Saturday, November 7, 2015

Getting Shit Done

Dead on my feet lamenting that nearly every room in the house had something lying on the floor that needed to be tossed, put away, cleaned or reassembled...I turned to my 8-year old, Kate and said,

"Wouldn't it be great if we could summon the fairies and they would quietly and blissfully put everything away while we closed our eyes and paid them with our gratitude?"

To which she said, "We can all be fairies and work together to make our home shine."

God damn it.  Why do children have to ruin a perfectly good moment by relaying something sentimental and so fucking heartfelt that you have nothing left to do other than to plaster a fake smile across your exhausted-ass face and whistle while you work?

Her comment stuck with me as I've been reading and re-reading Elizabeth Gilbert's latest masterpiece, "Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear."  Gilbert's mantra is that all of humanity are co-conspirators with inspiration.  Essentially, ideas are just as real as the people who bring them to life and are literally searching for their partner in crime.

The trick for us makers is to show up every day, open, ready and willing to do the work.  That means putting one foot in front of the other or in my case, one finger upon one letter upon the keyboard or alternately, one pencil stroke upon the paper.

Inspiration much like magical fairies are few and far between.  But what is certain is that much like doing the dishes or the wash or mowing the lawn or gathering the groceries, shit needs to get done.

Honing your craft comes from persistent diligence understanding that every now and again, an incredible idea will land when you least expect it, but until then, you'll be writing, painting, singing, dancing, actively moving and engaging in your life...much as you would pick shit up off the floor and tidy your abode.

It's simply part of what you do everyday.  And the very best line you can say to yourself is that you made a really shitty something or other today versus "I was too scared to even attempt to put myself in the world. Hence, I have nothing but the 'put away dishes' to show for myself."

And so, I can say that as of late, I have quietly and not so gracefully been learning how to make my craft of writing a daily priority...treating it as I would anything else that deserves attention in my life....trusting that over time and with enough consistency, inspiration will shine upon me and I'll deliver a line or two that makes my heart sing, but until then, I'll turn out shit dutifully. Because that's how you get shit done.

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