The creative process continues to amaze me. (Eight years ago, I would have said I don't have a creative process, barely a creative gene in me. I've come to change that self-criticism.)
I came to this (recurring) realization last night as I sat going between the vitriol that is Facebook politics and staring at the white space of a blank Microsoft Word document. I kept flipping back between the two until I finally shut Facebook and focused on writing a bit of poetry.
I've been trying to write a poem a day in January, and it hasn't worked out to quite that yet. In fact, I'm at 13, which works out to exactly one every two days. This is what happens when you don't have a "real" deadline must-meet goal hanging over your head. This challenge was to be on my terms, and well, I hit 50% and I am alright with that.
Anyways, so once I shut down the social media cesspool, I started writing a poem about my house. Now, I've written a few poems about my house already, so right out of the gate I thought this was a rehashed idea. After some struggling and shuffling of words and compiling a total of eight lines, I deleted the whole mess.
And I thought to myself, well that was a waste of fifteen minutes.
Then, I opened up a new document and proceeded to write a fairly touching poem about my wife and our marriage and somehow tied it into outer space. I had no intention of tying it into space, but I think it started with mentioning galaxy at some point. Then, for some reason the space metaphors (something most people don't talk about in every day conversation) kept coming to me. Try as I might to control the poem, it sort of wrote itself. When I was done, I looked at it and thought, dang, that's not half bad, right there.
So there I was an hour later with something satisfying sitting before me when I'd almost given up out of frustration. It just goes to show you that if you put your butt in the chair and work hard enough, good things will happen. Granted it's not a done product yet, but it's a good start.
This process works again and again for me. It's almost become expected to sit and glare at the great pixelled whiteness for a time before I get started. Then after a couple false starts it seems to start flowing. And frankly my blog keeps me limber - so to speak. It challenges me to write at least twice a week, Pick a topic, put my butt in the chair and hammer away until it's done.
Just like this.