This isn’t a hack I’ve experimented yet – rather something that might be a really good idea, and I wanted to capture it while it’s fresh.
Today, I did an online yoga video where the instructor encouraged us at the beginning of the practice to set an intention. She explained that this served as a helpful container for the experience.
And it dawned on me that actually, this might come in really handy for writing.
Earlier today, I’d read a piece on Medium from Jessica Wildfire that talks about how sometimes talented people get so bogged down that they don’t finish projects and move on. (Most creatives I know can relate to this at some point in their lives.)
And these two pieces clicked together.
I wonder – what would it feel like to use this practice of setting an intention in the writing process?
It seems that this would be a really helpful tool for a number of reasons:
- To make sure I’m fully engaging with the artistic process, as well as thinking about the product;
- To know when a project is done;
- To find the right direction to keep moving during the inevitable moments when I feel discouraged, or that I’ve lost my way.
For a number of years I’ve used the trick of summing up the heart of my current piece on one sticky note and putting it over my desk.
But that’s something different – that’s about the work that I am writing.
Choosing intention is about me as an artist.
What do I want to accomplish? Why am I making this? Why does it matter to me? Why am I showing up to do this work at all?
It’s not necessary to find clever, or original, or complete answers to these questions. Just picking something and using that as a container for the experience is enough: a way to make sure I’m growing as an artist, and a helpful tool to know when a project has reached its end.