Friday, March 4, 2011

Stuck in a Rut? Post Nano Series Evaluation

It's been months since you buckled down and cranked out 50,000 words towards a new novel. It's months before time to think about the next Nano challenge (if you just do November like me). The shine has worn off and life has fallen into routine.

Perhaps even your writing has fallen into a steady pattern--which could be good. But sometimes we get stuck in a rut. Trudging along the well beaten path because it's been tried and it's easier than forging our own trail.
Wheel Ruts at Guernsey, Wyoming Photo by Linda Meyer

It's time to stop and evaluate where we are. I'm sure you've all heard that in order to keep things fresh and exciting in your love life you need to mix it up. Try something new, go somewhere you've never been together, learn something new so you have new things to talk about, and so on. You know the whole Variety is the Spice of Life bit. 
found on google images
For instance, if you always go to Wal-Mart on your date with hubby, mix it up and go to Target instead. Yeah, laugh it up, but this is my life. And yes, we laugh about it too, but I digress...

I love cinnamon, but sometimes a meal goes better with Thai chili sauce than cinnamon, right? So, if we are in love with our writing, we need to mix it up as well. We need variety in our writing projects, times, methods, etc. You know this. I knew it, but I forgot.
I was blissfully happy with my writing area. It's a great space. However, after months of sitting there I entered the writing blahs again. It was so nice that I stopped going to the library or Ikea to write. With cold weather, I stayed inside instead of taking my notebook outside, and on and on with the excuses. Well, last week, hubby took my van to the dealership for a standard tune up 30/60K miles thing. He brought home a cute little rental for me to drive until the van was finished.

The day contained the same trips around town, but for some reason it felt different. It was shiny in a way I didn't understand at first. Sitting in the carpool line I felt the urge to open a notebook and write. Nothing specific, but a deep need to feel the pen moving across the page, revealing a story word by word. Adventure. Discovery. The things that I love and have been missing with my writing lately.

Later I realized that a new car and new radio stations (it had XM radio) was just enough change to pull me out of my rut. I felt better, energized and ready to move forward. I had been writing little bits here and there, but the spark was gone. The thoughts in my mind were more along the lines of, "It's all been done" "there's nothing I can add" and so forth. And yes, it has all been done. But I can do it again in my own way, making it new and different. 

Here's my challenge to you for this weekend and next week:
Be spontaneous. 
Step out of your routine and try something new.

And a question:
Where are your favorite places to write?

Let's start a list so we can try out new places.
Car pool line
Outside at the park
Panera Bread
Amelie's French Bakery--it's the perfect artsy place to be, with pastries!
Ikea cafe I love their vegetable medallions.
My back porch
My desk
The kitchen table
Doctor's offices (including the Dentist)

And finally, watch this and remember how simple things are the best in life. Smile, it's going to be a great weekend!