Grinding

I find the hardest part of being creative isn’t working hard—it’s working consistently. This WordPress and writing every day project is a big part of that: I’m not very good at doing this whole thing consistently, so I’m addressing that weakness and hopefully getting a lot better at writing. It’s also manageable. One post. Just one! A couple hundred words, if that. Five hundred if I’m feeling the juice. It’s not so bad.

It’s exercise, essentially. Just like I’ve been prone to say, “I’m getting back in shape” then hit it hard for a few days, a week, then burn out or pull something, so too have creative projects gone in fits and starts and ultimately been abandoned. It’s not how far you run—yet—it’s that you do it every day.

On my lunch break, I was watching a bit of an old documentary about street photography, specifically that of Joel Meyerowitz in 1981. And he had this quote that really struck me as being rather apropos:

“If you don’t come out on the street day after day and pound it, you’re not gonna get pictures. You can’t just pay a visit to it, as if it’s a field trip… You go out every day and you pay attention to it, you pay your dues.”

So even if it’s a somewhat uninspired intro to a documentary link, or a post essentially about posting—the worst—at least I’m out here, pounding the pavement. Or at least the keys. Check it out here:

 

Meyerowitz’s love affair with the action of the street, the way bodies move and react and pass by each other, is nothing short of inspiring. Watching him break off midsentence to pounce on an image, a scene, and snap a few pictures, then come back to the thought exuberant at the experience: wow! That’s kind of what really good writing feels like in the moment. Sure, there’s editing and proofing and going over it time and again to make sure it’s tight and economical and balances well on the page, ideas flowing and staying straight—that is certainly key to great, enduring writing. But there’s nothing like the high of fingers flying on keys, ideas pouring forth, the slight worry you’re not going to get it all down in time as you outpace the clock and lose track of time. That’s really what the daily writing is about. Breaking into that space as often as possible. I’d like to live in that space. I really would.

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