words and images by mk swanson
Prepping for NaNoWriMo

Prepping for NaNoWriMo

Today I took the day off, planning to spend it setting up character sheets and an outline for my NaNoWriMo novel. Instead, I spent the day getting age spots lasered off (and thereafter contemplating my bad decision-making), watching a movie, reading a book on biocentricism, and, of course, napping. 
Finally finding my way to the novel, I realize that the way I spent the day was healthy, even though it didn’t produce any pages. My life is so over-stuffed these days that I view my drive to work as my most contemplative time. (Sorry, fellow drivers.) Downtime, time in which I allow the flow of thought to reverse direction, even stop, is essential to my creativity. All I have done lately is work, worry and watch TV.
I have, secretly, been afraid that I have wrung out the dregs of my creative juice, and that there is nothing left in me but words. My pride in what I have so far been able to write was completely obscured by my fear that it was all I would ever do.
There is no magic today. I don’t feel a surge of excitement, I don’t have a novel beating its way out of my head. But I have allowed my thoughts to rest, and maybe that’s all they need.
For those who are noticing, Maniac with a Knife has won. The thousand worlds of Habitas were just too dim for me to see them, right now, so I will be writing the second novel in a series at the same time–and finishing the first draft before–I even get the first one well started.

The Prompt:
Take a day off from your life. Don’t do anything important. Rest.


  1. Hey, I consider getting age spots lasered to be very productive! I agree, though, that it is important to have those days where we allow ourselves to do nothing much but piddle around with no "to do" list. My friend calls them "pajama days" because she leaves them on all day. I also am concerned that I don't have what it takes to finish my book but have decided that is not a worry I want to take on. There are worse things out there that need worrying about! Good luck with NaNoWriMo; that's an amazing undertaking and I'm in awe of your creative juices.

  2. MK, I don't think your creative juices have run out !
    When you've worked on the same singular story for almost two years because deep down you know you don't have a breadcrumb of an idea for another story, that's a creativity problem that deceptively appears to others as admirable self discipline !
    Rock on girl and keep doing what you do !


  3. Susan,

    I'm looking at some meanings for the word "singular."
    M-W says these things:
    1: relating to a single instance
    2: distinguished by superiority : exceptional
    3: being out of the ordinary : unusual

    I agree that your story is exceptional and unusual, but I think you're wrong that it is going to be an only child.

    Two years (and this is for you, too, Anna!) is nothing. What was it I heard about the writer of A Time Traveller's wife–it took her 10 years to write it?

    Susan, knowing your personality, I would say that another story is waiting for you to finish this one to show up in your conscious mind. It knows you like a tidy work area, and is waiting for you to clear the decks!

    Thank you both, Susan and Anna, for your encouragement. I am very afraid I'm going to fail at this, but your response gives me hope!

  4. Yay, MANIAC!!

    Give me an "M"! Give me an "A"! Give me an "N"! Give me an "I"! (and a "Z" and another "I" and another "N" and one more "I" for good measure!).

    What have you got???


    (Sorry. Lots of iced tea, today . . .)

    jme/kinvedo (clearly a form of martial art one would need to fight off this evening's "enthusiasm."

  5. And now, it's Shabbat, Shabbos, Sabbath . . . The sun has set on Friday evening, and with it, all of my manic energy.

    I invested heavily in some nap-territory on the green cushy couch. Arose to soak in hot tub with two kitty visitors. Talked hours to Boston Barbara, and now will nod off over newly started novel.

    Tomorrow, Sabbath, I'll sleep, piddle in yard, catch a movie, and forget that Sunday will bring a plow to put my hand to.

    Shabbot Shalom!

    HA! Word veri is (va)"cation"–I swear it!

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