This week I thought a lot about measured steps, progress, forward motion. Most likely because it’s November and oodles of my online friends (and several real life friends) are NaNo-ing. (I am not.) With so many people focusing an entire month on meeting word counts each day, it got me thinking of production output. For some, the NaNoWriMo challenge sparks creativity. For me it does the opposite. I get to feeling like a machine – spitting out a set number of words in a day, a week, a month, but losing the enjoyment of it in the process.
I am a slow writer. Ideas need to simmer in my subconscious before I can work them out on the page. If we’re measuring, maybe that means less rewrites later on, or maybe not. Who knows? In any case, that’s the way my brain works.
I’m all for setting goals, but for me, what works are goals that exist in the background. They keep me motivated to stretch myself and see what I’m capable of, but they aren’t burdensome.
Photo courtesy of Free Artistic Photos.
I spoke a few months ago about a book I was reading called The Art of Possibility, in which the authors propose that our focus doesn’t have to be on measured steps. It can be about embracing the fact that we are active participants – in life, in writing, in whatever.
I love this quote from the book: “The life force for humankind is, perhaps, nothing more or less than the passionate energy to connect, express, and communicate. Enrollment is that life force at work, lighting sparks from person to person, scattering light in all directions. Sometimes the sparks ignite a blaze; sometimes they pass quietly, magically, almost imperceptibly, from one to another to another.”
Whether you find that spark through NaNoWriMo this month, through the friends you connect with via blogging, or any of a million other possible ways, I hope you find that passionate energy that keeps you going.
What is the spark that motivates you?