Writing by the seat of my pants can get a bit harrowing after a little while. My experience so far with NaNoWriMo so far is that while I love writing “without a map”, so to speak, I do like to have my headlights on so that I can see ten feet in front of me.
So last week, I ended up in a very chaotic place in my manuscript. There was lots of stuff going on, and nothing particularly coherent about any of it.
I did what I normally do whenever I’ve reached a creative muddle. I ran a bath, added a favorite bubble mixture, then slipped into the lovely hot water with a soft sigh.
I’m not sure why, but I get incredibly good ideas when I’m near water – especially when I’m in water. The bath works best, but the shower’s pretty awesome for my creativity, too.
(The reason why the bath works better might be because I normally have a glass of wine near at hand, too …)
That night, when I closed my eyes, one phrase from the writing I’d done that day popped into my mind. One small phrase. And suddenly, all the pieces fell into place. I knew where I was going with all of this. I knew what scenes I had to go back and add. What scenes will need to be deleted or heavily revised. And even better, I suddenly saw arcs where no arcs had existed! (For me, that is really the ultimate moment, the moment when I know I don’t have just an idea, I truly have a story.)
It was extremely exciting. Mind you, immediately after that, I got immersed in deadlines and so now I’m behind in my word count …
What about you? Where do you go to get creative fixes for problems, whether they’re about your writing or anything else in your life? And do you get great ideas while you’re in the bath or shower too?