Writer Paulo Coelho writes a book every two years — in a two-week burst.
My friend artist David Gordon is finishing up a 3-day hyper-creative scramble, aiming to create an insane number of new paintings.
Though most creative souls forge daily routines, a few find their best work comes from total immersion for a few days to a few weeks.
This method might best be described as a marathon sprint. Sprint refers to the relatively short duration of the creative period. Marathon describes the hour-upon-hour relentlessness of the project.
This is what artist and writer retreats are for. The exclusion of all else.
Sylvester Stallone wrote the movie Rocky in three days.
The Lord of the Rings trilogy took J.R.R. Tolkien 12 years to write.
Many creators employ both methods, at different project stages.
While favoring a regular writing routine, Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of Eat Pray Love, abandons herself entirely to the book in process as she nears completion. Relationships, showers, chores — all fall by the wayside in her final weeks. It’s a marathon sprint to the end.
There’s no wrong way to tackle a creative project. Only your way. The way that works best for you.
The best way — really, the only way — to find your own method is to start. What feels natural will force its way upon you once you’re in it.
For you —
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