My dearest friend once gave me a book, " 642 Things To Write About". I've pulled out the book in preparation for a mini, personal writer's workshop. I am planning on using these ideas for a jumping off point for daily writing exercises.
I love the introduction in the beginning- "This book was written in a single day." It goes on to explain how one writer was asked by his editor to write a book called- 642 Things To Write About. The editor was adamant that the amount should be 642 of ideas so the writer emailed his writing friends for contributions. He thought that it might take a month to compile. Within twenty-four hours he had all the items he needed. As he writes,
"I tell this story because it's a lesson in hidden potential. You never know what might happen. In a single day, if you hit the right nerve, you could have something-maybe it's the start of something, maybe it's the whole thing. And it doesn't even have to begin with your own idea. You just have to get creative and plunge in."
On one hand, when you think of one day or twenty-four hours it doesn't seem that long. Definitely twenty-four hours of vacation or a holiday seems to blink by. But on the other hand, I imagine that you can think of days when the twenty-four hours seem to drag on. I know that when I cannot sleep, just one hour of tossing and turning seems unbearably long.
For the most part of our lives are days are compiled of twenty-four hours of monotony and that is okay. I enjoy Jennifer L. Scott's blog, "The Daily Connoisseur". This past week she writes that even though she is enjoying her family holiday in Europe, she misses the mundane and routine of home; cooking, cleaning, daily schedule. I can relate to that. As much as I enjoyed our vacation this past summer, I was ready to get back to that which I knew- my schedule.
I love the idea of hidden potential. To think, when we get up in the morning, we really do not have any idea of how our day will go. We can plan. We can arrange and rearrange our schedule. We can imagine how an event or activity will go. But we really do not know when or if we will get that phone call- the one that can give us joy or sorrow. We do not know what will come in the mail or unfold in our news or physically happen to us.
We also do not know if and when an idea or cure or item might be discovered or invented. As Alexander Fleming, who discovered penicillin writes, "When I woke up just after dawn on September 28, 1928 I certainly didn't plan to revolutionize all medicine by discovering the world's first antibiotic, or bacteria killer. But I guess that is exactly what I did."
What about you? What is your single day looking like? Do you awaken in the morning with the thrill of hidden potential? Or the dread of another mundane existence? What could you do differently to look for hidden potential? Explore something new? Re-evaluate what you already have? Try something creative? Collaborate with others? Or, can you look at your "mundane" with new eyes? Discover the hidden potential in the familiar?
When you think about it, we really only have a single day of life. The past is past and there is no guarantee for the future. We are called to enjoy, explore, and seek the hidden potential of a single day.