Every Halloween, I carve my pumpkin as quickly as possible.
I put on a spooky podcast, sit down with a big knife and a smaller knife, maybe a pen to draw a design. I don’t plan it out. I see what inspires me in the moment—how I’m feeling, and the shape of the pumpkin. Last night I must have been in a grimace-y mood.
I am proud of my pumpkin and sent around photos of it glowing on my porch. Look at it glow, for gourd-ness sake!
Tonight I’ll join other islanders in lining a spooky forest road with our jack o’ lanterns. The pumpkins will shine out in the darkness, temporary beacons, and then they’ll break down in the forest over the damp winter.
I take the same approach with my costumes: last minute, based on what’s available. I’m planning to be a satellite train as it’s one of the spookiest things I’ve seen in recent years. All I need: black clothing and a string of white fairy lights.
Maybe you’re the opposite. You’ve been building a haunted house for months, made your intricate costume weeks ago, led a neighbourhood pumpkin-carving competition.
Imagine if you could bring that same sense of possibility to all your creative projects, whether you’re all in and a meticulous planner, or last minute and a tad haphazard.
This Halloween, allow yourself to write without it being perfect. Write a ghost story without a ghost. Throw together disparate elements and see what results. Take risks, knowing you can delete it later if you want to. Enjoy the act of creating—make your writing all treats, no tricks, and definitely no need to be haunted by it later.