Today I learned about NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month), which usually happens during NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). Though with the site BlogHer, others are using the same idea of NaBloPoMo, each month, or give others a chance to try it out for a month. The basic idea is to get you to blog daily and support fellow bloggers. They have a theme and daily prompts (besides weekends which is free-writing) for each month. Though they mention that you don’t have to use the theme, or all/any of the prompts, but it can help to keep you going. You can make it your own. So you can use the theme, and a bit of the prompts. Or just write try to write daily. It sounded like a cool idea.
So my idea was to use a few of the prompts that I do like, and if there are other things I feel like writing, I’ll do those. Every week, at least (maybe more), I’ll try to write a post about Writing, and my novel process (especially now that I’m getting feedback from my writing groups and help from the NaNoWriMo site). No matter what I’ll write what I feel like writing. Not matter if it’s from a prompt, an idea, a moment in my life, or some thing that I feel like writing about.
I decided to pick the latest prompt for today. Which I feel works the best for me to start with.
NaBloPoMo Prompt [from Friday, Jan. 11]: How do you find the energy to write when you’re not in the mood?
The main reason I wanted to start with this prompt because it connects well with creative writing.
In the beginning when I started to get into creative writing, I thought that you just wrote because you were inspired or felt like writing. The more I learned about writing stories, poems, and just writing in general was when I realized that if you just waited for the ideas to come they might not arrive.
My professor, Dr. Vanessa Jackson, and her husband (who was also my professor) Dr. Robb Jackson taught me the most about creative writing through their courses. They both reminded me that I couldn’t just stop writing because I didn’t think I had a bright idea. Vanessa mentioned once that the only way you can be a writer is to write (and revise, of course). Knowing that I had a deadline to turn in stories/poems for their classes was a curse and blessing rolled into one. It was also a good preparation for when I did NaNoWriMo last year. As long as you keep writing, things will come to you, or you’ll find your way to the idea. J.K. Rowling also mentioned about not waiting to be inspired, when she was asked a question during the Casual Vacancy book event in London. I can’t remember the exact quote (and I’m having trouble finding it right now) but a girl had asked what she did to become inspired to write. I remember her saying that she couldn’t just wait till she got inspired otherwise she wouldn’t be able to write, but she has noticed that she seems to find story ideas when she travels (train w/Harry Potter, plane w/The Casual Vacancy).
The only way that I can get the energy to write, even if I’m not in the mood, I have to have some motivation or something that helps guide my path. I know I have to keep writing, and that’s the first step, but adding something else makes the process a bit easier. For an example, NaNoWriMo help bring energy into my writing because I had: 1st, a goal try to finish the novel in a month; 2nd, other writers (around the world & locally) were writing around the same time; and 3rd, peptalks, dare machine/prompts (like add blueberries or zombies to your story) and sprints.
Prompts seem to help bring ideas forward, like the 12 prompts that my friend Gloria did during Christmas through the ‘South Texas Scribes’ Facebook group page. The prompts gave me a springboard but it was up to me where my story outline was going to go.
Some times songs inspire me, or help me to make the world I’ve created bit more real in my mind. Though music can help me, it can also distract me as well. So I try to limit it. Photographs/Images also help bring inspiration as well.
Though if my mood is really terrible, where I feel depressed or just feel stuck, it usually just means that I need to get out of the house or chat with someone. Then I can start writing again after I’ve taken a break.
Last night was a good example for this prompt, I was completely exhausted from babysitting my cousin during the day and a bit of the night. I love them dearly but 5 & 4 year olds really have a lot of energy. I don’t know how my uncle and aunt do it every day. They needed to help out my dad with some things to do with my grandparents’ house that is planning to be sold soon. So they wouldn’t be able to take care of my little cousins, so my mom and I ended up taking care of them. It’s always good to have help, if it’s possible. Anyways, we had to wait till they came back. I had the opportunity to rest a bit when my cousins went to bed. Even thought I felt exchausted, I was reminded that I had wanted to post about writing after my Writers Group meeting on Friday. I focused on how I felt after the meeting, and used that to write my previous post. It was lucky that my iPhone gives me a chance to post on my blog (through the WordPress App). So I used my pen stylus to type on my iPhone for that post. Before I knew it I had the energy to write.
Kind of like this post.
It seems when I get the ball rolling, I just can’t stop writing. It’s as if the process of writing brings energy as well. I just proves that my professors, J.K. Rowling, and others are right.
It’s all up to you though.
If you don’t do it, then you might never know what you can do.