But no matter where you are on that spectrum, there’s a good chance that you’ve hit some creative lulls by now. You might even feel lost at this point in your story, stuck in a morass of half-formed ideas and feeling like your creative tank is empty.
I know I’ve had days like this over the month, but I learned an important lesson from NaNos past that helps me turn things around–to create, you must consume.
So often during NaNo events, we are so focused on creating that every free moment we have is spent writing. Before work, at lunch, after the kids go to bed–we are putting words down. And in many cases, the time that we’d usually spend reading, watching TV and Movies, playing games or listening to music disappears because we need that time for writing.
But it’s important to make time to consume as well. Because it’s the things we consume that help us generate ideas, and help kickstart the creative process.
I’ll give you one example. The story Jolene and I are currently working on for our NaNo project is partially inspired by the X-Files. So, before I go to bed each night, I set aside some time to watch at least part of an episode. It leaves me thinking about the show–the characters, the storytelling structure, the mysteries and the monsters of the week, and how those elements exist in different ways in the story we’re writing. And since I write first thing in the morning, I wake up with a brain full of ideas for the scenes I’m writing, and the ones that are yet to be written.
If you’re like me, then you probably go on a binge of watching, reading and listening in December, as part of your post-NaNo recovery. But it’s important to make time during NaNo to consume the things that inspire you as well. It will help you keep your momentum as the month wears on.
So, if you’re stuck right now, go immerse yourself in something that inspires you. You’ll be back to making beautiful words in no time.