At the end of my”365 Poems” project in 2014, I concluded that writing a poem every single day for an entire year had changed me in more ways than one. Now, coming to the end of 2015, I have found that not doing this challenge for a year has also affected me.
I think that anyone who takes up a project that requires them to be constantly creative is first and foremost overwhelmed by the enormousness of such a task. When I told people about my 365 Poems project, many were astounded: “How could you have the willpower to write something every single day!?” It certainly was hard work; many days were filled with words I’d regret later or “lazy haiku’s” that I felt no attachment to, and after all 365 days, there was only a handful of works that I really felt proud of. So when January 1st of 2015 rolled around, I was relieved that I could now just write when I wanted to and be satisfied with what I created, rather than mining words day and night and hoping for the occasional diamond.
However, coming into December I have found that this is really not the case. The problem that I think writers or artists of any kind run into the most is simply making the time to be creative. No, not finding the time; there are many empty minutes and restaurant napkins that are just sitting alone and awaiting our muses. The biggest obstacle is actually having the dedication to take out a pen and start the artistic process. With a challenge like 365 Poems, an artist is forced to give all that they have and creatively exhaust themselves for the soul reason of simply putting out something. It doesn’t matter if it gets 100 likes or changes the world or makes it on Freshly Pressed; it just has to exist. But by doing this, an artist can find parts of their creative psyche that they never knew they had; a lazy few words on a May afternoon can become the most popular thing that you’ve ever written, and it never would’ve happened if you hadn’t grudgingly taken out that pencil in the first place.
I wrote in a piece a couple days ago, Keyboard Poet, that I used to write in the hopes that someday by little WordPress blog would send me into author stardom and pave my way to becoming a famous writer. I think that a lot of us who come onto blog sites like this one start that way too, but after the chaotic year that I have just lived through, where there were months at a time when I didn’t touch my blog at all, I don’t find myself yearning to become a celebrity. I find myself only wishing to write: to put something down on paper and to not lose this talent that I love so much. Writing changes me mentally; it relaxes me, strengthens me, and gets me through many challenges. And as my life continues onward and I begin to encounter new obstacles, I do not want this blessed gift to become lost to the wind. So, after 12 months of eraser chewing and wastebasket filling, I have decided that it is time to once again take up my dreaded project. That’s right, my friends, it’s time for…
Three hundred sixty-six? What?? Ah, you see 2016 is a leap year, so I’m going to have to write for a whole extra day! (It also conveniently provides a different name for the two years; I love when things work like that.) So yes, I am going to once again challenge myself to be creative every single day for an entire year, in hopes that I will be able to better myself, my writing, and even the amazing people who come to read my works (that’s you, by the way).
Furthermore, I wanted to say that if you have ever been interested in doing a project such as this, I recommend it with full force. It will test you; it will make you hate writing some days and want to throw your notebook across the room, but in the end you will have an accomplishment that you can definitely be proud of.
My new journey begins January 1st, 2016, and I hope that all of you will come and join me.