NaBloPoMo is hard, ya’ll. Writing is in my blood, and yet, at this stage in the game I’m ready to throw in the towel on writing forever. I’ve fatigued my brain, and I’m sure some of you may have noticed the quality of my posts going down.
I’ve always thought NaBloPoMo would be much easier than NaNoWriNo simply because of the variety and lesser word count that it allows. What I failed to realize (for the second year in a row) is that NaBloPoMo requires 30 consecutive finished pieces rather than one piece which can be edited at a later time. In this way, it can be much more challenging.
Aside from the writing itself, it has been difficult to stay inspired. If you normally write twice a week, it would take you 15 weeks (or almost 4 months) to write 30 posts. A lot of stuff can happen in 4 months which would make for interesting blog material.
This is why learning ways to engage the “Hey that would make a good post!” side of your brain is important. Below are ways I’ve coped during this
month of hell awesome blog challenge.
Read. Read. Read.
It doesn’t matter what you read, but reading will make you a better writer. Find a few set blogs who really engage you mentally and emotionally, and faithfully read their material. Reading the news can also spark a debate in your head that you may want to bring online. I was Freshly Pressed after reading an inflight magazine, and have been known to talk my roommate’s ear off about things I’ve read on shampoo bottles. The blogging world is also full of people willing to let you “borrow” their ideas if you just ask and link back.
Sitting at the computer for a couple of hours is the easiest way to put your brain on auto-pilot. You’ve looked at the same words over and over again, and you couldn’t think of the next sentence if your life depended on it. When this happens to me, I get outside. I’ll go for a walk, sit in the grass, go for a drive. It doesn’t matter, I just need to get away from my writing environment. When you allow your brain to focus on something else for awhile, it frees up the creativity that was blocked behind concentration and frustration.
I will admit, out of every 1,000 prompts, maybe one will work for me. I’m a person who needs to be moved mentally or emotionally by something, and prompts usually can’t get me there. However, I have seen this work for a lot of people, and have read some pretty great posts which came from prompts. The Daily Post offers them every day, and my favorite ones have come out of this writing prompts Tumblr account.
Unleash your creative side
What better way to fuel your writing creativity than by practicing other creative things? I love all things DIY, and spend a lot of my down time making art for my house, or gifts for other people. Allowing myself to tap into a different kind of creativity has helped me kickstart my writing on several occasion. I made seasonal candle holders while writing my bizarre dating ads post, and made clay beads for a bracelet during the juice cleanse piece. Focusing on arts/crafts is also extremely therapeutic and relaxing, and I’d recommend trying your hand at it even if you aren’t a writer.
Try something new
If you normally watch action movies, try a documentary. If you drive the same way to work every day, trying taking a different route. If you’ve been wanting to learn how to sew, finally enroll yourself in that class. Writing can be like a tree. We need to spend a lot of time tending to it to help it grow, and when finally shake it up a bit, we never know what might fall out. Exposing yourself to unfamiliar situations will not only help you broaden your perspective and learn a few things, but it can often breathe new life into stale ideas.
I don’t pretend to be a writing expert; on the contrary, I am still figuring out how to navigate around writer’s block, and stay focused and motivated on my writing. These are just the things I’ve learned having survived NaBloPoMo 2013.
I want to know: how do you get yourself unstuck and motivated to write again?