meditation routine, but you’ve been unsuccessful in your attempts to sit yourself down into a pretzel, then why not do the next best thing and practice a little calligraphy? Just 10 minutes a day is all it takes to quiet and calm the mind.
#4. PRACTICE DURING YOUR LUNCH BREAK
If you have a hectic job, take a few minutes on your lunch break to engage in an activity just for you. When I was working at the hospital we would get one half-hour break in the 8 hour day.
More often than not, the 30 minutes would be interrupted by work-related issues. I mean, c’mon, you can’t expect to work in an OR and not be interrupted on your lunch now and again!
The past few years I wised up and I’d quickly eat my lunch in about 10 minutes, then I’d zip out of the department & sit for another 10 minutes and practice calligraphy.
The workday was often hectic, unpredictable, and stressful, but 10 minutes a day during my lunch break practicing calligraphy was exactly what I needed to help me get through the rest of the day.
#3. PRACTICE WHILE WATCHING TV
Say what?! You may be asking, if calligraphy requires focused attention, as a mindfulness practice does, how am I supposed to practice it in front of the television? Good question. Here’s my answer. There is a certain genre of television that I just can’t get into. Read on…
The truth about me and Netflix… When it’s my husband’s choice & he wants to watch Taken, I oblige. We each take a cozy seat and turn on the tube. While he’s zoned in on watching Taken 3 for the 20th time, I’m gleefully sitting with my clipboard, my Basic Strokes Guide, and pen in hand! We’re still together, but we’re each doing something we enjoy – WIN-WIN!
For a copy of the Basic Strokes Guide Freebie click HERE.
#2. PRACTICE WHILE MAKING YOUR “TO-DO” LIST
Typically when we’re writing a “To-Do” or grocery list we’re doing it quickly and somewhat mindlessly. Why not slow it down a bit? It really only takes a few minutes more if we mindfully create these lists.
This will accomplish 3 things.
- It will add a few moments of mindfulness into our day.
- Your calligraphy practice will be incorporated into something you’re already doing.
- A gorgeous-looking list will be created compared to the chicken scratch you would have otherwise created mindlessly.
Ok, are you ready for #1? This one is my favourite way of bringing a few minutes of mindful calligraphy into my day. I cannot take the credit for this one. A Scribe Sister in Calming Calligraphy Academy began this practice one day and shared it with the group. Without further ado…
#1. PRACTICE WHILE YOU WAIT FOR YOUR COFFEE TO BREW!
Why not get a whiteboard out, keep it close to the coffee pot, and practice a word or quote each morning while you’re waiting for your coffee to brew?
This is great for 3 reasons:
- Instead of reading the depressing headlines in the daily newspaper, or worse scrolling mindlessly on your phone (it’s way too early in the day for electronics), you’ll be doing an activity that will ease you into the day on a positive note.
- Habit Stacking! Have you heard of it? It’s one of the best ways to ensure that a new habit sticks. The premise is that when you want to add a habit, a great way to do it is by attaching or stacking it onto an already existing habit. For example: you want to add a habit like drinking a large glass of water every morning. If you combine drinking the water with an activity you already do – like brushing your teeth, there’s a good chance you will stick to this new habit. It REALLY works!
- You will be practicing before you drink your coffee – therefore decreasing the chances of caffeinated shakiness!
Friend, if you give just one of these ways a try, you’ll be further ahead than you already are! Try a few ways and see which new habit sticks best.
Truth be told, these 5 ways are meant to be ways for you to add additional moments of calming calligraphy to your day. Putting aside “me” time to intentionally practice calligraphy a few times a week is ideal. The Very BEST thing you can do for yourself is Show Up for Yourself.
Good things take time, patience and practice. If your best friend told you that her well-being depended upon you showing up for her, I bet you would show up for her. How about giving yourself the care you selflessly give to others? It’s time to show up for you! And when you do show up for yourself, magical things begin to happen. Your fulfilment trickles onto those you love.
I hope you enjoyed my Top 5 Ways to Add Calligraphy into Your Busy Day.
To help you along with your practice, check out this Free Video Training with an accompanying workbook.