Strengths and weaknesses. Angels and demons. Writers have their share of both. Talking to myself on paper seems to be the key that attracts them in equal number. I read through my week of Challenge journal entries on Day Seven, saw the pattern – already, both strengths and weaknesses at work – and pronounced it good.
Angela stresses the importance of writing down your thoughts throughout the 100 Day Writing Challenge. Having become a much better writer by following her advice as a SYWON student, I am following her Challenge instructions to the letter. An interesting process began as a result. During the week of establishing goals, making plans and setting tasks, I created a microcosm of my normal work routine during the course of a given project. By the end of seven days, I had already made – on paper – many of the mistakes that often interfere with my productivity and make my workday sometimes more difficult that it has to be. The demons had surfaced.
Why do I consider this phenomenon good? Because the act of writing down my thoughts before the actual work began showed me some obstacles in the road ahead. Seeing these obstacles now saved me days or perhaps weeks of struggle later. The goals were sometimes too broad; the tasks not “chunked down” into easily accomplished steps. Had I dived into the work without creating a timeline first, I would have been overwhelmed with the workload to which I committed.
But buried in this flaw, I discovered a previously overlooked strength, one that I now realize has served me quite well throughout my writing career. It is a gift, I think, to be able to see the big picture. Michelangelo, when asked how he created his statuary, said “I see the angel in the marble and I carve until I set it free.” My work, though not the timeless treasure of a master, comes into being in much the same way. While in the past, I waited passively for these moments of inspiration, Angela’s mandate to “think on paper” has given me access to it, any time, under any circumstances. Free writing opens the creative channels, welcomes in those angels and lets me take control of the process. Inspiration is always only words away.
As a result of this insight, I’ve started journals for each project in which I’m engaged. This small investment of time is already paying off in fresh ideas, better approaches, and solutions to problems before they occur.
NEW — Need Help With Your Writing Challenge?
Here’s what I learned in the first couple of weeks of the 100 Day Writing Challenge.
I learned that many of the participants are new writers, and they’re confused. They’re confused about what goals to set, how to get clients, what to write…
This is understandable, because they’re new writers. They have no processes to follow, so they’re a little bit lost.
To help them, and to help you, if you’re feeling the same, I’ve created a brand new, super-simple guide, Writing Dynamo: Create a Powerful Writing Machine That Generates Cash Every Day
If you’re confused about your writing in any way, it’s just what you need.
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