I’m going to try an experiment. For the next ten days, I’m going to:
- Set a timer for 15 minutes
- Write whatever I can during those 15 minutes
- Stop when the time is up
- Post whatever I’ve written without editing it
Steps 1-3 are similar to an assignment I had back in college. The professor told us to do a free-write as soon as we woke up in the morning, stopping whenever the time ran out. The idea was to get into a writing ‘groove’ and then stop. This was really hard to do when a good idea was starting to form but that was the point: to inspire a hunger for creativity.
Step 4 is my addition. A blog sometimes feels like an art gallery: everything is a final draft, on display, polished and dusted. There’s nothing wrong with that. I enjoy presenting a finished product. But too often I’ve blocked my own creative process because I didn’t think I had the time, skill, or even the desire to nurture the seed of a big idea into fruition. Step 4 aims to undo all of that and establish the practice of consistent productivity.
The creative process is incredibly messy; there are cross-outs, the smell of burnt erasers, pulled hair, chewed fingernails, and the ominous, yawning expanse of an eternal blank page. But this is the dirt you must dig through if you want to find gold. For the next ten days, I’m going digging and I’m starting right now. Care to join me?
The leaves bristled in the wind. Crowds of sentinel oaks canopied the sky, catching all the sunlight they could in their many-fingered hands while the rest dripped like jeweled water droplets to a bed of maple leaves below. With the occasional swoosh of a tail, small dirt clouds rose and dissipated in a lazy rhythm. The breeze blanketed the sound of licked fur and the scratching of an ear with a hind-paw.
The masked animal was sunning itself in the study of nature’s inner chambers. It’s tail, a cherry-handled paintbrush dipped in eggshell-white, betrayed the at-ease of its parent-body as it seemed bent on painting something on the ground canvas.
As the wind began to sharpen its pitch to a whisper, two black-tipped ears snapped to attention and the paintbrush recoiled to the side of a muscular haunch.