Getaway Mountain, my current novel-in-progress, was flowing along great when it came to a skidding halt in mid-July. Life happens, you know? And I haven't been able to get back to it since.
Most of the summer was spent getting ready for our fortieth wedding anniversary trip, a two-week camping trip in mid-September through the Finger Lakes region of New York, on to Fort Ticonderoga, through Vermont and New Hampshire, and up the coast of Maine to Mount Desert Island, where we spent a week exploring the island and Acadia National Park.
The week after we returned home was mop-up-after-vacation and get-caught-up week. The second week was get-ready-for-the-conference week. I'm the assistant director for the Punxsutawney Christian Women's Conference.
So here we are, the third week back from vacation, and I still can't find the energy to plunge back into writing.
I did, however, complete and submit this month's assignment for my Christian Writers Guild Craftsman course. And today I had my Skype appointment with my mentor, Sandra Byrd.
"I just don't have the passion for this novel that I had for the first and second ones I wrote," I told her ("whined" is more like it).
"You're tired," she said. "It's like a cell phone battery. You have to recharge it all the way. If you unplug it when it's only at 20 percent, it's going to die out faster than if you fully recharged it."
Makes sense. And she's spot-on.
My friend, conference speaker and author Virelle Kidder writes in her book, Meet Me at the Well, "Body, mind, and spirit are one complete package. When one part suffers, the whole person suffers."
When one part is exhausted, so are the other two.
I've been running on all cylinders for months, and I'm plumb tuckered out. In body, mind, and spirit.
Writing requires energy. "Creativity" sounds nice, but while we writers feed on it, in reality it burns a great deal of energy - uses up the charged battery.
What does this have to do with NaNoWriMo?
Everything. If I'm to have the energy to write 50,000 words in the month of November and get my WIP going again, I need to start recharging that creative battery now.
- Plug in to power sources that feed my writing: For me that's reading, especially fiction and authors I enjoy reading. And how-to's (books, articles, blogs) on the craft, especially anything by James Scott Bell.
- Rest: About recharging batteries - I've noticed when I'm recharging my Kindle Fire and using it at the same time, it takes longer to recharge. It doesn't take the valedictorian of MIT to see that giving it a rest while it's recharging will speed up the process.
- Play with the plot. A rough outline will provide a map when I run into "What's next?" during NaNoWriMo. While we were on vacation, I journaled nearly every day about the trip. I didn't plot and plan. I just wrote - and discovered I can easily write 1,500 words a day and not take all day or several hours to do it. That's what I plan to do during NaNoWriMo -- just write!
(NOTE: Those of you who sign up for NaNoWriMo, let me know! We can be NaNoWriMo writing buddies!)