The days of winter are upon us as the days cool, and the leaves turn. The holidays are coming, and both cooler days and holidays lend themselves to a time of reflection. Each year we reflect on the days passed and the years to come. So, in our own days of reflection and decided to manifest what our future might look like, Matt and I have taken a page from Steve Vai’s book for reaching new heights creatively.
There is a story of guitarist Steve Vai, a hero of Matt’s, who fasted for a number of days, went into his studio and hit a new level in his playing. I can’t remember the song or album. Matt could tell you. But, the impetus was this: when your mind and body are as clear and focused as they can be, where might it take you creatively?
On October 1st, Matt and I began a “detox diet”. We quit coffee, processed foods, dairy, and switched to organic juices and herbal teas for a couple of weeks. Our plan is to feel better and to see where our creativity can take us now that we’ve lightened the load as it were.
Getting our creative juices flowing is just in time, too, with NaNoWriMo around the corner. If you’re planning to try your hand at National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) next month, it’s a good idea to plan ahead now. That way, you can sit down at your computer or pen and pad and begin writing. There’s only 30 days in November, so the more prep work you can do in October the better.
Now is the time to craft your premise (what your story is about), make an outline of some sort (it can be a page in paragraph form or more detailed), develop your character profiles, and so on.
Choose a time to set aside to write. Whether it’s 15 minutes a day or four hours a day or more, doesn’t matter. The idea is to have a set schedule and armed with your October preparation you’ll be surprised how much you can do in 15 minutes!
But, whatever time you choose, make it part of your daily routine. Just think…if it takes 30 days to develop or break a habit and you get in the habit of writing daily over the next month or two…what won’t you be able to do?
A recent suggestion I’ve taken to heart recently has been the idea that when writing, simply write. Don’t worry about editing until the next day. So, write for your 15 minutes or longer, then put your work aside, and come fresh to it the next morning. But, even then, limit your editing to say, one hour. Then begin writing again. And do the same the next day. It is a freeing exercise, I’ll admit. I tried it the other day and wrote over 1,000 words in 15 minutes, which I don’t usually do. Why? Because I’ll write a parapragh or two or a page, then spend the rest of my time editing.
Arm yourself with all your necessary tools – pen, paper, notebook, and/or computer, or even typewriter. All things old are new again! Vinyl, anyone?
So, as we start October, and make plans for the coming months, whether you plan to write your novel in 30 days with NaNoWriMo or just need some direction on getting started, I hope this post gives you the inspiration you need to get started.
“I want to do something splendid…
Something heroic or wonderful that won’t be forgotten after I’m dead…
I think I shall write books.”
Break a Pencil!