Sunday, 11 November 2012

A shower of ideas

Today I hit a milestone in the novel I'm writing - 50,000 words. As anyone who's familiar with NaNoWriMo knows, that makes me a winner. Of course, there will be a lot more words to come if I'm going to finish this first draft this month.

I attribute my success to my crazy brain and the ease with which it throws up ideas. Recently I've really noticed one time when my imagination really gets to work - when I'm in the shower. Yesterday I had a bath in the morning (I know you don't want to know about my daily ablutions but it's part of the story) and I didn't manage to write anywhere near as much as I had hoped to. Today, a shower, and the rest is history.

My theory is that when you're carrying out such a repetitive, regular task, it gives parts of your brain the freedom to turn off, or perhaps to work on other things. When I'm in the bath I read, which is a great habit for a writer of course, but doesn't help me in the same way that just switching off does. You don't need to concentrate on the method of washing your hair (I hope) so your brain can relax, put its feet up and enjoy itself for a little while. For some people, perhaps times like these provide answers to the crossword, or solutions for an issue at work, but for me it's all about writing. I always come out of the shower desperate to write something down so that I don't forget it, and invariably it puts me in a great mood for when I come to tackling my novel.

Has anyone had a similar experience? Where do your best ideas come to you?

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

NaNoWriMo, or For The Love Of Writing

As I've said before, I'm not going to post about the pros and cons of NaNoWriMo - it works for me and that's all I'm going to say. This time of year, however, has become synonymous with writing for me because the first novel I ever managed to complete started life as a NaNo novel. That month reignited a passion for writing that had been gradually smothered by years of work and study - since then the spark may have wavered a little, but it flares up anew every November.

I'm an overachiever as far as NaNo is concerned - it's day 7 and at the time of writing I'm sitting just short of 33,000 words, more than twice the 11,666 that is par for this time of the month. I'm not going to guarantee the quality of what I've written, but the story is driving forwards and that's what matters. Ok, I'm a little competitive and don't like it when other people in my region get ahead of me, but also I want to get the first draft done while the ideas are still at the forefront of my mind.

The more I write, the more I love writing. I've been ill recently so don't have a lot of energy, yet I still feel like I want to run and jump and shout and sing about just how amazing writing makes me feel. I have a wide number of interests in my life, but nothing else gives me such fire in my belly that makes me desperate to be taking part in it. I will forever be grateful to the folk at the Office of Letters and Light who run NaNoWriMo, because now I honestly couldn't imagine my life without this burning passion.