Day 13 of the @64millionartists #TheJanuaryChallenge. Today’s challenge is to write for up to ten minutes, then destroy what you’ve written without reading it.
I’ll admit from the off, I didn’t like this challenge. Probably I just don’t ‘get’ it, but despite going in with as open a mind as possible I don’t feel like I’ve gained anything from it.
Firstly, I love writing and I love reading. I do both a lot. Probably more than most people, definitely less than some. I love reading back over stuff I’ve written years or even decades ago; sometimes it’s unintentionally hilarious, but that’s not the point. I don’t see any benefit to spending five minutes of my precious time writing something just to be destroyed.
Perhaps the challenge is meant to be liberating; I’m meant to be able to articulate all the things I’m afraid to say with no fear of repercussions. I tend to speak honestly anyway (which is probably why I have relatively few very good friends) so to me it just felt wasteful.
Not just in physical terms (a waste of paper) but also a waste of my time. Every other challenge so far I’ve loved thinking about in those little nubbins of free time throughout a busy day, letting ideas accrete around seeds of inspiration. I’ve twisted and corrupted the briefs to create something that I want to do; but I’ve been able to do that. There has been plenty of room for interpretation and – dare I say it – creativity.
This challenge seems designed to stifle that. I have no problem with the spontaneity required but I have no love for the disposability beyond transience.
I hope that other artists have taken more from this challenge than I have, and perhaps I’m just grumpy because I’m full of cold. I’ve also discovered the work of @neal_grundy due to this challenge, so it’s not all bad.