Break out of a creative rut! | National Novel Writing Month

Photo by Nini Baseema

Back in June, I was feeling the dangerous and swift undertow of doubt, negativity, comparison and general apathy in my professional life. I was excited about the projects Michelle and I were working on, but my creativity was just not flowing, I felt stagnate and trapped and drowning in a sea of  remorse for time wasted.  I knew I needed to do something but I honestly didn’t know what I needed to do to pull myself out of this creative black hole. I started to worry that I had used up all my creativity for my lifetime and this sallow and drab emptiness where my once creative brain used to be would be my new reality. I had read something about artists trying different disciplines to help them reignite their passion. My work is in visuals and because I have a small babe I didn’t want to buy new supplies or have anything out that would be potentially dangerous. Trust me, I considered painting, sewing, ceramics all sorts of other outlets and then I settled on the most base one, the most simple and direct, one I could do from anyplace, that I wouldn’t need any special equipment for–writing. I had a kernel of an idea, just the tiniest speck, when I went to work I told Michelle about the idea of getting out of a creative rut via doing something different from what we are used to, shared the speck and asked if she would join me, this would help us both be accountable. We took it on as a challenge, to write something, anything, every day with the end goal being November–sign up for National Novel Writing Month. Have we been writing every day since June, um, no. Have we felt more creative because of this little project, oh heck yes!

Friends, November is upon us and we are going to take on the Herculean challenge of trying to write 50,000 words in 30 days. We decided to announce it here to make us more accountable and to see if anyone else was planning to do something as absurd as this. We have been trying for a few days to write as if it was November, the most I have gotten to is 1285 words, but that was better than the 700 I struggled with the day before. The name of the month is a misnomer, ‘novel writing’, because the actual goal is to just get to the 50k word count, what you write may not even make any sense, the idea being to start a daily writing practice. I can tell you having the project to think about has already helped immensely with my creativity, we have had many ideas for photo projects and are even going to try to do a once a month inspiration day where we go out and shoot. For the record, I don’t have much spare time anymore, it seems every hour, minute and second is accounted for, I have been squeezing in my writing before bed, a 30 minute slice a day, it’s not much, but it keeps me writing and not procrastinating, which I am sure I would be doing if I had the luxury of time. Is anyone else doing Nanowrimo this year?  We would love to know! Or if you have prior any advice for the uninitiated?

photo by nini baseema

P.S. This is an image from our Secret pin board, we pinned images that we felt inspired by that held untold stories within each frame, these are our tiny sparks to reference, hoping they will ignite even more stories that need to be told.

4 thoughts on “Break out of a creative rut! | National Novel Writing Month

  1. I am also giving NaNoWriMo a shot this year. I’ve been considering it for years, but have been nervous I wouldn’t be able to. This time I decided “who cares” and we’ll see how I do. Good luck to you

    1. Jimmy, that’s super exciting to read! Good luck to you as well! I think the only thing that helped me take the plunge is reading that it’s about the word count. If I sat and thought we would be writing a novel in 30 days, I think that would freeze me up completely, I wish I would have read that it was about the count years ago, because I think I may have tried it sooner. Having a partner on the project though does make it a million times better, although Michelle’s writing is insanely wonderful and after I read what she wrote I always go into freak out mode, ‘Oh, no, how am I ever going to come up with something that won’t look like I am phoning it in?’ But I plan to just move forward and see where it takes us, it feels both thrilling and masochistic, lol.

  2. I’m so glad to hear that NaNoWriMo is getting more exposure and more participants! I’ve participated for the last 5 years and have won three times. It really is all about being really intentional about making the time to write! I’ve found it to be extremely liberating as far as quieting my inner editor, since I’m prone to over-analyze every sentence after I write it. It’s all about just getting the words down on virtual (or physical) paper. It’s SUCH an amazing feeling to accomplish writing that many words in a month! Hope it’s going well for both of you! :)

    1. Thank you Claire! We are both duly impressed! So far it has been a bit of a roller coaster, excited, hopeful, panic stricken and a bunch of other emotions thrown in for good measure. It is certainly a challenge and we are in awe of anyone that has actually accomplished it let alone 3 times, kudos to you!

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