The Finishing Project - An Invitation to a Poem-A-Day

September 14, 2012 candacemorris 10 Comments

Ever since reading the essay "Write Like a Motherfucker" by Cheryl Strayed, an idea has been knocking around in my head...the idea to get the work done.  Just get it done, not get it right. Go read that essay.  Below is one of my favorite excerpts and it cuts to the core of the writer's whine*.

"If you had a two-sided chalkboard in your living room I’d write humility on one side and surrender on the other for you. That’s what I think you need to find and do to get yourself out of the funk you’re in. The most fascinating thing to me about your letter is that buried beneath all the anxiety and sorrow and fear and self-loathing, there’s arrogance at its core. It presumes you should be successful at 26, when really it takes most writers so much longer to get there. It laments that you’ll never be as good as David Foster Wallace—a genius, a master of the craft—while at the same time describing how little you write. You loathe yourself, and yet you’re consumed by the grandiose ideas you have about your own importance. You’re up too high and down too low. Neither is the place where we get any work done."

Then, when reading the comment strand under a Google+ post by Wil Wheaton (yes, I just wrote that sentence), I saw that a reader had just completed a group project wherein he and the members wrote one short story per day for a month, just for the purpose of being able to write "The End" each day and to send it out to the world. 

Funny, I don't believe that there is a predetermined life for each human, but I do believe that if an idea won't leave you alone, you were meant to DO something about it... whether it be to share it, begin it, or complete it.  Furthermore, if you continually stifle these ideas, you will become artistically constipated.  

So here goes.

It is called "The Finishing Project."  In it, I am committing to writing one poem per day for a week.  I will begin this Sunday through the following Sunday.  The idea for this is not to produce quality work, per say (though that would be an awesome byproduct), but to produce a finished work.  As a means of accountability, I will blog those poems daily.

I want you to join me.  If you don't have a blog by which to share these daily entries, perhaps it's time to make one.  I could also make a yahoo group or a facebook page if we want a shared work-space.  Shoot me an email or reply to my blog below if you want to do it. 

To the doing,

*It's a thing.

You Might Also Like


I cheer you as you do it, how is that? : )
I love the passage you quoted because I see that all the time, the expectation to be grand without putting the effort into it....

Unknown said...

I'll do it! maybe a shared space on facebook?

Unknown said...

Unknown is me :)

eve! said...

I'm in. Can I do prose? Or a poetry/prose combo?

I've got an old, private blog I can use for this. FB group is fine, too.

thewindhover said...

I'm in baby, a great proposal, though a little terrifying too.

Cassie said...

I can't write poetry, but I know what it feels like to have a second beating heart.

Because the proposal is scary, yet timely, count me in for some poetry.


In. I'll post mine (and a link to your post) on my blog.

jmahaffie said...

I'm down. If you're sending out invites for whatever reason, my email is my last name, followed by my first initial, no spaces, at

Allisunny S. said...

Here's to good artistic movements with no creative constipation ;) I am in as stated on Facebook!

why not.