Scratch Anyway You Can

When once the itch of literature comes over a man (or woman), nothing can cure it but the scratching of a pen. But if you have not a pen, I suppose you must scratch any way you can.
Samuel Lover, Handy Andy, 1842

I have off this morning which is two days off in a row, something I haven’t had since I started working in the restaurant. This is my new schedule to accommodate my school work a little better and after the weekend’s marathon 16 hours at the computer, my neck and my hands are aching. One thing I accomplished that I started last summer was putting all my poetry together; collecting, grouping and organizing it into separate documents. This has been really helpful in seeing where I am at the present moment and what I need to work on to visualize a collection.
I have also been reading a lot about creativity, the science behind it and techniques to use to develop self-discipline in your creative life. In The Woman’s Book of Creativity, Dr. C. Diane Ealy writes, “Self-discipline is the key to coping with procrastination. While spontaneity is important in stimulating creativity, creating is hard work, requiring more self-discipline than any other endeavor.”

One of the ways I’m creating self-discipline for the next three weeks is by working with another poet in a collaborative project. We are starting our project by emailing each other every day at least a couple of paragraphs about our creative process and our stumbling blocks and successes. Having this assignment every morning will put me right where I need to be. Ealy continues, “Sometimes we need a strict schedule to control our time and motivate us to work.”

How does creating a schedule help your creative process? This week I’m doing an experiment and sticking to a schedule that includes creative time. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Today a writing prompt to enrich your vocabulary. Use the following five words from The Words You Should Know by David Olsen. If you don’t know them you might need to first do a little research. And then write a paragraph or a page using your new words.

  • Rankle (verb)
  • Recalcitrant (adjective)
  • Amenity (noun)
  • Purlieus (noun)
  • Bumptious (adjective)

Now get back to work!

The Writing Nag

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3 Replies to “Scratch Anyway You Can”

  1. I love this idea of working with another writer, either independently to stay on schedule, or actually collaborating. I will have to try this. I have mostly worked with other writers on marketing things previously, sharing lists of markets and so forth.

  2. I love this prompt idea! As a work from home writer while chasing 2 kids, I have to be very organized and scheduled. I can not function or get motivated without my daily schedule. I also believe self discipline is very important to your productivity level. It can be difficult sometimes but it is a must. Great post!

  3. I am trying to get some sort of order in my life, but then DH throws a spanner in the works.
    Now I have a do not disturb, I am writing sign hung on the back of my chair,I hope it works.
    I have a writing mentor, we help each other, it is a good thing.

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