Refilling the Creative Well – Listening to the Muse

Refilling the Creative Well, Part 5 - Listening to the Muse, The Rabid Rainbow Ferret Society, Serena Saint-Marceaux

Honestly I am very bad about recognising when creative burnout is looming upon me – or even when I’ve full on driven myself into it. When I have trouble creating, often my first impulse is to focus harder, to try and figure it out, start a new project or bounce to another one in progress. . .

Anything but ‘recognise there might be a reason for this and take a break’, really.

That tends to mean I don’t recognise I’m getting burnt out until I’m fully ensnared in frustrating, exhausting, tear-worthy inability to dredge out words. I mean, layering yet more pressure on top of already failing motivation doesn’t help? Whaaa?

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The Act of Writing

Alright, so our lovely Michelle is on vacation this week, so I’m filling in. I want to talk about the actual act of writing.

If you’re a writer–professional, aspiring, or anywhere in between–then you’ve probably read an advice column/blog post/book or two on writing. More than likely, those pieces of advice all had one thing in common: in order to be a writer, one must write.

Which is absolutely true.

But I think, sometimes, that people–especially new writers–get bogged down in the act of writing. We all know that we need to write. We even have a vague idea as to how. And yet, the act of just getting your butt in the chair and get to work is, well, difficult.

And yes, I’m speaking from personal experience.

But unless you actually get your butt in that chair (or couch or balance ball or wherever it is you like to perch on in order to spill out your words), you’re not really going to do any writing. So, as a person who can have an incredibly difficult time of convincing herself that she needs to actually work on her projects, I have compiled a list of ways I have managed to successfully get myself into my chair in order to write. Some of them may work for you. Some of them may not. I’ve added in my two cents on what I think of them, but at always, your mileage may vary. Try them out at your leisure, and let me know whatever more tricks you have personally come up with along the way.

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NaNoWriMo Calendar 2013

Welcome to National Novel Writing Month! So you have taken up the challenge to write 50,000 words this month. Congratulations! You’ll need a way to keep your goals in sight.

Your NaNoWriMo calendar for 2013 gives you an invaluable tool for successfully hitting your word count goals, and vanquishing your evil inner editor. Think of it like a second conscience, or a trusty sidekick to keep you on course.

Here are a few of my personal word-tracking favorites for NaNo 2013:

NaNoWriMo 2013 Calendar
Kudos to phophodrago. Continue reading

For Help with Goals – July #WriteMotivation

Header image and thumbnail photograph by Hugh Lee and licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0. For a little over a year now, there has been an event most of the Ferrets regularly participate in. It’s called #WriteMotivation (yes, it’s a twitter hashtag), and the intent behind it is to connect with and encourage other writers along the journey.

It is, at this time, a monthly event. #WriteMotivation is founded and organized by KT Hanna. Sign-ups for the July 2013 round are now open, and you can sign-up until midnight CST on June 30th.

On July 1st, the roll call will go live on KT’s site, and from there you can go and follow the blogs and Twitter accounts of your fellow participants. We typically post our goal updates weekly on our personal blogs (so for me, that would be Rebekah Loper, Writer), mostly on Mondays, though you can post whatever day you need to.

You can have as few or as many goals as you would like. People have done as few as one goal, while KT typically does about 10. I usually stick around 3-5. If you need an idea of what types of goals people do, here are mine for July:

Ferret Rebekah’s July 2013 Goals

  1. Critique Cloudy for Eris.
  2. Catalyst re-write for Camp NaNoWriMo.
  3. Read A Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss. (It’s 900-ish pages. I think finishing this in a single month is a reasonable goal.)
  4. Survive the uncle & family coming to visit, and MOM GOING OUT OF TOWN FOR A WEEK. The goal is literally DO NOT DIE OR HAVE A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN. (Because I will have to be the sole caretaker for my elderly grandparents while mom is gone. And help take care of her pets. GAH!)

Obviously, the emphasis is on writing, but if there are some personal things going on simultaneously that will affect your writing? Absolutely put them on the list.

So, #WriteMotivation is really fantastic for helping you to stay on track with your goals, and everyone should try it at least once. Hope to see you there!

The Relevant Links:

Sign-ups on KT’s blog – don’t forget, the cut-off is midnight CST on June 30th!
#WriteMotivation on Twitter