NaNo Update, and My New Cure for Writer’s Embarrassment.

The good news is, I wrote more words today than I was planning to, over 5000 in fact.

The bad news is that this (and two previous days of writing almost 2000) comes right after a two-day episode where just the idea of writing made me cry.  Having skipped those days, my word count is currently at 21,437.

The other good news is that I feel like I’ve had a breakthrough.  I FINALLY finished my outline, working in every major subplot I decided on in the second draft, including diversity, injustice, and mental illness.  (Guys, it’s a Robin Hood story.  I would be ashamed if I didn’t address these issues.)  And the story is getting its middle, the characters developing rather than just changing overnight.  I’m on the right track.

My trip to Chapel Hill on Sunday helped.  From the drive there, it felt like a weight was falling off of my shoulders, and while listening to some pretty powerful music, I was inspired both about my story and to believe in myself.  Then I spent some time in bookstores, which is always refreshing, and with some good friends, one of whom is an excellent writer who suggested the idea that has now become the linchpin of the whole thing.  I started reading We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (more of that on Thursday) and even got to write in those friends’ presence.  All of these things restored my faith in myself and my story.

So, in conclusion, the next time your inadequacies stifle your creativity, here are some ideas to try (I’m talking to you, Future Kari):

  1. Take a drive.  A long drive, if possible.  Listen to music that makes you feel happy and strong.  Go home.  Go somewhere that you have, in the past, felt both challenged and refreshed creatively.
  2. Go into a bookstore.  Pick something that sounds empowering, preferably something short that can relate to your story.
  3. Have a good meal with good friends.  Talk.  Talk about your story, tell them what problems your having specifically and what you hope to achieve with the story.  Either they will have ideas for it, or talking about it will get your brain working.
  4. Write surrounded by people (or with a single person) who are also working, but can listen to you work through your story, can suggest when breaks are necessary, and can encourage you.
  5. Also, drink lots of coffee while doing all the other things.

(Also, I didn’t have time to watch Supergirl yet!  I promise I’ll talk about it next Tuesday.)

Current word count: 21, 437.

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