Sunday, September 7, 2014

The value of doing 100

Last weekend, I finished two of my creativity goals for the year: draft 100 poems and write 100 prompts (10 minutes of fictional writing on a give word or phrase). I've done this once before although not in the same year. I find it a very good practice.

The prompts are good for my fiction writing. I practice description, dialog, scene openings. Not consciously of course, they just sort of occur. I'll get into a piece and it's a conversation or I'm describing why an object--a mug, a book, a sofa--is in a room. And because coming up with an idea is part of the 10 minutes, I just go with whatever idea occurs to me. And the more often I do this, the easier it is for me to imagine stories and characters and settings.

The poems are a bit of a different experience. I keep a list of ideas in my creativity journal or I'll sit and think about some possibilities and write down a bunch and then I'll pick one. I spend more time on the poems, sometimes as much as a half hour, but I don't make it into a big deal.

I don't do any editing on the poems or the prompts. These are drafts. I'm committed to drafting them only. They don't have to be good. In fact, many of them aren't. But if as Malcolm Gladwell says, it takes 10,000 hours to get good at something, I'm putting in some of my time on my craft.

No comments: