I woke this morning with a poem hovering in the air over my bed. I’d hoped for a short story–I need one of those very soon if I’m going to enter one in the SiWC writing contest. However, when a poem hovers, you write, so I grabbed the pen and notebook off my night stand and jotted it down. I still need a short story….
This got me thinking about discipline and creativity. How much of writing is simply “just do it”, and how much is “inspiration”? I’ve forced words on the page just to get something written, but I don’t think they’ve ever been worth keeping. Are words worth writing if they’re not worth keeping? All writing we do contributes to habit, to discipline, so in that sense, maybe the rubbish-writing is still valuable. Still, I’m not sure I want to be in the habit of writing rubbish. I mean, sure, some of what I write does turn out to be crap, but I can’t help wonder if taking the time to put the right words on the page, rather than simply words, will train my brain to write better, to find the right words faster, to write less rubbish.
Then again, what about the “turning on the faucet” image…you know, priming the pump, so to speak…writing anything, just to get the words flowing. I think there’s something to that. It actually kind of works…
So…Am I going to come up with a decent story sooner if I just start blathering on? Or could my time be better spent, say, sorting my sock drawer and waiting for inspiration? And finally, the big question, is this whole blog post just another form of procrastination, keeping me from writing a contest-worthy piece? Ack!
Okay, I’ll get back to work now. But I’m curious what you think: are words worth writing if they’re not worth keeping?