I’m currently participating in Camp NaNoWriMo, a version of National Novel Writing Month in which one can set any word goal (I went higher than the normal 50,000 — up to 60,000 — in hopes of drafting something that will be more marketable in the long run) as well as be placed in a “cabin” of other participants. I have written before about how much I love the NaNo situation because it provides encouragement, structure, and accountability to my writing life.
So I have to write about 1700 to 2000 words every day to complete my goal before July ends. Usually I sit at home, enjoying the quiet and my dog’s company. Occasionally I venture out to a coffee shop so someone else can provide my caffeine, and so I’ll be less tempted to go check Facebook or Twitter.
But sometimes, I want an ENTIRELY DIFFERENT atmosphere to get those creative juices a flowin’… which has taken me to the beach and to Disneyland!
One day I took Benny Dog out to Huntington Beach, where they have a section of sand & ocean for trained dogs to roam off the leash. Since Benny has a lot of shepherd in him, his instinct is to herd me and stay close, so he doesn’t wander off or misbehave like other dogs I’ve witnessed. I laid out on my beach towel, took my journal in hand, and let the sounds of the ocean be my background as I wrote. I kept getting distracted by the desire to cool off in the water or jog down the coast, so I allowed myself plenty of breaks to do just that. When I got home and typed up my work, I realized I’d goofed off a bit too much, and only written about 1200 words. Still, it was worth the mini vacation.
Then this week, since my husband and I currently live only half an hour from Anaheim, we purchased Disneyland annual passes. I drove myself over on Tuesday and spent a lovely day alone (well, plus 50,000 other people) at Disneyland. The lines are long and boring, but hey–I had words to write! So, my trusty journal in hand, I wrote out (in sloppy cursive because people kept looking over my shoulder, like “what in the world is she doing, is she writing about me? Is she a reporter? Is she psycho? I want to snoop”) my daily word count while standing around waiting for my turn on Thunder Mountain and Star Tours and the Matterhorn. Then when I got hungry, I wandered over to snack on Mickey-Mouse-shaped soft pretzels and the famous pineapple Dole Whip. It was very fun, and I left when the heat got unbearable around 1:00, with the added benefit of avoiding traffic that way. The nice thing about working by hand is that I had no little computerized word count ticker to stare at in the corner, so once I typed up my work for the day, I had written over 2200 words, above my daily goal.
My WIP kind of sucks, but as Nora Roberts says, “I can fix a bad page; I can’t fix a blank page.” Plus, writing this novel is helping me broaden my perspective of the fantasy world in my head, which will benefit Copper when I go back and pick up those revisions again.
So there you go. Pick somewhere new to write this week and see what kind of inspiration hits!