"I am at a loss to conceive how a man should permit himself to write anything that would be truly disgraceful to a woman, or why a woman should be censured for writing anything that would be proper and becoming for a man."

21 September 2010

Blog Sprint

This blog currently has no focus, which I only state to warn you that I have no idea what it may turn into. So what's the purpose of this entry? To write and keep writing.

See, when you're a participant in NaNoWriMo, the internet bestowed this miraculous and devilish networking tool on us called Twitter. Through Twitter emerged writing encouragement from the good people in NaNoLand in the form of word sprints. Since NaNo is centered around word counts, sprints came along to help people crank out words (sometimes a specified goal, sometimes not) in a certain amount of time.
While this is an extremely useful tool during NaNo month, it's also good for writing in general. So many times writers sit in front of their screens or notebooks or typewriters (yes, some people still use them) staring, seemingly, into space. For those who aren't or don't know writers, this staring does not equate to, say, a dog gazing at the wall for no particular reason, or a bored teenager in physics class daydreaming of being anywhere but physics class (or school period). When a writer stares off into space it's typical that the writer is conversing with a voice -- or voices -- inside their head, attempting to cull inspiration from the depths of the mind and translate that inspiration into words. Anyone who's needed to come up with a speech or announcement in a very short amount of time under immense pressure has an inkling of what this feels like.
None of this is original in concept. As long as there have been writers there has been writer's block. What I love about word sprints is they give you a deadline -- without pressure. Your goal is to write as much as you can, but no one says it has to be brilliant or original with perfect spelling and grammar. That's what editing is for. The point is to write and write and write until your fingers ache, whatever enters your mind, and then stop.
Some people don't work well in those situations, but I think it's more beneficial than detrimental to any writer. As with the general idea of National Novel Writing Month, the point is not perfection or completion but creating something from nothing, and dedicating a specified time of your life to it in order to end up with something that would not exist without your dedication to the project. This type of creative push can be applicable for all types of creative endeavors. Any kind of artistic venture carries its own style of writer's block as part of the package. What kind of music could be created if people took occasional composing sprints? What might be painted or sketched in a canvas sprint? What might be captured on film during camera sprints (an idea which forms many 24 or 48 hour film festivals)? What theatre might be created during a Fast and Loose adventure? If you're a creative type, next time you see one of these pop up, stop thinking about all the ways it can't work for you, and just go for it. Creating, unlike some aspects of 'real life,' carries much less risk for trying. Other than a bit of time, you have nothing to lose.

See, twenty minutes of sprinting and I created a blog that I otherwise may never have gathered the thoughts to compose... and in the few minutes it's taken you to read it, I hope you understand the benefit in just trying. Despite what Yoda says, when it comes to creating, 'try' can be a powerful force on its own, leading to much more doing.

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