Finding Inspiration in the Storm
National Novel Writing Month is a month of hustle. We guzzle copious amounts of coffee or other caffeinated options and pound furiously on our keyboard, desperate to crank out nearly two thousand words a day. Every day. For a month.
There’s no question that your creative juices will dry up. It’s not a matter of if, but when. Here are five tips to refill your creative tank when your inspiration dwindles.
- Expect to feel drained. If you know it’s coming, it won’t freak you out. When the day or hour arrives that you open your computer and you have literally nothing to say, remind yourself that this is supposed to happen. Then relax and breathe. Nothing is wrong with you. You will get your groove back, I promise.
- Now that you aren’t panicking, do something to relax your brain. It’s been working so hard you can practically smell the smoke. This is a great time to go for a walk or watch Netflix. Listen to someone else’s story for a while. It’s a great way to reset your synapses. Just don’t forget to come back to Nano. Set a limit for one or two episodes and then get back to work.
- When you feel ready to face your manuscript again, be kind to yourself. I’ve personally had days when the best I could crank out was 500 words because my brain was cooked. A couple of low count or even NO count days gives your brain time to meander through the tulips. You’ll make up for it on other days. When I’m rested, I can crank out ten thousand words a day. So taking a day off is not a problem.
- Have fun. Writing a novel in 30 days is a challenge, for sure, but the fun we get to have creating characters, settings, conflict, and dialogue is such creative and inspiring work. Don’t forget that we are lucky to be doing what we do and enjoy the ride.
- Rinse and repeat. You’ll have multiple moments this month where you feel like you are writing in quicksand. Expect it. Know it. Embrace it. After all, this is when you get to watch TV with no guilt.
Bonus Tip: Don’t forget to sleep. Sleep does amazing things to your brain and creative muse. Grab a 25 minute power nap and then jump back on the horse.
You got this!!
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