I have been conducting a little experiment.
For the past few months, I have been doing a quick doodle every day. Nothing major. I simply pick up my pen and draw whatever wants to come out.
Sometimes what comes out is great. Other times, not so much. It doesn’t matter. That’s not the point.
The point is to create for the joy of creating.
A week ago, I had an interesting thought: Why have I chosen to draw every day? I’m a writer at heart. I always have been. Except I have a history of not writing because I am paralysed by thinking too much about the end result.
So I decided to try the same experiment, only this time with writing.
Every day for the past 7 days, I have picked up my pen and journal, paused for a moment, and then written whatever springs to mind. Whatever is in me that wants to come out, I let it flow out. With zero judgement.
If I don’t know what to write, I look around and let my gaze fall on random objects in the room until something shifts.
It’s a tiny experiment, and it takes seconds, but do you know what it’s done? It has reminded me of the simple joy of making stuff up.
I’m sure there’s a biological explanation – neurons firing, dopamine releasing, new neural pathways being laid down – but basically, it FEELS GOOD! And I’ve noticed that for the rest of the day, after my little word spree, I am more content. A little more ‘me-shaped’.
If you’ve been struggling to do the thing that makes you YOU, try doing it once a day, just for a few seconds. No thoughts. No expectations. You’re just making sh*t up.
What comes out doesn’t have to be ‘good’ or even make sense. (What a relief!)
Here are my journal entries for the past 7 days:
Put it this way, the toast was so overdone, when I chewed it it was like someone was walking on gravel in my head.
Circling through a jagged sky,
Landing on uneven ground.
Every time I look at the Cypress seed, I think it’s a poo. It’s small and brown and gnarled looking. He’s left it on the table, so I get a shock every morning when I see it and think, “Who has placed a poo on my kitchen table?”
The dragon flexed its neck and looked down at the girl. She unfurled her tiny hand and reached up to touch the whiskers on the end of its snout.
The wind blew to the east.
The wind blew to the west.
The wolves howled and prowled
And licked their lips.
Every day she wrote something. She took out her journal and smoothed her hand over the rough pages. She gazed into space. Her fingers twitched. And then it began…