Camp NaNoWriMo is just around the corner! If you’re wondering how you might be able to keep up your enthusiasm for your writing project through the month, writer K.R. Garcia shares some tips to help keep your excitement alive:
Writing is a two-dimensional art form. No matter the quality of the words you place on paper, they are still just black and white. In the time between NaNoWriMo events, it’s easy to push your novel aside and spend your time on more pressing or more exciting matters. But writing can branch off the page.
You can keep your writing inspiration alive by bringing it into other areas of your life.
Do you take pictures? Sculpt? If you cook, you could craft a delectable imitation of your main character’s favorite meal. If you draw, you could sketch your characters or, if you’re daring, make a map of your novel’s world.
Do you play an instrument? I play the piano, and on occasion I have composed entire scores for my stories. You could also embellish your novel with other kinds of writing—poetry, song lyrics, fables, an origin story for the pebble your main character kicked down the road back in Chapter 5, and so on. There are many ways that you could incorporate your other interests into your novel.
Keep in mind that, although these projects could be used in your novel, they do not have to be used that way. They are intended primarily for yourself. If you do these projects for more eyes than your own, they may bring more stress than relief and distract you from your novel.
“Creative side-projects can give you enough immediate reward to carry you along the writing path.”
The goal of these synergistic creativities is for you to reignite your interest in writing. When I play those compositions mentioned earlier, it puts me in the writing mindset. Painting your novel on a three-dimensional canvas may open your eyes to its complex beauty. Seeing your novel in a different light, or a different medium, could inspire you to dive back into those pages of black and white and add some color to it.
Why does this work? Writing is a complex art form. For the painter, the cook, or the musician, reward can be immediate: a lovely brushstroke, the right flavor, or harmony between notes. For writers, reward can take forever to reach. Creative side-projects can give you enough immediate reward to carry you along the writing path.
Why is it important to keep your interest alive? Without motivation, you can’t get very far. Though writing offers more long-term rewards than short-term, when you do finish your novel, the feeling of accomplishment will be everything you imagined, if not more.
K.R. Garcia has been creating stories since before she could hold a pencil and has participated in eight NaNoWriMo and Camp NaNoWriMo events. An avid Agatha Christie reader, she writes mainly in the mystery and adventure genres. She coaches a class for young writers at her high school in Texas. When she is not writing, she enjoys classic rock, psychology, and music boxes. You can find her on Twitter at @katerpillar43.
Top image licensed under Creative Commons from Tom Small on Flickr.