So, I pronounced the creative marathon officially over around 7:30 pm today after a solid 13+ hours. The goal was to create 20 pieces of original work in one day. Did I make it? Read on to find out.
Here’s a run-down of what my day looked like:
I woke up around 5:30 (I haven’t been sleeping well lately and having a bad head cold did not help). Ate breakfast and checked the online world to make sure everybody was still here.
About 6:15, I got to work and wrote my first song, on a topic suggested by a conversation with Cynthia Gunsinger at Jamie Ridler’s Groove-Back Dance Party last Sunday night. I like to gather ideas before a marathon, though if I’m adhering strictly to the rules, I don’t work on them at all in advance, I just write them down and save them up for the day of.
I finished that first song around 7:30 and leapt into the next one, a quickie, which I finished around 8 a.m.
My fingers were sore after that (I haven’t been playing guitar frequently enough lately), so I took a break to create a pastel abstract, humming while I drew. That humming sparked words, which sparked a poem/spoken word piece. Pieces #3 and #4 done.
After that, I sat at the computer for a bit and created the artwork for my new album cover (Item #5, though this was kind of cheating because I already had the concept totally worked out beforehand. However, it needed to get done and it was a nice break.)
For Item #6, I wrote another song, but wasn’t very happy with it. Discouraged, I decided for Item #7 that I would create a nap – a completely unique and original nap. I lay down, but couldn’t get to sleep and instead, wrote another song, an epic murder ballad with 9 verses.
Then, I started writing another song (Item #8), but stopped to make lunch and took another internet break to update on the marathon, check in with the rest of the world and cavill about the G20 disruptions in Toronto.*
Then, I started this blog post, which either counts as Item #9, or as the final item, depending on how I decide to tally everything at the end of the day.
Afterwards, I finished the song I had started earlier (Item #8) and wrote it down. I gave myself a hypothetical gold star for using the word “oligarchies” in it – definitely a first for me.
I was a bit at a loss after that, I must admit. It was about 1:30 and I was getting tired and thought maybe I’d just pack it in. Then I thought about my YA novel. Big confession: I’m a closeted novel-writer. I almost never talk about it. To anybody. (“If you talk about it, you won’t write it.” Though, to be honest, I’ve neither talked about it NOR written a word for almost a year. I started writing this book in 2002 – it’s okay, you can go ahead and laugh, I understand.) So, anyway, I opened it up and completely reworked the beginning of the book, writing 5 brand new chapters in the remaining 5 hours of the marathon.
So, total tally: 5 songs, 1 album cover, 1 pastel abstract, 1 poem, 1 blog post and 5 chapters of a YA novel. Total pieces of original work: 14, but the writing was pretty significant and I feel like it brings the total to the equivalent of 20 items, or maybe more, even with the deduction of the album cover, that wasn’t conceptualized during the marathon. In my personal opinion, the album cover, 2 of the songs and the 5 chapters are keepers and the rest is pretty much dreck. Not bad for one long, happy day.**
*I had a lot of fun sharing my creative marathon on Facebook and on Twitter (using the hashtag #creativemarathon). Many thanks go out to my Facebook friends and Twitter comrades for all of their encouragement.
**I wish to note that this was a great way to spend a day with a bad cold. It kept me at home and quiet, without getting bored or down-hearted. Plus, I am now totally exhausted which gives me a better shot at a decent night’s sleep tonight. After my rehearsal for Thursday’s Pollinator’s Cabaret.