Saturday, November 1, 2008


It's contagious. A rampant virus is sweeping the world causing glazed eyes, aching wrists, numb posteriors, and exploding brains. And I've come down with it.

What's it called?


Or for those who don't speak abbreviations ~ The National Novel Writing Month.

For the month of November, participates go more than a little nuts with their writing. The goal is 50,000 words in 30 days. In other words, its all about quantity, not quality.

It's all about locking up your internal editor and writing with glee, ignoring bad grammar, ignoring all those icky writing 'rules' and even ignoring glaring plot holes. Writing, writing, writing. Dumping a tangle of nouns, verbs, and adjectives on the pages and sorting them out not at all.

As an exercise in pure creativity, NaNo excels. Writers push past the editorial guards at the gates of our minds and into the rare air of sheer fun creativity.

I read recently about studies done on patients with frontal lobe damage to their brains. That's the part of your brain that shuts down your stupid factor. As in 'no, you do not want to jump off the house, on to the trampoline, and into the pool'--kinda thing. It seems this part of the brain also judges your creative efforts as you do them. And it's a harsh critic. We learn too young to tone down our impulses in order to fit in to society.

Strikingly enough, studies showed that if the frontal lobe is damaged, often the person shows vast leaps in creative endeavors. Painting, music, art of all kinds. They lose many of their inhibitions, too. Dancing in the streets, anyone?

The NaNo project is designed to totally circumvent your frontal lobe. Writers are invited to send their internal editor to the NaNo kennels for the duration. Writers are urged to wear silly hats while they write. To follow wordly rabbit trails. To eat outrageous amounts of chocolate and consume gallons of coffee. To skip showering, housekeeping, and all social engagements. All in the name of writing.

The madness continues for a month.

How can you kick your own creativity in gear if you are not a NaNowriter?

Be a NaNo...whatever. Potter, quilter, gardener......

I saw a lovely photo of a "NaNo" style garden last spring. The gardener had opened one of those cans of wildflower garden seeds you see at the garden center. She had cast them with abandon in a vacant side yard and watered a bit.

The photo she showed was i n c r e d i b l e. Riotous blooms in all sizes, shapes, and colors. The garden broke every rule of gardening, and it was awesome.

So...for the month of November....

Send your internal editor to the kennel to keep mine company.

Work fast.

Break some rules.

Do exactly what pleases your heart.

Join me this month in creating with ABANDON. Let loose the reins and have a blast!

My word count today....3,078. Yay!

1 Other Creative Souls are Saying:

Jenileigh said...

How neat! I don't think I have the time to participate but it was interesting reading about our creativity. I'm going to encourage the girls to *step out* and do something wild and crazy! :)