February 4, 2018•310 words
Part of the reason I like to challenge myself to write everyday is to get over, as my friend calls it, the sacredness of art. When we believe the work we put out is the most important thing the world will ever see, it creates too much ceremony around something that should be casual.
Case in point: In the beginning of Standard Notes, there was a lot of development work to do, but I still needed to echo out signals of existence from this corner of the world. So I would write some piece on some relevant topic, maybe once or twice a month, and put it out into the world with great hope and anticipation. Because these were “ceremonious” occasions, I grew greatly disheartened when crickets befell my sacred work.
Really, that sacredness with which you revere your own work, or the idea of your work, is a strong withholding force. It optimizes for perfection, which usually means unshipped. The biggest unforeseen effect of writing every day? It completely destroyed any idea of reverence or sacredness for my work. It is so unvaluable in fact, that I know I will produce one each day, interesting or not. This anchors more on blasphemy than sacred.
This is something that I haven’t fully conquered. I still take many mediums far too seriously. But on this medium—where I constantly fantasize about never having started this silly flow in the first place—the unobstructed path before me, devoid of holy walls and ritual, has engendered a new kind of flowing creativity, which uses any scrap or piece and repurposes it into some other form.
You ever watch a long-running, really good TV show, and wonder—how do these writers keep whipping up great new obstacles and stories for these characters?
This bewildered me for some time, but I now know the answer: They have to.