As a part of Simplify September, I decided to choose 4 Simple Goals to help keep me focused and productive and inspired through the end of 2013. Here's my first update, taking a look at my first goal: Write everyday.
Some artistic types may feel like forcing yourself to be creative isn't productive. I've seen it work before, so why not now?
While I've always wanted to write (and publish) a book, my first experiences with writing were in the poetry department. Rhyming and rhythm, while not exactly natural, appealed to me. I was 12 when I challenged myself to write a poem everyday.
I remember during this little challenge, we took a road trip to Tennessee. I brought pen and paper along to keep writing. Not having much life experience in my twelve years, I chose topics I knew--mom, our cockatiel, the sunset, rainy days and weeping willow trees. I wrote different types of poetry--couplets, limericks, haiku, cinquains. I experimented with different rhyming patterns--ABCB, ABAB, AABB.
I started the summer writing things like this...
When the sun sets in the horizon,
you ought to see it, it's surprisin'.
Yep, those two lines of that poem are about all I can bare to share.
Almost exactly zero of these were anything I was particularly proud of. But something happened through this forced practice. I got the crap out on topics that didn't matter. So when I had real things to share--like the testimony of my growing relationship with Christ--I was in a better place to share it. There were better rhymes, a little more rhythm, a little more depth.
Within a couple months, I wrote this...
A crown of thorns on His head, and nails through His hands,
He is the Ruler and Creator of all the lands.
When sadness overrules me, it brings joy to my heart to know,
That God can give me peace that takes away the sorrow.
There's more to the poem, but you get the idea. Not bad improvement for a 12-year-old.
Writing something new everyday improves overall writing skills, but ultimately ends in having lots of first drafts. While working on one piece of writing everyday helps to improve that particular piece, creating a quality final draft.
In this goal of writing everyday, I'm hoping to accomplish both. I'm working on personal writing everyday that leads to blog posts and developing my personal voice and uncovering my story. I'm also working on writing and rewriting everyday for a paid writing project with the goal of submitting quality final pieces that will be worth the client's money.
The more I do it, the more equipped and ready I am when there's something important to share, and the better my final drafts become. And the more qualified I feel to say,
I am a writer.