smashing the doubt by getting it out

As part of my plan to build my artistic/illustrative skills this year, I have begun drawing every day and sharing pictures on Twitter. It’s a way of combating my self-doubt by just throwing myself into it and then putting the work out there. There’s no time to worry it’s not good enough and psyche myself out – I just draw and tweet. I’ve been loving it and the more I draw, the more I want to draw.

paints and pencils

I don’t want to leave my writing gathering dust though while I focus on my exciting new project and I wondered if a similar ‘produce something quickly and fling it out there’ approach might work with writing too. So this morning I set myself a ‘ten to one’ story challenge. I first attempted one last February and found it fun. The idea is you write a story ten sentences long. The first sentence is ten words long, the next nine, then eight… all the way down to one.

Here’s this morning’s attempt:

Katherine was hunched over her easel, struggling with a landscape.
Once, her artwork had adorned the galleries of Europe.
These days her tremors made painting almost impossible.
Frustrated tears rained down on the canvas.
Greens and ochres swirled and splashed.
Then – a presence beside her.
The young girl gasped.
“Grandma – the colours!
They’re dancing!

It’s not a perfectly-honed piece but I do like the way this challenge makes you think about the words you use. I also find writing with constraints like this oddly liberating – maybe it’s because I can’t spend hours trying to make it perfect (I mean, that last sentence clearly needed to be two words long but it couldn’t be) so I feel free to have a crack at it. Just like with drawing.

Why not have a go yourself? Be sure to tweet me if you do – I’d love to read it!

8 thoughts on “smashing the doubt by getting it out

  1. Rachael

    Oh I love your little story! Beautiful (she steals from the last line)! I know what you mean about these challenges being freeing.. I used to love writing 100 word stories for the same reason. I was even able to funny with those! I might have a go at this – you’ll be first to see the results if I do!
    Rachael recently posted…The Power of PoetryMy Profile

  2. Nicole (The Brightness Of These Days)

    I love this, the writing exercise and the drawings, I shall have to find the latter on twitter. This is what I do with my poems. They come to me quickly usually when I am doing something mindless (making lunch and getting the boys’ bath ready are often fruitful!), so I save them into notes on my phone and copy and paste them into a blog post when I get the chance. It has its merits, in that I don’t get the chance to stew over poems and tweak them endlessly but it does mean I’m putting stuff out there which I’m not 100% pleased with, which is frustrating. With a 2 year old and almost 1 year old though if I didn’t do it like that I wouldn’t ever post anything so at least it’s giving me a creative outlet. I love that you are also doing this, it’s validating my ‘method’! Lovely to link up today #Prose4T

  3. AmyLovestoSew

    Brilliant idea, love the writing you came up with from this exercise. I also set myself the challenge this year of drawing something everyday, although I only share them occasionally on my blog, you are brave to just fling it out there on Twitter, fab idea – will follow you now to take a peek…

  4. Sara | mumturnedmom

    I did the ten to one challenge last year and really enjoyed it, may be it’s time to try it again… Love your little story and it ends beautifully :) I’m glad that you’re drawing regularly, I might check out the twitter challenge that you’re doing. It’s been far too long since I drew…
    Sara | mumturnedmom recently posted…Me and Mine: January 2016My Profile

  5. Verily Victoria Vocalises

    This is a fabulous challenge and one I definitely must try! I LOVE what you have done with the words here and how you have associated it with something you are trying to achieve. Thank you for linking to Prose for Thought lovely xx


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