The entire history of human expression, slightly abridged
The Daily Create is part of UMW’s DS106 program, and it features daily assignments to practice digital storytelling fundamentals. It’s the equivalent of sit ups or jogging, “a regular dose of creative exercises (and it more fun than jumping jacks, pushups, and P90X).” Or maybe a better comparison is to sketching. If you want to get good at drawing, then you need to sketch, you need to practice doing it daily. In the Gottschall reading that we did for class (from Jonathan Gottschall’s The Storytelling Animal for readers who aren’t in RCCORE 334), he points out that people suffering from amnesia who practice piano for fifteen minutes a day get better without even remembering what they had done the day before. The same theory applies here.
I encountered the Daily Create very early on in my work with DS106, right when it started last January. I was working on a grant-writing project on educational innovation where I came upon Ben Grimes’s blog regarding the Summer of Oblivion event at DS106. I lurked for awhile, following the #ds106 tag on Twitter but not really participating very much until January when I started in for real.
The key to the whole deal is that YOU DO THE ASSIGNMENT THAT DAY, that way everyone else who is doing it can see it. The page that houses your assignment lives on in the archives of the Daily Create site, but the site’s front page moves on to the next assignment. The key is to get your stuff in that day.
The best part of the Daily Create for me is being forced to be sillier than I would otherwise, to take photographs I wouldn’t have thought to take otherwise, to record and layer audio for effects that I never would have bothered to mess around with otherwise. Sure, there are poems about cats in there. But there are also photos like the one above, that birthed a character that I’ve been messing around with for a whole year. Or the photos closer to the top of the blog, which were taken up north and which I really like having now. The angles of the bridge in Petoskey (or maybe it was Charlevoix?), or the shot of Lake Superior (that’s right, SUPERIOR) with that swirl-smudge of cloud in the center of the composition.
That little push is nice, just to get you out the door.