Getting creativeAugust 18, 2009
Current word count: 21,859
New words written: 966
Words til goal: 18,141 / 422 words a day til the end of September
Another good writing morning. Yay!
I’m at a strange part of my story for me. My characters have moved to a different world, and I haven’t created a different world before, so it has been intimidating but fun. I keep reminding myself that if it doesn’t work for any reason, that’s what revisions are for.
My words written each day has been over my goal in only about an hour or two, which means that my fingers are pretty much not stopping as soon as I hit the computer in the morning. To do that, I’ve got to know somewhat where the story is going. So preparation is key. How can I get that preparation when I only just woke up minutes before? Being fully engrossed in my story all the time.
For busy writers, whether they’re busy writing or busy with the rest of the things in their life, tapping into creativity whenever you sit at your computer can be daunting, and difficult, but it’s a must.
If being a writer full time is our goal — being a published writer — we can’t sit around waiting for the muse to whisper sweet plot lines into our ears. When we’ve got publishing deals signed, we’re going to have to deal with deadlines and make sure we meet them (Check out what Editorial Ass said recently about Making Your Delivery Date). And to make those deadlines, we won’t be able to wait for the muse.
Being creative when you’re tired from your day-job and you’ve got bills to pay and a family to feed and laundry to do, etc., can be difficult. To make sure that creativity is there, on call, ready to be tapped into whenever you need it, make sure you’re fully engrossed in your story ALL THE TIME; not just when you sit in front of your computer, but all the time.
Some of my most creative ideas have come not while I was writing, but while I was doing something mundane in my life. That’s the time when my mind can wander back to my novel and explore, even though I’m not actively writing at that time.
Driving: I’m not advocating not paying attention on the road, but driving is one of those activities that, as long as you’re being mindful of the other cars, you can allow your mind to think about other things too. Next time you’re driving around, between work and home, the grocery store, kids school, turn off the radio and bring your story into your head. Let the characters play around in there and watch. If something interesting happens, make sure you write it down so you won’t forgot — but after you’ve parked the car, of course.
Walking: Exercise is necessary to keep up your energy, and if you’ve got a dog, it’s necessary for the dog too. But your walking time can give you a few minutes to mull over your story as well. I also use my walk the dog time to read, which is an excellent way of increasing your writing skills, but you have to make sure you don’t trip.
Showering: Another mundane but necessary action. While your brain’s on soaping up autopilot, allow it to also consider what your characters are doing.
Cooking: Turn off the TV in the background, and while you stir your sauce, let your brain wander back to your book.
The more you find ways of bringing your story into your head when you’re not at your computer, the better prepared you’ll be when your fingers hit the keyboard.
When do you get your best ideas?