I’ve written every day for ten years. That’s not just a clever phrase for marketing purposes, I literally write as soon as I wake up.
Sometimes I write multiple times a day.
And the process is MESSY.
But most people will never see that, so today I want to give you an inside seat.
- A few days ago, I came across a quote that piqued my interest, “Time. Money. Space. Talent. You need all four to do great work… If you can fight for all of those things the agency will fly.”
It’s by Dave Buchanan, who’s a senior creative director at a global advertising firm.
- I captured the quote in my Notes app on my iPhone.
- I have 324 notes in that app, with interesting ideas, quotes or distinctions that I’ve saved because I might do something with them one day.
- I forgot about the quote for a few days.
- A couple of days later, I woke up inspired to write about this idea – the significance of time, money, space and talent.
- After about 25 minutes of writing, I moved the note to a folder in my notes app called, “Article Ideas.” There are currently 358 different notes in that folder. Articles I’ve begun to draft but not yet finished.
When it’s time to write my weekly newsletters, if there’s nothing I have in mind, I’ll dive into this folder for inspiration.
- Last night before bed, I found myself still reflecting on this theme.
It struck me that there are actually 5 values that are most important to MY clients: health, time, money, impact and insight.
I spent another 35 minutes writing.
- As I finished, it struck me that I’d created something mediocre.
There’s still an interesting concept in there but I’m not inspired to go deeper into it, right now. So, unfinished article #359 is now sitting in my “Someday/Maybe” folder.
- Before I fell asleep, the thought struck me that I’ve never written about how I write and how messy the process is.
The title of an article jumped into my head. And I wrote the words, “The Messiness of the Long-Distance Writer” at the top of a new note before I picked up a legal thriller I’m enjoying reading in bed.
- I woke up this morning and spent the past 42 minutes writing this article.
- Creativity is messy. You need to be committed but unattached. You can’t edit while you write. And you never know quite what you’ll create, as you’re creating.
But as my trainer says to me – when she is really pushing me – messy is sexy…
The creation process is best summed up by a quote that I also stored in my notes app:
“I don’t know where we are going but I know exactly how to get there.” – Boyd Varty
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