So the first few days of this challenge were easy. Everything around me was inspiring poems – a mouthful of peanut butter, a lonely willow tree on the block around the corner, an orphanage full of incredible kids in Zimbabwe. Children’s poems seemed to be pouring out of me, and it felt wonderful.
Until Day 7 arrived.
I sat down at my computer and opened a blank document in Word. I typed a title and wrote a line or two. No, no, no, I thought, this isn’t it. I erased everything and looked around the room. Nothing seemed interesting enough to write about. I looked out my window. I started another poem, jotting down a few lines, but it too was falling short. I was starting to worry that I wouldn’t be able to write a poem in time, that inspiration simply would not come to me that day, that I would fail my challenge not even one-fifth of the way through. I knew I had to do something, but I wasn’t quite sure what.
So I got up and closed my laptop. I walked away. The stress was sucking out all of my creativity. I figured there was no point in forcing it. Not with something like this. I told myself, Jaymie, it will come to you. Give yourself some space and your brain will think of something. And eventually (luckily, before midnight) it did.
What was the lesson in this for me? Trust and commitment.
If you want to write, if you have it in you, you’ll write. You have to trust that… and at the same time, you have to be committed enough to come back, even when you’re afraid of the outcome.
Today when I started and erased several drafts, I was a lot easier with myself. I just finished my ninth children’s poem. I may not produce my best work on days like these, but I’m still producing something. And that’s what this challenge is really about.