On the eve of NaNoWriMo, with the spirits all about — a 1-2-3 last minute prep for all those about to explore their creative minds.
1 Guiding Thought
In a recent post, Shawn Coyne of the Storygrid.com discusses the power of having a single guiding global thought when we engage larger processes, like NaNoWriMo. When you consider the story you are about to engage in a month long embrace of creativity —
What is the one thought that sparked the story child you are about to birth?
For me: What if humans from Earth encountered humans that knew nothing of us or our planet? How would they judge us?
The full version is a bit fleshier and is printed on a card sitting next to my monitor. This card will be the first thing I read every writing session as a way to keep my mind focused on the stories ultimate goal. No matter how the characters and plots twist the path, in the end, only getting to the answer/solution/end goal of the guiding global thought matters.
Give it a try. And if you have a moment later on, have a look at Shawn’s post.
2 Hours a Day
The goal of NaNoWriMo is to empower the creative mind into telling the editor to go sit quietly in a corner so the Creative You can work. To complete NaNo means averaging 1,666 words a day for thirty consecutive days (or any mathematical variation you desire).
I can type 1,666 words in less than an hour at full speed, and bet many of you type faster than I do. However, the goal is not speed as much as it is learning to stay in the flow of the story without worrying about the pretty — although it can be as colorful as you wish.
When first conceived, we are all ugly babies. Don’t worry, you can make the tike pretty after November. *smile*
Now: Envision yourself on a canoe driven by a strong current and without paddles or rudder. You can tilt to the left or right to steer. You can settle or shift your weight to guide and manage your craft through the waves. The one thing you cannot do is turn and go back.
Let the typos go
Let the editor vacation in the Bahama’s
Let your creative mind play without judgment
Seen this way, NaNoWriMo is less of a challenge than it is a Gift to Your Creative Mind.
Now grab your friends (e.g. characters) and go play on the playground of your choice.
Three unrelated friends. I say it this way because, while we all desire to keep our promises to our families, we also know they are the easiest to gain forgiveness from when we fail.
So, three people to whom you are not related. Preferably ones you respect.
With these three friendly travelers: You’ll check in a couple times a week with: Your progress. Your struggles. Your breakthroughs. Your whatever. And, all of theirs in return.
There is no better way to stabilize your route through NaNoWriMo than with a few friends. Think of those buddy movies that open with four unrelated people in a car pulling into Vegas. *smile*
And hey if you have more than three. All the better. I’m GeneLempp (no spaces) on NaNoWriMo, and happy to buddy with anyone in the challenge.
I’ll be contacting my three Vegas travelers today. Who will your three be?
And there you have it, my friends, a 1-2-3 for NaNoWriMo — launchpad is set.
Time to fly