Creative Noodling

NaNoWriMo Day 1:

ELEMENTAL: 5044 words

FORTUNE COOKIE (my “unofficial” NaNoWriMo project): 0 words

PiBoIdMo Day 1: one idea down, 29 more to go

It’s 12:40 am as I type this, and to be honest, the only reason I’m writing this and not relaxing in bed with a glass of wine and a good audiobook is because my cousin is over here replacing our makeshift plywood stairs (long story, you really don’t want to know) with proper stairs (you know, the kind you normally see in a house. As in, not made out of plywood and those metal joist hanger things.)

And since we can’t go up and down the stairs until the new stairs are installed, my cousin and his friend don’t plan on leaving until they’re done. (And even if they wanted to, I’m not going to let them.)

So here I am waiting … and waiting … and then I got this brilliant idea. I’ll write a blog post!

I’ve been thinking about doing “creative noodling” recently. I used to do this last thing at night, right before I fell asleep, but I recently discovered a meditation CD that I’m liking very much, and the best part of it is that I can do the meditation as I’m drifting off to sleep.

So no creative noodling at night anymore.

I realized last night, though, that if I’m going to end up with something halfway decent at the end of this year’s NaNoWriMo, I’m going to have to find time for creative noodling. And since the moments before drifting off to sleep are out, where else could I find the time?

I’ve come up with a few good possibilities.

On the treadmill. This time is normally my iPhone game playing time. I like doing this because once I get involved in a game, the time just flies, and before I know it, I’ve walked those 1.5 miles.

I discovered today that I can just as easily daydream while I’m walking on the treadmill, and yes, time did fly by, and before I knew it, I’d walked 1.5 miles. I don’t know for sure if it will always be like this, but for most of November, my treadmill time will qualify as part of my creative noodling for writing time.

Cleaning the kitchen. Yes, another rather mindless activity, during which I usually listen to an audiobook. For this month, I’m considering giving up my nightly audiobook treat while cleaning the kitchen.

I’m just considering it, though. I haven’t yet decided if I’m willing to give up my audiobooks. I don’t know if I’m that self-disciplined!

Occasional moments. And of course, I will have occasional moments throughout the day during which you’ll find me staring blankly into space. I do this on a regular basis, actually, only this month I will be a little more intentional and organized about it.

So while it might look like I’m doing nothing, I’m actually doing something very valuable indeed. I seriously don’t think any work of fiction can get written without a good supply of creative noodling.

What about you? Do you daydream or do any sort of creative noodling? If you’re participating in NaNoWriMo or PiBoIdMo, how was your day one? Most importantly, are you having fun?

(And no, they’re not done with the stairs yet …)

11 thoughts on “Creative Noodling

    1. Belle

      I’d have to bring Ward along, because I don’t clean very well and he always has to do some sort of follow-up thing that leaves everything clean and tidy :)

      Reply
  1. Janel

    I love my walking time. Even when I don’t think I’ve made any progress in my head I come home and my fingers fly on the keyboard. Sometimes listening to podcasts about writing will trigger ideas and I end up thinking about the idea instead of concentrating on what the podcast is saying!

    I hope those steps were finished soon after you posted this. :)
    .-= Janel´s last blog ..Sleep or Torture =-.

    Reply
    1. Belle

      They weren’t finished, but I asked my cousin how much longer, and he said cheerfully, oh, all night. I said, aren’t you guys tired, and he said, nope, we do this all the time. So I went up to bed. When I got up in the morning the stairs were done and they were gone LOL

      Reply
  2. j

    I think you should do a post about how to creatively noodle. I mean, stuff just pops into my head (and, in fact, it’s so random, I’m often unable to get it written down before it pops right out again). I’ve never thought of intentional creative noodling. (I only do that when I’m staring at a maddeningly blank screen.)

    I just wondered if you have a process. Do you play the “what if” game, or employ some sort of awesome creative meditation?
    .-= j´s last blog ..7 Things I Think Are True =-.

    Reply
    1. Belle

      Such a great question, Judy! When I’m not noodling intentionally, I get all sorts of scenes come into my head, but like you said, they’re random more often than not. I do get some really good ideas when I do this, but not always stuff that’s usable.

      What I’ve been doing with the intentional creative noodling is asking specific questions, and then doing the same old thing of settling back to see what pops into my head, and the really brilliant thing about this is that it’s NO LONGER RANDOM anymore! My questions get answered but they get answered in the normal creative noodling way so it’s really effortless and fun, just like normal.

      Speaking of creative meditations, I just got one by Kelly Howell. I’m going to give it a try sometime this month while I’m writing. I’m not sure how it will go, but I have high hopes!

      Reply
  3. Steve Kubien

    Oh yes, I am an addicted daydreamer! (Hello everyone, my name is Steve and I’m a daydreamer. -chorus from the crowd- Hi, Steve….). A great deal of my daydreaming comes at bad times, like when I’m driving. I get some good, creative juice flowing when I drive but I cannot write any of it down because, well, I’m driving! The other time is late at night. I could be lying in bed, waiting for sleep to come or sitting somewhere reading or carving and inspiration strikes. Unfortunately for me, most of my ideas require me to get my chainsaw running so I can lump out a suitable piece of wood, then get it on the lathe and start turning. I’m not certain but I think my neighbours would complain if this was starting at 1am. I’m pretty sure divorce court would be on the horizon as well.

    I actually wrote about this a little while ago. Have a read if you are so inclined… http://greenleafwoodstudio.blogspot.com/2010/08/timing-of-inspiration.html

    Cheers,
    Steve

    Reply
    1. Belle

      I think you need to learn to draw, if you don’t already, Steve. That will take care of the impulse to jump about with a chainsaw and keep all your ideas intact!

      Reply
  4. Dorte H

    Nope :(

    No fun, no writing.

    This week has been all about working, marking essays, sleeping too little etc. And under such conditions it is not possible for me to write. So I am using my last ressources on a loooong blog round, because after having some sleep, the weekend will – hopefully – be all about writing. I miss it so much.
    .-= Dorte H´s last blog ..Thy´s Day 32 =-.

    Reply

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