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:

  1. To make sure I’m fully engaging with the artistic process, as well as thinking about the product;
  2. To know when a project is done;
  3. 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.

Photo by Ahmed Zayan on Unsplash