I am going back to long-form writing and publishing. Or at least, I am talking about it a lot and procrastinating about it a lot. I think about all the minutiae of where to publish and what kind of long-time strategy to pursue. Of course, as a picture-perfect representative of procrastinators everywhere, I have not yet gotten to the one thing that is paramount to the whole enterprise:
I have not yet written a single piece that was longer than the odd 700 words I clock in on this platform from time to time.
Today, my distraction had an intriguing upside, though. It seems that despite my brain's valiant efforts to prevent it, my procrastination activity ended up being useful.
I thought that instead of writing an actual article, I could write down 10 to 20 ideas for articles instead. Since I have a nearly endless supply of notebooks that I bought-some-time-but-am-too-chicken-to-write-in, I picked up a pretty one and declared it the "Idea book". If I am sincere, it is probably more like the "idea book 2.0" or the "yet another idea book". Luckily, I am on the quest of writing and not on a quest of judging my relationship to notebooks and related items of stationery (Hey there, collection of abandoned brush pens! I promise, I still love you!).
I opened the notebook and wrote down 15 ideas for an article—one after the other. I've written down ideas before (the notebook-shaped proof is scattered all over the house and several handbags). However, usually, I just keep a notebook for the odd idea around and don't deliberately sit down to "make ideas".
The interesting thing happened around idea number ten or eleven. The first five were very easy to come out. The next five came a bit more haltingly, but they still came.
And then I thought I had run out of ideas. The problem was that there was still a third of the page left and I had decided to fill up the whole page.
So I kept going.
In the end, I had to write really small and squash the last couple of ideas onto the bottom of the page because things were going so well. Somehow, pushing past number ten made things flow nicely. I guess there is a point in creative endeavours, where things start to chug along by themselves. At least for me.
I keep noticing that that point is a good bit further out on the other side of my comfort zone. The secret is just to keep going for a bit longer than I think I can go.
When I hit the bottom of the page, I felt relief. Not because the page was full, but because yet again, I realised that there is more inspiration beyond what I perceive to be the limit. The well has no bottom. I can trust my creativity to come up with more things. Even when I don't feel like it, ideas keep showing up.