When artist Carianne Garside made the commitment to a piece of art every day for a year through 2011, I decided to match it with a piece of writing, fiction, essay, or poem. I’m always worried about quality when pushing for quantity, but there’s always time to go back and do the editing. The other problem is story, but what helped here was the art to inspire, much as word and phrase prompts were the flint in the 52/250 Project that’s just finished.
When Carianne found in mid-April that other things pulled for more of her attention and she took a hiatus (I believe she’ll be picking back up her routine, but instead for the 100 Days Project through the summer), I wondered if I could continue with no obvious source of ideas, no limited amount of something to focus and draw a story around.
It’s been difficult, and yet I’ve found other ways to come up with narrative. The old fashioned way; looking around, reading, noticing, seeing something that may not be obvious without a creative mind to look for it. The other good thing is the freedom of timeline. It was often tough to wait for a piece when I had time to write but without knowing what the piece would inspire (in 52/250, themes were listed weeks ahead). Being me, I was often out of mental energy when I got the base to build on. I’m a morning person and was better waiting until the next morning to conceive and write.
Better too, to take advantage of a flow, and I often find myself writing several stories at once when the dam’s open. That covers me for days when the muse is on vacation in Tahiti with no cell phone or internet connection. With the 100 Days and the 365/365, I didn’t have that option of starting a story until I saw what the inspiration piece would be.
So coming back to time, while I feel there are certain stories that are some of my best work ever and some have already been published, I’m not pleased with each and every day’s work and would never have left these stories without editing before moving on to the next. But as long as I use downtime to go back and edit, to reread each story or poem and rework those I’m not happy with, that’s an acceptable method of working for me right now.