Miss Pelican's Perch

Looking at my World from a Different Place

The Importance of Writing Daily(?) and Going on Artist’s Dates

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You may have noticed (or not), that I have not posted for nearly a month. This is because at the last moment  on Halloween Night, I decided to participate in the 2012 NaNoWriMo.   November is National Novel Writing Month, and I and a quarter of a million other people committed to writing 50,000 words of an original novel in thirty days.  I had a spurt of writing over the last five days,  and I was able to get mine done in twenty-five days (50,881 words to be exact).  I was able to finish early mostly because I had this long holiday break;  also  I had become  sick and tired of getting up at 4:30 in the morning to write before work, writing during my lunch hour at work, and writing for a couple of hours after work.   Before I started, I debated on whether I was crazy to try this at such a busy time of year.   I have determined that yes,  I was crazy.   As you might expect, writing this amount of words in that short a period  did produce a novel of amazing crapitude.

And in case you are wondering, my story is about a couple of kids with extraordinary paranormal abilities who solve a mystery.  (Did I say “crapitude?”  I meant it.)

But what I want to focus on today is the importance of writing on a regular basis and to engage in regular activities that will fuel the imagination.

When I decided to engage in this project at literally the last minute on October 31, I was able to do so because I had an idea for a story.    That idea had taken hold four days earlier.   First, I was sitting in a bagel shop in the South Bay doing a bit of writing.  I had taken a writing prompt pulled from one of the half dozen “jump-start your creativity” books I have.  (I think many of you have these same books).    The prompt was “pick five words at random and use them in a 20 minute timed writing.”   I used an online random word generator and was given these words:  tune-up, tetra, verdant, wizard, and vivid.   Twenty minutes later I had a few paragraphs.

Second, the reason I was in the bagel shop in the first place was that I was on my way to my Artist’s Date and I stopped for breakfast.  I was on my way to a museum to hear a lecture on Victorian mourning practices (see the previous post).

That timed writing in the bagel shop plus the lecture and tour of the Victorian mansion provided the idea for a whole novel.   For the next several days, that idea kept rolling around in my mind until I received an e-mail from the NaNoWriMo folks and I decided to let the idea loose to the universe.

The next time I don’t feel like writing in my journal or taking myself out to do something interesting and unusual, I will remind myself that if I want to be a writer, I need to engage in this discipline.   Regularly letting ourselves go in the playgrounds of our writing journals and the seemingly self-indulgence of treating ourselves to an artist’s date are disciplines vital to our writing spirits.

So, I encourage you to delve into your stash of writing prompts and get writing.  I urge you to schedule something fun to do this weekend.   If you are already doing that, then go trolling through your notebooks and through your photographs for story ideas.   I guarantee you that there is at least one screaming to be let loose.

Pelican1 (c) 2012

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5 thoughts on “The Importance of Writing Daily(?) and Going on Artist’s Dates

  1. -salutes and goes off to write- Great blog

  2. Well done. Fascinating insight into your writing process.

  3. You made a lot of very hard work look fun… ! What an adventure and what a great way to tell the story of a story 🙂

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