Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Putting On My Writing Hat

Put On My Writing Hat
acrylic, sharpie, on paper moleskine

Yesterday, I decided to do some sketching. I drew a self portrait from a quickly snapped digital picture. I know the chin is too prominent, but that's what happens when you use sharpie. You're stuck with it, more or less.

Sketching turns out to be a good way to start my day. I don't know if I will make it a habit, I only have so many minutes before I have to get going on my regular days, and there are always so many different things that I'd like to start off with. But this day, a day off of work, turned out to be a good one.

Getting ready to nano, I am starting to get my outline together. It's never as much time as I want, but it's what I have. I put my hat on, my "writing hat", before I got started. It kept my brains from wandering all over the place when I was trying to write. I know it's probably silly, but I also think that it might be a good sense memory-association to cultivate. Hat goes on: girl goes writing.

I took my hat, pulled together a writing folder, gathered up my index cards, collected my pens, printed out my previous notes, and headed to the cafe, where I stared out the window, drank a latte and ate coffee cake, and began a snowflake outline.

The funny thing is, I only had a couple of hours to write, but while I wasn't writing, I got so much else done. Cleaning and cooking and working with kids and painting and blogging.

It is so terribly hard to sit down and start writing when you haven't been writing and you are out of practice, but when you actually get started, the momentum can carry you forward in all sorts of productive ways.

And that's what I'm working on, getting a creative momentum going, building up those good writing habits, pulling together the supplies I need, getting out the ideas so that I am not stopped by "what do I do next." And staring out the window, mulling things over. That too.

What do you do to get your creative momentum going? Do you have creative habits? Talismans? Schedules?  Routines?


The Querulous Squirrel said...

My blog itself gets my creative momentum going. It feels like such a fun, playful, safe place. I am also planning to do nano, for the first time. I'll take your lead and try to draft an outline. See, you've inspired me.

Rowena said...

You're doing nano, Squirrel? That's wonderful. It will be a different process that creating daily finished stories. This is all about silencing the inner editor until later.

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