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Days Seventeen and Eighteen: Perhaps I Have A Solution To Entering "High Creative Mode"

"Abandon All Hope, Ye Who Enter Here." -- Inscription on the Gates of Hell, Dante Alighieri's "Inferno"

The worthy detour? I think I've got a formula for "High Creative Mode"... just it's not particularly consistently effective yet, and it's playing a pretty high stakes game. On Day Seventeen, I made my first crack at applying it, and had an incredible day. I wrote a 5000-word piece, that after editing and getting the ending right, I think could be amazingly fantastic. Just writing it was a joy.

Following from that, I was walking on air for the rest of the day.

In Day Eighteen, I attempted the same thing, and fell short. This was maddening, and the whole day was aggravating. I think I've got a rough formula for High Creative Mode, but it doesn't produce 100% results. And when it fails, it's pretty ugly, at least so far.

I kept detailed notes on both days, much more fleshed out than usual. There's more stream-of-consciousness. They're... honestly, a little weird. You can evaluate for yourself:

Getting the gold star

On minimalift

When I was five years old, my classmates and I used to all love writing stories. We’d be given assignments and we’d try to outdo each other in the eyes of the teacher. There was no formal grading, but there were red ticks and comments, with “very good” topping “good” etc. In general, more pages appeared to offer superior results, so quantity was mistakenly tied to quality in our toddler minds. I suspect those writing more were the ones who also spent more time thinking about how to make their story stand out. I laboured and I toiled to fill those pages with creativity.

Doing good work was rewarded very rarely with a gold star. Oh how we coveted those sparkly awards. Months could pass without anyone in the class seeing a single one. I think stationery may have been limited. But these stars paled into insignificance for creating exceptional work: a trip to the headmaster’s office. Normally the ultimate punishment (I was up there a few times for that, too), these visits meant the highest authority in the school would personally take a moment to stick a really shiny gold star on your work. Look, it was a poor school, okay?

Fast forward 20 years and no one’s giving me a gold star for my work. But I’m cool with that, because I learned a lot since then. Quantity rarely trumps quality, although this is not the truth for all situations. Most people like quantity in their bank account. So where do we put the quality?

Getting the gold star: being the master of your own head

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