Saturday, January 29, 2011

Nike had it right...

Very often I am asked, "How do you come up with stuff to write about? How can you do it day in and day out? Aren't you ever "blocked"?" Having been asked these things a zillion times, I thought it might be fun to spend a minute or five for those who aspire to write, but are unsure as to "how". This may also apply to any artiste, regardless of genre. Painters, musicians, poets, builders, designers, WHATEVER. Art is art and it doesn't matter what form you choose. It's about allowing. (gee. isn't everything?)

One of the things I've witnessed over the years is that most artists don't really even have a choice. By that I mean, even when they try to deny their art, they are compelled to 'do it'. They simply must. Kinda like breathing. Can't help it. Just gotta do it. And so it is for me and this whole writing thang. It's not like I can just say to myself, "OK, girlie. No more writing. That's it. You're done." And believe me when I tell you, I've tried (to not write). It just doesn't work for me. I might go a couple of days without, but by day number three, I'm aching to set myself down and git to it. Like I said, compelled.

I've been told this is the "true sign" of an artist. I don't know about all  that. But I do know that it's as natural as breathing for me. Perhaps this is why I'm not usually at a loss for 'stuff' to write about. Or maybe it's because I just get such a kick out of the process. I don't sit down and say, "Oh boy. Today I'm going to write a best-selling novel." I simply have this compulsion to use my words. And you know how much I love my words. So that's it. It's not some kind of task to be completed. It's the process that I love so much. Even when it's just a bunch of mumbo-jumbo. I don't care. I'm not looking for a "good grade" or some kind of prize. I just love to write.

When people speak of "writer's block", I am always a bit befuddled. I've never experienced such a thing, so I don't know what the heck they're talking about. I might not always write the most captivating stuff, but I do it anyway, just because. I'll bet I've tossed as many pieces as I've kept. But even that doesn't daunt. So what if it's crap? Just because I wrote it does not mean I have to share it. Like I said: it's about the process.

If you are wanting to create, regardless of what that creation might be, just do it. Do it without expectation or need for praise. Do it with total abandon. Do it fearlessly, as a child does when she picks up that box of crayons. Just let 'er rip. After a while, you'll see just how much you've grown. And improved. And lightened up about the whole thing. Give yourself a break. Enjoy the process. All the rest that may (or may not) come is just gravy. You might just surprise yourself at how 'good' you really are.


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