Pushing

It’s good to push sometimes. For me, that’s especially true for physical activities.

Feel that burn, baby. Feel the muscles demanding, cease and desist already. Meanwhile, you make promises. “Come on, just five more.” You count them down and your muscles and joints respond. Then you urge, “Five more!”

“No,” they shout back, but still they try, damn it, and you go on like this with the sweat beading, streaming and dripping, stinging your eyes and flavoring your lips with a salty essence as your heart attempts to free itself through your sternum and your pulse thunders in your temples, until the end is reached and you are spent, and you sit, limp, breathing hard, but smiling.

I used to do this, too, with projects in the military and with my various employers. One more hour, I’d promise myself, my wife, my friends as the work day ended and darkness fell, but I’d need to keep working, keep going, chugging coffee, concentrating, head down and all in, until, fini. All would be amazed, asking, “You did that in one day?”

Yeah. I was ‘ate up’ as we liked to say in the military.

I don’t do that with fiction writing. Yesterday was a beautiful, glorious writing day. Finishing and editing one chapter, I saw the sources for five chapters – this is where they begin. I saw the chapter titles and the essence of their chapters and how the five flowed to form the confluence of the novel’s climax. So I wrote notes to capture the gist. As I did, specifics for the chapters came into my head, so I wrote random paragraphs for each, capturing scenes, dialogue exchanges, and sharp special moments. This went on and on. It seemed like an endless stream. I thought, “If I push this, I can write these five chapters today.”

But no; I don’t do this with my writing. After debating it and accepting the decision, I wondered why. I knew the why but I wanted something more tangible for me to understand. As I walked après-writing, I concluded creative energy is different from physical, mental and emotional energy (or time energy, but that would be a huge other post). I can only address it from my point of view, but I have my writing history, along with my drawing and painting history, to see how I approach creative activities differently than other activities. Yes, in my employed life, I often used this creative approach to decide how to tackle issues and situations, but once engaged, the creative energy was no longer required.

Perhaps it’s only me; we’re all different. Even though the end results, words in some media, look the same, we came to it in unique, individual ways. For me, the creative energy is deeper and more taxing to draw out, even when it starts gushing. I’ve come to understand, accept and respect that.

But this is a new day. Fortunately, I can draw fresh creative energy almost every day. Time to write like crazy, at least one more time.

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