I went along to a regional creative agent conference today and was inspired by Ewan McIntosh to do a 100 hour challenge, well in fact, I was initially inspired by Rachel Carter, who was inspired by Ewan (in a previous training event) to do it. Thing is, I’m uncertain as to whether I can do it because I work away from home a lot.

What is the 100 Hour Challenge? I quote Rachel Carter:

“Pick something about which you are passionate, which you have a deep desire to learn or to achieve yourself. It can be related to work or totally personal. Ideally it’s something you will share with the wider world. Practice, read up on, share your knowledge on your chosen challenge for at least one hour a day, every day, for 100 days.”

I want to improve my improvisation techniques, learn more about jazz scales, but that involves using a piano/keyboard. When I work in Brum I hardly have access… You’re meant to practice an hour a day. However, I can only practice when I’m near a piano. What’s a girl to do? Can I do the challenge as soon as I’m home in London? Am I creating ‘extraneous pillars’? Excuses? Can I do a slower version of it? Am I being lame? What do you think?


Rachel Cuffufle · June 18, 2010 at 8:33 am

Morning Bobbie.

I reckon the wrangle over why you have the ‘extraneous pillars’ and what they are, is extremely useful – so go with the pondering for a bit longer. I do believe there is always a solution though, it’s whether you stick to it. E.g. when I was away cycling for the weekend, cycling 60 miles a day and camping, I worked out how I could continue my challenge – air bass playing, I bought 2 books on bass guitar playing and I took my ipod with me. Plan was to do my 1 hour a day by either reading the book, listening to music and playing air bass. I didn’t actually follow through with it as I obviously spent a lot of the day cycling and then putting up my tent and then going off to the bar with mates!

Anyways – there is always a solution, or perhaps a different challenge that you can do wherever you are. If you spend a lot of time travelling – is there anything you have wanted to learn about that could go onto an ipod or a CD that you could play on the train/in your car??

Blah blah blah blah!

Rachel xxx

Philippa Cross · June 19, 2010 at 11:07 pm

I was inspired by Rachel too – having really really meant to start my 100 hour task last time I saw Ewan at the CA day in London – and failed. Amazing what a difference it makes knowing someone else is doing it (and has kept it up! Well done Rachel and looking forward to reading through your blog posts) I think extraneous pillars are all too easy to build. I have knocked a few down since Thursday – though some remain – young children, elderly parents – and actually I feel justified in noting how they really do impact on how I do the task. So not pillars, but parameters, perhaps? But I am adapting the notion to make it work for me – it will not always be an hour a day – but an average over a week or so. Getting the right challenge is important I think – I agree with Rachel that taking time to ponder it more will be worthwhile. Hope you find the right thing/the way to do it. Philippa

Marcus Belben · June 23, 2010 at 1:18 pm

Hi Bobbie,

I was inspired by Ewan again, and also totally feel like the ‘weight-watcher’ do it in a group thing will really help, although I am likewise pushed for time, and will no doubt choose a somewhat lower ambition than many – not enough time in the day.

If it was a school talking about an enquiry, I’d be asking to focus on enquiry – For you it seems to be ‘improve my improvisation skills’. That may partly involve jazz scales and piano, but could involve Eukalalie, didgeridoo, spoons, briefcase (Cajon?) – all things I want to play better. Or maybe even new environments and different people to play with?

Also I’m wary of term ‘extraneous pillars’ as objectifies things that maybe don’t deserve to be. Most of my extraneous pillars are, in fact, people with their own needs to be met and supported. I think my 100hr ish challenge will need to incorporate needs of my ‘pillars’.

Wishing well, and intend to start my 100hr challenge tomorrow, honest!

» Week 6 & 7: 100 Hr Challenge · August 12, 2010 at 10:30 am

[…] What’s this 100 Hour Challenge ye speak of? Day 1: Fail, still in Brumtee, spoke to mi ma about secretly moving my piano from the old house to the new (behind Pa’s back), we’ll see, he doesn’t really do Internet btw. Day 2: Fail still in Brum, social media workshop, helping these cherubs become digital journalists. Day 3: Fail, still in Brum exhausted, chilling with my baby Day 4: Mediasnackers training/CPD, still in Brum Day 5: Back in Londungeon, practice for an hour Day 6: Practice for a couple of hours, start with some Bach, Debussy and then chords, training myself to play chords as quickly as possible Day 7: Didn’t manage to fit any in. Booo! But I contacted a jazz pianist for lessons […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.