New Goal

I have perhaps the strangest Inspirations sometimes for writing. Well, my inspiration can come from anywhere and sometimes appears so randomly that I cannot pinpoint a source. But I mean the inspiration to keep writing on days that I don’t feel well or days that I am extremely busy. Sure, part of it is my innate drive and love of the written word, but on the days when I really don’t feel well mentally or physically or when I have a lot of housework, there’s something else that helps keep me going. I absolutely love collecting gorgeous journals. Buying a new Journal makes my soul sing. However I can’t keep buying journals if I’m not using up the ones that I have. Although I like to collect journals, I don’t like to preserve them as though they’re going to sit in a museum. Seeing a blank journal on my desk compels me to use it. The only thing better than a pristine new Journal is a journal that has been well-loved and used to the maximum. There’s nothing like a perfect, artistic pair of covers with poetry or diary entries or Bible journaling and prayer filling the inside. I have several journals waiting to be used, and I have more I want to get. So I’m going to write and write and write. However, I do all that writing when I am feeling creative. Then I write bunches. Sometimes I hit dry spells and I stop.

I’m not necessarily one of those people who subscribes to the theory that it doesn’t matter if you put out absolute crap as long as you’re getting something down on the paper. I’ve really had mixed results with that. For the most part, at least with my poetry, if I sit myself down to write when I really really don’t have anything to say, nothing good comes out of it. If I’m feeling utterly uncreative and mentally stymied, the writing I produce is absolutely hopeless. Like everyone else, or at least like most people who write, many of my rough drafts are not very good. They need a lot of work. But most of them, if I edit ruthlessly and revise, have some potential. They may or may not realize that potential, but they give me something to work with. The stuff I write when I really do not have any creativity in me is almost always unusable. I suppose it’s worth trying just to maintain creativity as a daily habit, and of course if I do manage to pull something out of my mind that has some potential usability, I’ll be glad that I sat down to write. But most of the time it is just pointless.

Journals don’t necessarily help me push forward in times where my creative well has run dry. But sometimes I am very creative on days when I am mentally or physically sick, or when the housework or errands are calling my name, and on those days having a journal that I long to fill really inspires me to sit down and take the time to get my thoughts put on paper. Annoying but true, some of my most uncreative days where I have completely run out of things to say and I feel as used up as a reservoir in a desert in August, are the days where I have almost no housework and no errands, and where I feel mentally and physically fine. Sometimes I just need to recalibrate and recharge, and on those days not much writing gets done. I wish I could somehow schedule these creative dry spells for the days where I am too busy or too sick to write anyway! Wouldn’t that be nice!

Because of this inconsistent output and waste of some valuable hours, I find myself weighing the possibility of writing every day to keep my mind sharp. It’s not that I don’t write a lot, because I do. Right now I have tons of poems just waiting to be typed up. It’s not that I’m not creative frequently. Even on the days I don’t write I’m usually messing around with photography or painting or collage. And it’s not that I don’t spend enough time with language, because on the days I don’t write I am always reading to engage my mind and expand my imagination. I love reading. It’s an absolute guarantee that if I have not been writing I have been reading. Not a single day goes by that I don’t do one or both. I just wonder if I could be doing more.

It might be good to develop some discipline.

Angelica is getting older and my life is only going to get busier. We are now homeschooling everyday. On top of that she has speech therapy twice a week. She may also be joining the Children’s Choir soon, although I am not decided yet. And as she gets older even more extracurriculars will come up. Having a commitment to write no matter what might encourage me to do more of what I love.

As much as I have never seen the need for making daily writing part of my routine, so many writers recommend it. I do wonder if there is something to it. It may be that my best writing will still come on the days where I feel inspired, but the writing I do on the days when I feel uninspired may improve my writing enough that the writing I do on the days when I am inspired will be that much better.

I have always put the inspiration first and the writing comes second. But it might be worth it, as an experiment, to try writing first and see if that makes the inspiration come more frequently. I have been thinking about experimenting with structure lately, or maybe with subject matter as well, but first I think I will experiment with my schedule. I’m going to set up a goal, and write it down in my daily productivity planner, to write at least one poem every single day. I’m going to do this for a month and see what the results are. If I got something out of it I’ll continue to do it for the rest of my life. If I don’t, well then I’ve got 30 poems and maybe I can make use of one of them. This goal is really going to be a challenge this month because on Thursday we are leaving for a two-week road trip. I’m going to be traveling from state-to-state every day for two weeks. It’s really going to take commitment to make sure that I’m being productive  in the middle of a vacation. No matter how much driving we’re doing or how much there is to see I need to write a poem. Let’s see how this goes.

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