It’s all the same. All attempts to provide some structure and productivity to creativity.
At Inkygirl, Debbie Ridpath Ohi offers a word-count challenge. I balked at first.
500 words. Do I really need a gimmick to get me to write? Do I really need a regime, a routine, an edict to create?
As a writer, I shouldn’t need structure or rules to make me produce. If I’m a writer, I will write. Do painters say, I must paint for 10 minutes today. Or I have a painting schedule ?
As a writer, do I really need rules and schedules?
Yes, sadly, yes.
Because, unlike painters, dancers and others artists, I avoid what I love. I avoid writing even when writing is what I love most.
It’s perverse, and over the years I’ve filled days and journals writing too much about not writing.
They are good and helpful and I always feel grateful for the boost. The trouble is the writer-high is too darn short. I fall back and away. Like my morning jog, it never feels easy.
I think it will. Every morning I run (well, a slow jog, really), I expect to feel better, go faster, have more endurance. But everyday I am just grateful to get through it. As I slog to the end, I feel a buzz of accomplishment and that’s what gets me going again the next morning.
Here's the kernel of truth stuck in my stubborn back molar: Writing is an exercise. Like my jogging, writing may never get easier but my creative muscles do get tuned and ready each time I show up. And the sense of accomplishment does always arrive at the end.
500 words. Yes! I showed up. I wrote.
It’s a routine. A schedule. A commitment. And it keeps me going.
How about you?