Of all the creative blockages I have been trying to shift The Clean Sheet is the easiest. It was barely blocked. Sometimes it’s the only creative thing I feel really excited about during a week. It’s meaningful to me. It’s also something that I can get close to perfect. After a few edits I am confident that I have managed to put what I intended into words. This doesn’t happen every time, however I would say it happens often.
I hope The Clean Sheet is helpful to others because it is certainly helpful to me. Once an acquaintance tried something I suggested and it made a big difference to her. That was such an amazing achievement! For both of us!
The most important activities are to write and post, the most important of all being writing. Just write!
I’d really like to write some posts about music. Music is a massively life enhancing aspect of my life. I personally am not musical and I can only offer singing along quite badly. I love to go to gigs and concerts. Seeing live music is something that always makes me feel like I am living The Life. Hearing a great new track can improve a week dramatically, it can literally propel me through a day at the office.
I always try to include a little humour in my posts (I don’t always succeed) and I think writing about music would help to lighten things up a bit. They could be celebratory posts. Hooray for music!
I’ve got some partially drafted posts which I will work my way through. These days I am much more likely to just abandon something that doesn’t come together. There will always be more words… (I hope. Yes there will be.)
I need about an hour and The Clean Sheet is a daytime activity so it has to happen on a non-work day, it’s not an evening activity (it’s too stimulating and will keep me awake at night). The time of day does not seem to matter. Like I said, it’s one of the easiest creative activities of the week.
Sustainable & Aspirational
The intention is always to write, post, put the link on facebook and then write some more. I’d like to post something every week and ideally more than once a week.
I am not going to set any rigid goals and I don’t want to push myself to post something. When I read other peoples blogs I don’t like it when they apologise for not posting. It’s fun and it’s free and it should be no pressure. Churning out posts is not where it’s at for me. So if I don’t post I am not going to apologise! I want to aim for quality and meaning at my own pace.
Less lists and more action
I have some lists of ideas so that I don’t forget. In general though I have a set of folders I work through: Posted, Ready, In Progress and some loose files.
I start in Ready and re-read the last piece that I thought was ready. Sometimes I edit and sometimes I just post it, at which point I move it into Posted.
Then I go to In Progress and start working on something partially drafted. When I think it’s ready I move it to Ready.
Organizational science at work people! Can you tell I am a document controller by day?
If I get that far, I pick a loose file to work on which is sometimes just one line as an idea or a partial draft. If I already have an idea spinning in my mind I just work on that, like a maverick renegade blogger that is not following the folder structure or controlling the documents. I feel so alive!
Stick to it
As ever, the aim is setting and sticking to my own priorities. I can’t think of a good reason why I wouldn’t be able to stick to this one.
Let it go
I don’t know where The Clean Sheet is going but I’ve always felt it’s going somewhere. A recent trip through the boxes in my parents attic has revealed that I have always written; stories, parts of journals, long essays... Enjoying writing is probably one of the reasons I did well at school.
I don’t want to become ‘a writer’ as such, I just want to write. Maybe one day I’ll work out how I really feel about writing and then I’ll take a big step. Maybe I’ll always just write for the pleasure of it or maybe one day I’ll stop. Maybe I’ll be published once, who knows?
The Clean Sheet can easily happen in 90 minutes per week so that’s my aim. One post, one status update and write, write, write.
Co-founder, The Clean Sheet