Sunday, October 09, 2011

A NaNoWriMo Related Self Pep Talk

Autumn writer's palette
As I was avoiding writing today, I started playing with the various writing implements on my desk. I like how these look together...autumn leaf colors!

It's frustrating. Two weeks ago, I was in writing frenzy mode. I wanted to spend all day every day scribbling everything that popped into my head. And my head was busy. My mind was bubbling over with ideas. I was so excited about the prospect of NaNoWriMo I could hardly see straight. This week? Not so much. There were days I didn't even manage a brief journal entry. Once I start one I usually manage a few words, but...ugh...I'm not feeling it. Doesn't bode well for November.

Or does it? Isn't that, in a nutshell, part of what this whole NaNoWriMo thing is about: to show us that even when we have the writing blahs, we can still do great things? As Jack London so colorfully put it, "You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club."

Watch out, Inspiration. I've got you in my sights.

9 comments:

Mike Speegle said...

It's important, I think, to write especially when you don't feel like it. It's that ability that separates us from the "gee I've always wanted to write a novel but just never had time for it" crowd. Brrrr...it gives me the shivers just thinking about it.

notagain said...

Would it help to hear typewriters clattering around you? I was thinking of trying to arrange a type-in/write-in for November in Olympia. Those not doing NaNo can throw out challenges or facilitate in other ways to keep us going. What do you think?

Anonymous said...

When I worked outside the home, I had two sayings on the wall. The first was your Jack London quote. The second went "Amateurs wait for inspiration; the rest of us just get up and go to work." They worked for me and the staff I managed. (Not sure the younger staff really appreciated them.)

I no longer have deadlines but the sayings are still on my office wall. They help everyday when I'm feeling lazy (too often) and especially for NaNo.

Jeff The Bear

Art said...

Amen, sista. You and me, sounds like we're in the same place... Don't know what it is about this year, but...

We'll get through it. And brilliantly, I might add.

mpclemens said...

My brain vapor-locks right at November 1st. The characters and I are strangers: I've been peering at them through panes of frosted glass for months or more, but I don't really know what they're like. Then November 1 comes and throws open the windows, and we make introductions, a little awkward small-talk at first. I say "how about taking a drive to Arizona?" and they say "sure, but have you met my grandmother yet?" and then we're off, learning how grandma raised pigeons to carry messages across the front during the war, and how she met her husband outside the USO dance, and how "Beyond The Blue Horizon" always makes her choke up a little, but in a good way, and she puts a 78 on in the over-upholstered living room and serves Lorna Doone cookies with ice-cold lemonade in jelly jars while everyone listens to the crackle of the Victrola in the corner, sitting on the old mahogany table with the clawed feet, and that big chip where her daughter (the main character's mother) ran her new scooter into it on Christmas morning, 1952.

NaNoWriMo is a giant free-writing exercise, as you well know, being a veteran of many Novembers. You can do it because you've done it. Just let those characters move in to your head and start talking. That's my plan (except when I have to crack the whip to get them to move. "You've got to be in Flagstaff by the 20th! Drink up, say goodbye, and let's go!")

Little Flower Petals said...

Art - thanks, I needed that! Especially the "brilliantly" part.

Jeff - amateur though I be, I like that other quote!

notagain - that would be fun! I'm still thinking I'll likely do a good portion of NaNo by hand (lately it's pencil once again), but that doesn't preclude a type-in...

Speegle - agreed. I do wish sometimes it was less of an up and down sort of journey, but I wouldn't miss the entire journey just for the sake of the unpleasant sloggy bits.

And Clemens? You're obviously already in NaNo mode, dude. I need to start gearing up for my annual two weeks of hating your guts for being so far ahead of me...

Duffy Moon said...

"You can do it because you've done it."
I need to wrap my brain and my fragile self-confidence around that one.
I haven't "done it" in a while, though. It's hard to get that mojo back.

Cameron said...

You've arranged your pencils like swords at the ready. Prepare for battle! Best wishes.

Little Flower Petals said...

Cameron, glad to hear you're joining us in this madness! You'll have a blast, wait and see!