WRITE UNDER PRESSURE.
I’ve participated in NaNoWrimo twice. National Novel Writing Month occurs during the month of November each year. I’ve completed NaNoWrimo once. The goal is to write 50,000 words in one month. That’s a lot of pressure. My writing wasn’t perfect, and most of the time rambled, but theres no denying the moment magic joined me and changed my writing life.
To be able to finish NaNoWrimo, I wrote all the time. While I watched/listened to TV, had conversations with family and friends, listened to music, even while I listened to audiobooks. It was a sort of dance between my hands, brain, and the unknown creativity waiting for me. Each day I set my goal and began writing. I’d wait to hear a word, phrase, or idea that would help to progress my narrative in unexpected ways. Little by little, words began to flow, sometimes like a stream and sometimes like a waterfall, but they kept coming. For the duration of Nanowrimo I made sure to be receptive to the bits and pieces of inspiration. Then I’d use them, transform them, in some way. My writing flourished and became alive as I wrote my way to 50,000 words. (NOTE: I never copied anything word for word. I used the magic to clarify direction, open a plot doorway, create more depth.)
Then, a couple of days ago, I was listening to a poetry podcast and a poet spoke about how she wrote her entire book using 4 completely unrelated books. None of them were poetry books, they were more educational in nature. Anthropology, spirituality, stuff like that. She highlighted words and phrases that stuck out, then she combined them into a poem, and eventually into an entire book of poems.
I felt validated. I became excited. I understood the message: I need to get out of my own way and let the magic happen. Keep an open mind, listen for the inspiration, transform my writing.
Why not give it a try?
Set a time limit and/or a word count. Start typing/writing. Soak everything in. Listen to the radio, or TV, or favorite podcast. Talk with people. But keep typing/writing. In the end, I hope you will be amazed at the richness you added to your writing by being open to the magic of creativity and be willing to work under a little pressure.
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