Making it Happen

Creative Writing is not just for Writers. Creativity is not just for those in the Arts. The tools used by those who make the stuff we call Art are as good for your mind as a walk in the forest is good for your soul and glutes.

It’s not a bad pitch.

What I’ve been working on is deciding what workshops to offer this fall and next spring, and it helps to pitch things to myself. The problem as well as the genius in it is that I got a million of ’em.

If I go on leaping from pitch to pitch, beguiled with my ability to coalesce an idea into a package of words, I’ll use the whole morning sitting here and charming myself. So how do I move from the flirtation stage to getting into a serious relationship with one of my ideas?

Figuring this out will help on a number of fronts–since I also tend to stockpile projects in various stages of completion, flitting from one to the next as though I were a pollinator and my job to flit for hours, packing my thighs with as much pollen as I can carry from as many flowers as it takes.

Being not a bee, I need a better strategy.

Finish one thing. It sounds so straightforward. But of course that requires a process, and a process is assisted by activating a strategy–even one that transmogrifies on the way.

So here’s my strategy–

In the arts, all of them, we Make Stuff. From whatever raw material we’ve got, we make something new–emphasis on the “make”. The origin of the word poetry is poiesis, “to make”, and it means getting the goods out of the noggin and onto the page, onto the stage, onto the desktop made of pixels or pine rather than bobbling about in the amorphousness of thought.

So for today, every time I catch my gaze going a little out of focus and into the middle ground of contemplation, every time my mind starts swinging and chattering like a tamarin, every time I feel the urge to reach in any way toward the Projects notebook and jot notes on project sheets that aren’t the one I mean to make happen, I’m going to pick up a pencil or pen and physically write SOMEthing on an actual piece of paper.

Something like the name of the current project. Or a dollar sign. Or the hands of a clock.

With luck, that will give me just enough time to question the impulse and get back to work.

I’ll let you know how it goes.