Limitations

This April, I’ve been participating in Camp Nanowrimo. During camp you can set yourself the writing goal that fits for you, and have support from other participants (on the forum, or by joining a cabin). I’ve participated before, and I’ve always had fun with it. It’s nice to feel that extra pressure to write while not being under the enormous pressure of the standard 50.000 words of Novembers Nanowrimo. Last July, camp really helped me with writing a first draft.

This april, though, I’ve struggled. From the very beginning I had difficulty settling on a project. Even when I thought I had a manageable project and goal set for the month, I’ve had trouble keeping up.

I have been stressing with school, but nothing unmanageable. I haven’t had complete freedom to write, but nobody ever does. I think what has happened is that I have let the stress of everything prevent me from really doing much of anything. Even now I should really be writing a paper. Funny how I only take time to return to my blog when I’m running from all my other responsibilities.

Sitting down, taking a few breaths and managing my tasks shouldn’t be such a difficult thing to do, and I suppose I have managed in the past. But now, I find it difficult. I’m beginning to think I’ll just have to adjust my writing goal and figure out how I can do the bare minimum in all my tasks. Just until I can get through this.

It feels… Weak? Like a loss. But then, I haven’t truly lost anything. I still have more words than I did before the month began, and I don’t actually have to give my all at school to get trough. Truth is that if I take this minor setback, I can still make it trough this having still accomplished something.

Making decisions like this, I’m beginning to realise, is part of being a responsible artist. No matter what you do: visual arts, writing, acting, music… anything really. You have to be kind to yourself and reign in yourself. I’m sure we could all drive ourselves into an early grave working hard, and artists have done for a long time. But surely you can also try to take care of yourself. Keep your ego and your longing for brilliance back, if only a little, so you don’t burn your candle at both ends. That way you’ll be able to do more in the future.

Follow your Spite

Spite is seriously undervalued as a force for whatever is is you want to do.

Somebody said you can’t lift 200 pounds?

Someone thought you needed their help with finding a date?

Someone doubted you could write 10 000 words in a day?

Spite, the feeling of “you don’t know my life”

It’s when you know you can do so much more than people think you can, and when the feeling of “I’ can ” overpowers anything anyone ever told you.

If you’ve managed to go trough life without the need of spite, I congratulate you. That is a feat in and of itself. But most of us have been told we can’t, or have felt like somebody told us we can’t.

The thing is… thats a gift. you feel that anger?

I’ve made a post about the glow that you get when you’re working with something that’s perfectly within your sphere of art, something you can relate to.

You shouldn’t be afraid to let your anger take place here. Of course unlimited anger isn’t good, but spite; Determination to see something trough no matter what people see in you. That’s a powerful source.

Be careful who you let get close enough to inspire spite in you. It’s a powerful emotion, and it can lead you to places you never thought you’d be.

Just be mindful of who you give the power to inspire spite in your life. And when they do, don’t let them off easy. Follow your spite, it will usually lead you to what you actually seek, and not the steps in between.

Don’t be apologetic about your spite. I dare say you have your reasons to be spiteful.

The Glow

Sometimes I get so wrapped up in to-do lists and external obligations that I loose… it. The inner feeling that practically glows in my chest when I cultivate my inner world. I don’t know if this is something others can relate to, but I think it probably is. Perhaps you don’t exactly feel a glow, but I think most people have experienced that feeling of being completely in line with one self.

I get this feeling when I spend time in my own company, consume media that is in line with this feeling, or make the space around me nice. There are certain books that I have taken so completely in as part of my experience that, when I read them, they immediately light this glow inside of me. Although sometimes I experience this with completely new books as well, that just fall in line with this feeling. On the flip side, there are things that I feel suck that glow right out of me.

This glow is also linked with my creativity. And I feel that: whenever I loose this feeling, I can’t make anything right. What I write can be alright or even good, but it won’t have that spark… It won’t be a product of me in the same way as the things I write when I feel that glow.

I don’t know if this might be a little spaced, but I realize this again and again whenever I try to squeeze inn some writing in a hectic schedule. I have to find my glow again and again, re-centering myself and clearing out all the influences that dims it. I feel like I’m getting better at finding this feeling, but I still loose it regularly and have to find it again.

Keeping Momentum

When I sit down to write for the first time in a while, everything is slow. I can’t quite figure out what to write, ideas won’t fit together, and I have a hard time expressing what I want to and finding the right words. Its like trying to get out of an armchair after sitting in an awkward position, and you discover (possibly a moment to late) that your legs have fallen asleep. Its uncomfortable at first, and you feel like you’re walking on pins for a moment, but as soon as the blood flow is normal again everything works perfectly.

And that’s the same way with writing, you have to let your creativity flow and keep your momentum. I don’t think you necessarily have to write a ton everyday to keep your momentum, a few words on a story or some plotting might be enough. But you can’t let the flow stop.

For me, these blogposts might be enough writing for one day. At least my fingers got to write on a keyboard, and my thoughts could flow out in the form of words. This is still utilizing the same muscles that I use when I am writing creatively. It’s about keeping momentum, not about blazing ahead at high speed.