Hello again, fellow ROWers. Hope it’s been a great week for you. I haven’t been up to much writing related, and probably won’t be until the weekend. At that point I’m going to incorporate the comments from one beta reader. I’ll probably be hearing from the others within the next week or so.
I did feel a glimmer of creativity on my commute yesterday — I had a couple of great ideas for revisions to Flight, the third Children of the Sidhe novella. I’ve been worried Nathan isn’t a strong enough character, so I’m trying to get him to tell me more about himself so I can polish him up on the page. Like I said, glimmers. So that’s positive. 🙂
Some of you know that I commute twice a week to an office almost sixty miles away. However, I’m in western Oregon, baby. You don’t go sixty miles in any direction without seeing a lot of farmland, trees, wildlife (the hawks are my favorite on this drive, and that’s what got me thinking about Nathan, my hawk-shifter), gorgeous skies and the hills and mountains in the distance. So I’m not complaining. And it is often good thinking time. I usually listen to NPR, because there aren’t any kids piping up, “Mom, I don’t like news.” Well, I do like the news. Fact is far stranger than fiction, and I’ve heard some of the weirdest things listening to NPR programming.
But sometimes I switch the radio off. My husband told me he always knows when I drove the car last because the radio is either really quiet, or off. I didn’t realize I turned it off that much. Like I said, good thinking time. Story ideas and plot connections often come to me in the car.
The main places I get my great ideas are over chores (dishes and laundry, especially), in the shower, and in the car. It’s like the editor shuts off — her attention is elsewhere — and creative me surges on without boundaries. I call these activities that distract in such a way as to make your creativity shine “complementary activities” for writing. If I can dash off a few hundred words, then go do the dishes, and then return and complete my word count for the day, I write faster drafts of higher quality. It is a strategy that has worked for me, especially with my schedule where I can often manage fifteen or twenty minutes at a time, but not much more than that. Give it a try, and let me know if you find it works for you. Or let me know if you already employ a similar strategy.