The Postcard Challenge

I tend to talk a lot about the things I’d like to do…write more…draw more…play more music. When I pause to look at the projects that I have on the go, I see many partially completed experiments scattered around my lab, some of which will eventually get finished and some that are doomed to remain in their various states of completion. Every so often, when I stumble across that mythical beast called inspiration, I am infused with a burst of energy that sees a mad rush of creative productivity and project completion over a short period of time.

I’ve come to learn that this magical ‘inspiration’ is not actually magic. Sure, the word itself finds its roots in phrases like ‘immediate influence of a god’ or even ‘divine guidance’…however, inspiration can be cultivated through daily practice. Regardless of your craft, the more you work at it, the more you practice, the more you’ll have bursts of increased inspiration and creativity and the more likely you’ll create better work, or even just work that you like better.

Instead of sitting around waiting for the gods to force my hand (pun intended…you’ll see why shortly) I am starting this postcard challenge. For years I’ve talked about writing more, wanting to write more, considered various topics to write about and so on. During that time, I actually did a lot of writing (much of it during school) and still, I struggle when actually putting pen to paper with regularity.

Recently, I was presented with a thought provoking challenge by a kindred creative thought criminal. It was simply a gift of a box of Star Wars postcards.


“Awesome!” I emoted (quite nerdishly, at that)….and then came the impetus…”I hear you speak about writing a lot, in principle, and thought you might use these postcards as a constraint to guide your thoughts into a more regular practice…”

Needless to say, I was touched by both the thoughtfulness and the clarity that the idea brought. Constraints can often drive creativity, and I intend to use the constraints presented by these postcards to take on the challenge of writing more frequently. To get more words down, every day for 30 days, and see what I can learn from the exercise. Will inspiration come more easily? Will my imagination get a boost? Will my ideas develop day by day? Will others get inspired to challenge themselves to something new?

Time will tell.

The rules are thusly –

  1. select card at random
  2. fill back with words, inspired in any way from image on card (not necessarily Star Wars related)
  3. repeat steps 1 and 2 for 30 days
  4. share my work online

I will say this…I’m going to include the date on the card, but might not post daily…all the stories will go up, however. I’m committing to sharing my work as part of the challenge.

The 30 days starts now!


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