Perhaps the most anticipated part of any shopping trip in Winnipeg is heading downtown to Tiny Feast. I've written about Tiny Feast in the past; their customer service is awesome and the merchandise they carry is of the highest quality.
But more than that is their knowledge of the tools within their shop. Drex and Danika know everything about everything in their shop and they made this very clear during my first visit.
I stumbled into the store on a frigidly cold February day in search of some Field Notes packs. My wife was waiting in the car and urged me to hurry so we could get on the road. I grabbed a Pitch Black three-pack and walked up to the counter.
Drex and Danika greeted me with kind smiles and asked me what I thought of Field Notes memo books. At the time, my experience with Field Notes was minimal and our conversation was short.
The conversation centered around the collectibility of Field Notes Colors editions and about the subscription service. I stated bluntly that I could never fill enough books to warrant purchasing a subscription. Rather, I said I would buy all my books from Tiny Feast and be their best customer.
Drex looked at me, smiled, and offered his own personal anecdote:
You know, I always felt a Colors subscription represented a challenge. Filling up enough books to warrant the subscription is a good way to stay creative.
Wow. This is one of those "obvious and absolutely brilliant" ideas.
To take on the challenge, you can fill your books with sketches of momentous occasions. Or touching quotes. Or lists of groceries. Or a travel dreamlist. Field Notes books are just big enough to make the challenge difficult, yet are small enough to not make the feat insurmountable.
After months of trying, I can't pass The Colors Challenge. It's too much for me.
So I came up with a way to cheat. Josiah and I split a Colors subscription, meaning I only keep one Kraft pack and one Colors pack.
I still can't achieve the goal. Even filling six books in three months has been difficult. I keep a Field Notes book on me at all times, in all situations and write down every thought that finds itself lost between my ears. I tried a two-memo-book system to fill them quicker — but to no avail.
Of course, The Colors Challenge isn't about justifying the purchase of countless memo books. Instead, it's about pushing your creativity to accomplish the feat. Forcing yourself to fill the page at the end of the day or to finish the book when reaching the 45th page will create habits. Further, it will spur creativity habits.
Since launching The Newsprint, my personal awareness of productivity and workflow habits has reached an all-time high. Creativity, on the other hand, is always in need of inspiration. I am unable to flick the creativity switch on at a moment's notice. For me, creativity habits are essential for creation itself.
Creativity habits are formed with persistence and rigidity. I can't control when inspiration will strike, but I can control when to harness that inspiration. By writing down thoughts into books, I can guarantee that inspiration can strike in a controlled environment.
Physically accomplishing The Colors Challenge isn't the point. The soul of the books is the prize of the challenge; their weight after they've been filled; their texture after they've been battered. These are the prizes.
If you're a Field Notes user, I challenge you to take The Colors Challenge. Set a goal for yourself and write in your memo books more than you have in the previous month. Or see if you can surpass the feat and fill every book by the next Colors release.
Take this opportunity to force yourself into creativity. Create some habits that are difficult to create. And harness the power of inspiration anywhere and everywhere.
The Colors Challenge can be anything you want it to be. Don't waste the book. Fill it. With "GOOD INFORMATION."