Creativity's Workshop

Taming and Training Your Creativity to Write Abundantly

How to Prep Your Creativity for NaNo WriMo

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A woman standing at the edge of a pool about to dive in.

Hi, I’m Jessica’s Creativity (you can tell from the purple text). I’ve been a little busy lately working on Jessica’s new novel for November so that’s why I haven’t posted for a little while. Anyway, I’m back now but a little out of practice. ūüėČ

I love watching someone launch themselves off the side of a pool, dive gracefully into the water with barely a splash, and then ride the momentum under the water for a couple of seconds before they surface to start swimming. 

Do you know what makes a good dive?

A large part of it is the stance you take up before you dive into the pool. 

Think about it. If you only get yourself ready for the dive during the split second before you hit the water, you’ve got about a 78% chance of belly flopping, which not only hurts but has got to be in the top 5 least graceful ways to enter the water – listed just above sidling in inch by inch with your face screwed up and¬†squeaking¬†about the temperature.

Now, what about when someone pushes you in? Then the whole thing becomes traumatic. Shock. Panic. Water up the nose, down the throat, in the lungs. 

Where am I going with this?

Well, starting NaNo WriMo is like you and your Creativity diving into a project. Ideally you want to get yourself into a good stance before you dive, then launch yourself into the novel using the momentum to give you a head start on your word count. 

However, some of you will only start preparing for NaNo WriMo a day or two beforehand, possibly leading to a rude awaking upon hitting the blank page.

Then there are those of you who will just shove your Creativity into the water on November 1st and expect a miracle. Now perhaps you and your Creativity have an understanding about these things. Perhaps he/she enjoys a good practical joke and may reciprocate in kind with a wild ride to the other end of the pool.

But can I plead with the rest of you? Don’t¬†traumatise¬†your Creativity from day 1.¬†Take a little time beforehand to prepare your Creativity for what lies ahead¬†by trying these suggestions.

Prime the Pump

You can’t start writing on your novel draft until November 1st, but you can still write plenty of other things,¬†for example:

  • Character profiles or a plot synopsis for your NaNo WriMo project.¬†
  • Short stories based on writing prompts.
  • Journal entries.

The important thing is to start getting into the habit of writing daily. Coax your Creativity into the routine of meeting you at a regular time every day to help put words on the paper. 

Writing is often likened to a water pump, which has to spew out dirty water first before the clean comes through. And I’m sure you’ve all experienced days when the words and ideas spewing forth weren’t up to scratch. But you have to pump them out for the good stuff to come.¬†

Now is the¬†below par output¬†your Creativity’s fault? No! Just the same as it’s not the pump’s fault that the water starts out dirty. It’s simply a fact of life – things stagnate when they’re not flowing (like melted chocolate and country streams).¬†

So start pumping now. Move the rusty words through your fingers and out onto the page. Your Creativity needs you to get the inner workings going, so he/she can start creating fresh ideas and words for you in November.

Expose Your Creativity to Interesting Stuff

Remember, your Creativity is like a sponge. You have to soak the sponge in idea juice before you can give it a good squeeze – otherwise nothing will come out!

How can you do this with your Creativity?

Try:

  • Reading good books.
  • Visiting interesting places.
  • Initiating interesting conversations.

Actively search for fascinating facts and intriguing ideas.¬†Deliberately place your Creativity in inspiration’s path. Your Creativity is stuck in your head, so he/she can only see what you expose them to!

Give Your Creativity Time to Mull

The best ideas come after your Creativity has had time to ruminate, or shall we say ‘stew a little flavour’ into the concept you’ve provided. They need to potter off into their own little space, make themselves a pot of maple syrup and ponder on things, stirring them around in the noggin for days (or more!) until the pieces kaleidoscope into something unique and usable.

So give your Creativity something to work on. Maybe it’s just the beginnings of¬†a plot or a theme you want to explore. Perhaps it’s a character you want your Creativity to get to know better to discover their secrets.¬†

Whatever it is, no matter how small, give it to your Creativity now and allow them free reign to mull it over so there’s something there ready for you when you begin writing…

…because you want dive into November as smoothly as possible. Okay, it probably won’t be a splashless wonder, but a little¬†preparation¬†goes a long way.

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5 thoughts on “How to Prep Your Creativity for NaNo WriMo

  1. I am not doing the nano thingy as I have to travel in november, however I have followed a few blogs preparing people for the challenge and wow has it made a difference to my own preparation for my first novel and I am NOT one to be pushed into the water or jump in unprepared. My primary concern right now is that i may be over preparing, time to tie my lifejacket on firmly and take the plunge .. c

    • Yes, past a certain point you have to get your feet wet and try it on the page. A lot of problems work themselves out once you’ve started writing.

      And remember, you’re not the only one in the pool. ūüėČ There are plenty of others there to help if you need it.

  2. I love your diving analogy – all great advice for Nano or any writing endeavor we take on. I’ll definitley keep this post in mind when I find myself stalling with excuses, “later” or “tomorrow” or when the writing is not flowing. Thanks!

  3. Pingback: How to Write By the Seat of Your Pants Through NaNo WriMo « Creativity's Workshop

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