“Not to write is for many of us to die.” – Ray Bradbury, Zen in the Art of Writing
This week, I’m listening to Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury as I work. I churn through audiobooks each week, as I create graphic designs, develop websites, and edit images. Most of the time, I choose light faire — from pleasant classics such as Anne of Windy Poplars to easy listens like Ava Strong’s murder mysteries. Little turns of phrase inspire me to jot down quotes or make a note about something.
But, for all my listening, and work of writing, I really don’t write as much as I feel like I should. To borrow another concept from Zen in the art of Writing’s introduction, I don’t get stirred up to write very often. I write. I definitely write more than the average person. I write multiple articles and emails each week for my clients so, my word count must be about ten thousand by the time I fall asleep on Friday night.
But, don’t write to me. And I write with little passion. Perhaps it’s the constant simmering.
Each day, I have loads of passionate thoughts. Like most people, things about life — the world— get me stirred up. I could very well draft an essay about each of these ideas.
However, I filter them through a sensibleness of responsibility. I have obligations that limit me from simply spouting off about anything at any moment.
So, instead of writing passionately about whatever I am feeling right now — even if I won’t feel much that way later — I focus on the discipline of writing. Each week, I make myself pull together some words about colors.
Sometimes it’s an embarrassing 200 words. I tell myself that I will go back and expound later. Indeed I might.
I missed one week so far and didn’t even fake it with a backdated post. I simply skipped it. The point of this thing was to keep in touch with my own voice. That simplistic goal forces me to sit down and write (sometimes flatly) about some pictures I took that week.
This week’s photos are a reflection of last week’s work.
I created a flat lay for one of my clients and the collection of tones pleased me. The fabric image is on a model wearing a dress from another photoshoot. I broke tradition and actually included a stock image for the flower. I meant to click my own, of a cactus or something. That moment didn’t materialize and the stock image feels like cheating.
Then, the pinkness of the palette felt like cheating. These tones are very of the moment — nearly passe. Cousins of the begrudged Millennial Pink, the combination felt cheap even for a slapdash project to flex my creative writing muscles.
By all means, enjoy whatever color you like — revel in mustard or taupe or chartreuse if that’s what makes you happy. Dress like Barbie or Fran Drescher or Fran Lebowitz, if you want. But ask yourself: Do I like this because I like this or because I’m buying back my own re-packaged childhood in the form of blush-toned lip gloss and stickers? Because the Pantone industrial complex is direct-marketing to my generation?
Thus, I teetered on that see-saw between begrudging pink for its overuse and rebelliously including it as a feminist statement in favor of doing what you like, even if it’s trite and girly. (Read: the 2016 article Why is Millennial Pink so Popular? by Véronique Hyland as well as Pretty Peony Color Palette 09 )
I like the colors for this week. I wouldn’t use them as paint on my walls, and I would probably never wear them on clothing. Yet, I like them. I like looking at those shades of pink — especially when they glow at me from seaside sunrises and spring from flower buds.
I imagine going to the desert one day and seeing their unique architecture painted in these pastel hues. It probably won’t be like the pictures in my head. But, I think I’ll still like it.