Creative Slide

Try sliding into projects.

I’ve been hemming and hawing over recommitting myself to STORY— what exactly would I be promising? I used to write in the afternoons, while my son napped. This summer there are no naps (he’s six-and-a-half), and even though there are lots of play dates with the neighbor kids, I’ve really resisted reinstating any of my old structures.

Then, yesterday, I got settled on the couch in my studio and did Morning Pages. I had time, and three pages goes quickly, so kept going. I started writing possibilities for my Writer’s Salon talk next month at Drury Lane Books: maybe I could tell “Jorian” in folktale form. I started on bullet points…

And, lo and behold, I cleared stuff up in the story! I realized that the Marsh Witch should obviously appear much later, and in another location! Whenever I edit and give other writers feedback, I generally find that if the flow doesn’t work, it’s because something needs to be shifted to another spot— I guess I hadn’t remembered that for myself.

Then I realized I hadn’t done affirmations— a notebook page’s worth of whatever mantra feels timely— so I wrote “I accept magical help for Jorian.” And bam, three more ahas! Significant ahas. It felt miraculous.

The meta-insight: slide into creative work.

A two hour block of time feels spacious and lifts the pressure to PRODUCE SOMETHING; starting with Morning Pages means that I have a simple task and a way to follow ideas.

I’m excited because this is far less reliant on will power or self-discipline. It’s also not so far off in Hippy La La Land that my control freak side starts hyperventilating about needing something measurable.

The slide satisfies both the Trickster and the Martyr: the latter has busywork, the former feels smug about skipping out on office hours and checklists.

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