Monday, December 24, 2012

Experiments Week

It's the last full week of 2012. What better time to start taking my own advice? (Spoken like a true, proud procrastinator--I often want to write a book called Procrastinating Effectively: Best Practices for the Deadline-Driven.)

To keep myself on my toes, this will be a week of weirdo programming (like Shark Week, or the silly, doctored book cover above). I'm going to be posting here, but I won't be posting new poems (maybe I'll write them still, or maybe I'll just focus on revising and tinkering...

For a while, I've been thinking about changing up my routine, or taking time away from writing new poems every weekday. Back in June, I wrote this post about Creativity and Time, and Stefan Sagmeister's practice of taking sabbaticals. When I read Erin Loechner's recent post on Slow Blogging, I got inspired and excited.

One of my strengths is the being in the everyday-ness of life, I think. But this creates a weakness in me in that I sometimes overvalue routines or structures, without re-evaluating or stretching. In my writing, I often feel myself relying on what feels certain or comfortable, as opposed to taking more risks (a lot of perfectionism comes from the avoidance of failure--Leo/Virgo cusps, can I get an amen?).

The other reason for my deliberateness in my process and use of time: many competing projects and deadlines (this is a human issue, not just mine---well, maybe it's an American issue). For the first time in my life, I bought a dry erase wall calendar this year, to try to feel more organized and less scattered. (By the way, my cats respond by putting their front paws on the calendar, and slowly slipping down, thus erasing what I've written.)

My writing is a place where I try to give myself permission to fail (and sometimes I do, in that I don't always love the poems I post here on my site). What I keep learning is that the more I remove obstacles, structures, and certainty, the more I will learn to trust my voice and decisions. As an artist, this is crucial. I'd like to do a little less guarding against uncertainty.

I'm curious also to know about your own creative challenges--what are you working on/working through these days?

This week, I wonder what will happen.  Let's find out together.


  1. All good, Hannah. Looking forward to seeing some of those experiments.

    Wishing you much beauty during this holiday season. Merry Christmas!

  2. I'm not on the cusp, but I'll shout out an "amen!" for trying new things and stretching the creative muscle. Thanks, Hannah, for sharing consistently good writing and thought.