Unblogging and Other Disciplines

My creative life is a strange mix of negligence and discipline, of planning and spontaneity. I suspect it's this way for many creative people - that is, if they allow themselves to run with the natural rhythms of writing or painting or making art. I've been trying on the idea of not being a blogger. I have things to share about the creative journey, but once I start calling myself a blogger and getting hooked into the necessity of posting, posting, posting, then suddenly I am drained by the whole idea.

And so I am an Unblogger. Usually not a week goes by that I don't make at least one post, usually two or three. There is a rhythm and a discipline to it, but I don't pay a whole lot of attention. I simply do what I feel I need to do.

Thinking of my writing life, I truly have a discipline, in an odd shape. I get up at 4 or 5 in the morning, every morning - rain, shine, holiday, weekend - and I write for an hour, sometimes more. I call it my Poet's Hour. Yet I write any sort of thing; when I call it poetry it's pretty bad poetry. I don't work on writing projects, which happen in other hours. In my Poet's Hour, I don't write according to plan. The act of rising to write, of keeping an appointment with the part of me that crafts words and tosses them into the universe - this is the important thing, not the writing product. And so the act is the discipline, and the creative process itself is infused with spontaneity.

Sometimes we get it mixed up. We are consistent about things that don't matter. If I let blogging take over my creative life, I'd leak a lot of energy. But this is what we need to realize about ourselves: what practices most feed our art? We must not dig trenches for ourselves to fall into. Rather, make things as easy as you can for your creating. Demand consistency in what matters; build in a little space for the unexpected.

What are you strict about? Where are you flexible? Are these the right approaches for the right things? Make a list of what's working for you.

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