“Do the thing and you will have the power.”
“Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
“All is concenter’d in a life intense, Where not a beam, nor air, not
leaf is lost, But hath a part of being.”
Lord Byron’s “Childe Harold”
For a few weeks, I’ve shifted away from my main writing project and devoted time and little gray cells into a short-term project that’s close to my heart. Working on it has been intense, as in INTENSE. It’s been equal parts loads of fun and lots of frantic energy. I love when this happens!
To me, it’s what writing dangerously is all about: getting excited, making bold decisions about what you want to do and say, going all out and not holding back, and really, truly spending yourself and your creativity in service of writing that you really care about.
I know, I know — it all sounds a little, well, intense. From time to time, I’ve come across people who seem to shy away from getting intense. I guess they’re concerned or even a little afraid of the manic edge and obsessiveness of this state of mind, which isn’t all that comfortable and controllable. They have a point. But to me, that’s the fun of it.
Intensity is exciting and energizing, enlivening and enrapturing. Wow, 4 “e”s in a row — I am really intense and it’s only my first cup of coffee! For me, getting intense means that I kick up my focus a few notches and move into the obsessive, excitable zone where everything seems to point me in the direction of the project I’m working on, as if the universe is along for the ride. Just about everything I see seems somehow to apply to what I’m working on — quotes, company names on trucks, old scraps of my notes I find. At times, it gets a little eerily synchronistic. In fact, it gets so absorbing that I often can’t sleep. Why? There’s a halloo-balloo in my head — an unholy, clamorous ruckus. Here’s a poem I sleeplessly made up about it just last night:
Is really immense
No sitting on a fence
You’re in for a pound,
Instead of a pence,
And you’ve got total license
To write total nonsense
Like this crazy poem!
How about you? Do you enjoy this heightened state when you enter it? I’d love to know how it shows up in your life. Write on!