For the first time ever on NaNoWriMo, I typed exactly 1667 words in one day.
Of course, I had to stop typing for the day and log it on the nanowrimo.org word counter.
In daily life I’m not a big believer in luck, horoscopes or the power of wishing at 11:11… But in my writing? You bet I am. I save every tiny slip from fortune cookies during the month of November. I get spooked when I look at the clock at exactly 3:16 and then take it as a personal reminder of God’s favor. I extract cryptic messages from otherwise random conversations.
Because, during intensive writing times like NaNoWriMo, I need all the inspiration I can get.
Like Crash told Annie, if you believe wearing women’s underwear, looking out of the lava lizard eyelids in the back of your head or even, gasp, abstaining from pleasurable relations -ahem- makes you a better ball player than, by gum DO IT.
Because when a streak comes along you’ll do what it takes to keep it going.
So I save bits and scraps of otherwise meaningless pieces of paper. I tune in to everyday conversations waiting for that ‘message’. I look up at the clock and – if I catch it right on 3:16 – I feel a little thrill. If those things fill me with the courage to sit down and put my hands to the keyboard?
That, my friend, is Inspiration. I take it where I can get it.
Because for all our modern innovations, we aren’t very far from the superstitious masses we were during the Dark Ages. People need rituals.Because, sometimes, they are our only life preserver in the great ocean that is life. In the Dark Ages, it was sacrifices and spells, hexes and curses. In modern times we still have our blood letting, incantations and frenzied devotion. Thankfully, though, they come in the form of our own blood, sweat and tears. Inspiration. The blood, sweat and tears of Hope. It’s what you need to write everyday.
But you have to feed that Inspiration, that Hope.
So, yeah. I could have written more last night… but I took that exact 1667 words – the words per day you must write every day to complete NaNoWriMo on time- as a sign. A sign I was on the right track. I sign that I would finish. I sign that said, “You’ve got a little life preserver out here in the big ocean. Hang in there!”
Silly, maybe. But it gave me the little boost I needed to get back in the chair, hands on the keyboard, today. Preserving the streak. That, to me, is what writing is really about.
Do you have rituals to boost your daily writing discipline? How do you motivate when you don’t seem to have any inspiration? Share your thoughts with me in the comments.
Although I warn you: Your comment might just be my next sign 🙂