— UNEDITED FIRST DRAFT —
How do I go from an inspirational Instagram post to a published piece of writing?
I’d like to be clear that the above question isn’t a typo. This piece isn’t a ‘How-To’ post; it’s a “How-do-I” post.
I’m sitting here at 9:30 AM, with three things to do: parent, tidy-up (family’s coming for the weekend) and write. I was supposed to get started at 9:00 AM but Instagram has somehow glued my butt to the couch. The hand lettering and #artflowsession videos are demanding I watch them, and I can’t let them down by walking away.
This glued-to-couch problem happens often. I tune into Instagram looking for writing inspiration, browse for too long, and end up losing much of my precious writing time. Instead of finding answers in my own words, I’m left finding more questions in someone else’s words.
But today, I vow to do things differently!
I’ve put the phone away, grabbed my pen and I’m determined to find my answer to the above question, somewhere amongst the dust in the house.
Have you ever carried a notebook while cleaning your home? I started this write-while-I-tidy practice last summer, and in 10 days I’d written/dictated over 60,000 words (note: very few rooms got cleaned). This experience was the first time I’d ever written more than 1,000 words on the same topic. Seeing the word count on this manuscript was also the first time I believed I could give “writing” a try.
The manuscript was garbage. It’s so poorly written that I can only stomach it for small monthly reads. But it’s written, it exists; a non-writer wrote a 60,000-word book while tidying up (this is the main topic of the book, more on that later). The method worked, so I’m going to try again today.
The idea is to get ideas flowing, so I don’t worry about writing anything into a blog post. The only condition is that you write with a question in mind. My question last summer ways, “What do I write about?” and today, it’s: “How do I get from IG to writing? Or how do I get into the groove when I have so much to do and don’t know what to write?” This is a brainstorming exercise for days when you don’t have time for brainstorming exercises.
[Fast Forward one afternoon]
My little exercise turned into 5,000 words: blog post ideas which I’ll share post-mercury retrograde. And yes, I answered my question: the easiest way for me to get off IG and start writing is to clean.
I wish I would have found a more satisfying answer, but cleaning gives me incredible ideas.
Going through my house and physically touching every item in my home is like sifting through the past and it reactivates beliefs I once had. Each item represents a decision backed by a belief about my life, and physically handling these ‘things’, while in a curious and open mind-set, throws my creativity into overdrive. (This is the shortest summary I could make, more on this later)
This oddly magical, yet boring, exercise is the one “trick” that’s given me consistent access to seemingly limitless creativity.
— WRITING REFLECTION —
I can’t help but notice a drastic improvement in the writing quality of my first drafts. I’ve been reading A LOT lately, and it’s thankfully having an impact on my writing.
I’ve written a lot today, so I’m struggling to reflect on today’s piece. I have too many words/ideas swimming in my head, and it’s 5:05 PM Friday…. From couch to 5,000 words, I think I deserve to celebrate 😉
This post is a part of a 100 Day Writing Challenge series for bad writers.
Follow me on Instagram @onemomswords to see how I find my writing voice in a deep pile of messy words.
This is a new blog: no purpose yet, no images yet, no clear sense yet; just words, lots of tangled words.