Slow Starts and Random Hearts
Well, crud—it’s the 4th day of April, and I have yet to record any progress on my Camp NaNoWriMo Dirty polish project. That’s the bad news…
The good news is that I have been writing every single day!
I’ve published 3 blog posts so far this month, and I’ve got quite the editorial calendar of future content for this site lined up. I’ve buffed up my portfolio (which is available here for perusal with a password I’ll supply if you ping me through my Contact form). There you’ll find wide-ranging samples of my work, from a business proposal I edited and formatted, to an award-winning poem. Plus, I’m journaling like crazy; I’m still processing my late January reading of You Are A Badass At Making Money by Jen Sincero (helpful hint: buy the paperback instead of the ebook so you can do the exercises within the text) and my eight-week participation in The Nth Degree, a life-altering career coaching program formulated by the fantastic Tracy Timm.
I am being productive—just not in the ways for which I’d planned and stated my intentions. But that’s okay…
…because sometimes you have to go where your energy and attention lead you. We’ve all heard this concept reverentially referred to as “The Muse” at one time or another. I, too, once believed that a creative soul receives direction from something outside themselves, and that they’d do well to seize it whenever it chooses to grace them with its presence. Now, however, I have embraced the idea that, while inspiration remains a mysterious force, it’s motivation that gets the writing done, and that power comes from within.
My practice these days looks like this: I rise at 6:30 AM, stumble to the kitchen to brew a pot of stovetop espresso, drink a glass of room temperature water with lemon in it, then plant my butt down in front of my laptop to work…and by work, I mean write. It can be revision or drafting or stream-of-consciousness on a novel or essay or touchy-feely prompt—something makes its way from my still half-asleep brain, through my fingers, into the keyboard, and onto the page, before my Inner Critic gets wind of the fact that I’m writing. This state can last at little as ten short minutes or as long as four fly-by hours, depending on my stamina and my commitments. There is no divine intervention happening on a daily basis; just a very human stubbornness to accomplish a creative act.
So I may be slow, or I may find myself in the zone. I may end with a jumble of nonsense, or whip out a viable chapter or two. But none of it comes easily. It comes with determination and grit. You could even argue that discipline plays a role…but don’t tell my Muse because it might scare her away!