Creativity's Workshop

Taming and Training Your Creativity to Write Abundantly

Recuperating from the Fray of Madcap Writing


A young man asleep by his computer after a pizza-fueled writing session.

I’m slowly recovering from an intense month of writing, flu and the life in between. My mum has been visiting for two weeks and we’ve been having riotous fun together.

But now it’s December and one must get back into routine! Before we do that however, let’s just take a moment to reminisce.

Things I’ve Learned During November

This is the first time I’ve ‘won’ NaNo WriMo, and I’ve learned some things in the process.

Keep Muddling Through

This draft is one of the hardest I have ever worked on. Nothing seemed to gel and I remember describing it as ‘soul destroying.’ However, it did eventually lead to a breakthrough in my novel. And, to boot, I came up with several interesting ideas, including the answer to a story problem which has been eating away at me for two years.

So I’ve learned that the most important part of writing is the ‘ing’ – the continuing process. It doesn’t have to be pretty, and it’s not going to be easy, but by chipping away at it you’ll end up discovering things about your story and yourself that would otherwise never have been revealed.

Enthusiasm is Important, But Not Always Possible

My days were always easier when I was enthusiastic about what I was writing. Words flowed (at one point 2,200 words in 60 minutes) and ideas gelled.

But part of my problem was that November started one week too late. 7 days before November 1st I was ready to go! I had my ideas, my characters and my plot all lined up, I just needed to be unleashed. During that extra week stuff happened and I ended up landing on November 1st with no enthusiasm and the sinking feeling that I’d bitten off more than I could chew.

Still, I sat down at my computer and started to write. I forced those words onto the page, even on days when they felt ridiculous, hollow and just plain meaningless. I knew what I was writing was rubbish, and even now that I look back on it I don’t think I’m going to use what I’ve written – but I set myself a goal and I achieved it, which gives me the following perks in return.

  • I have a sense of accomplishment. I did it! And I’m proud of it! I proved to myself that I can write 50,000 words in a month. If that’s possible, what else can I achieve?
  • I have propelled myself through a really tough patch of writing. On day 28, as I reached my 50,000, I came up with a fresh angle on how I’m going to write this story. I wouldn’t have got there if I hadn’t spent that time and those words on my story.

So I wasn’t always a ball of enthusiasm and excitement when I sat down to my keyboard every day, but rummaging up even just a little pep to tide me through the first 500 words (and then the next 500 and the next) helped immensely. And on days when even that wasn’t possible, I just gritted my teeth and wrote the words.

We are writers. Even if all else fails, we have to write the words.

With those words now written, I can move on to my next set of goals.

Things I Have in the Works

I will now start working on the edits for my new e-book Tips For Those Contemplating Insanity, and will share with you all soon.

Also, I plan to launch a new blog early next year to do with all the whacky, wonderful, surprising and heart-warming things I have encountered in China. Don’t worry though, Creativity’s Workshop will still carry on as normal (whenever we work out what ‘normal’ is)!

I’ll share more details on these two projects as they come to hand.

Now, please share with us the interesting things you’ve learned over the past month, or year, or lifetime. We all love hearing nuggets of wisdom.

P.S. Sorry for the randomness of my posts lately. The internet and I are having a battle of wills at the moment. It took me over an hour to upload this post. Thank goodness for Freecell and Solitaire.


Author: Jessica

I'm a writer who refuses to pin myself down to one genre, hopping from science-fiction and fantasy through to literary and even the odd western now and then. Check out what I've written at or follow me on Twitter @jessbaverstock.

4 thoughts on “Recuperating from the Fray of Madcap Writing

  1. I’m always amazed by how much I come to learn about myself in the process of storylines and imaginary worlds. There is always a tiny piece of me in all the characters I write about, whether I realize it from the start or not. Congrats on reaching 50K!

  2. Congratulations on a successful Nano marathon! VERY admirable under the best circumstances, but it sounds like you had to navigate through some choppy weather. I learned this lesson too over the past little while:

    ” Even if all else fails we have to write the words”

    I think I’m going to make a creative quotable card up for this and add it to my collection (I usually have them within arm’s length of where I work).

    I’ve managed to keep at my creative practice 6 days a week despite the various challenges, but only amassed about 15,000 words or so last month, excluding the blog posts and varia. So that’s progress for me.

    I can’t wait for your ebook and your new blog. Bring on 2012 🙂

    • Wow! Thank you. I feel very privileged to make it to a creative quotable card. That’s very special. 🙂

      Congrats on keeping up your creative practice. 15,000 words is great!

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