Creativity, Motivation and Over Expectations |Camp NaNoWriMo Weeks 1 & 2

I have a phone full of ideas that I’ve collected over the past five years. On my desk, there are stacks of notebooks with pages of half-baked ideas right this moment. I even have a few drafts of unpublished blog posts here on this blog. Still, I feel like I lack inspiration. Like I’m not a very creative person. I can’t write things off the top of my head. I’d have to mull over them forever just to write a short 100-words story. Even then, I’d spend ages structuring my sentences in frustration because I can’t get them to say what I mean. I’ve never been able to reach my goal for during any NaNoWriMo either. There was always some excuse to give up.

Last November, I had grand plans to write a novel, but I’d decided to join the event on October 28th. Being overexcited just from taking the plunge, I grabbed the first idea I had. I started writing it with less than a page of an outline (which wasn’t very good either). But all my good intentions jumped out the window after I’d written the first 2000 words. My story was the most boring piece of writing I’ve ever read (and that’s saying something); because I didn’t know how to write.

If I was the protagonist in a story, then I’d learn from my mistakes. Later, I’d come back to kick some ass during April. But no, just like my novel, I had no character development either. I did the same exact thing, only, I didn’t get past 1000 words this time.

Camp NaNoWriMo this July has been a blessing. My goal this time is to write. Just write. No word count goals, no strict outline to follow. I told myself, I’d work on the outline of my novel for one hour, daily; that’s it. Today, I have a 4000 words document full of notes and the first act completely outlined and ready to be written. It may not sound like much, but hey, it’s better to have my basic plot figured out rather than dull dialogue and pages of description of an empty field.

So, that’s been my Camp so far, how is yours?

A New Year’s Pep Talk

In the words of a Facebook post I once saw, ‘It is not who you think you are that holds you back, but who you think you’re not.’ This is perhaps the truth of my life this past year and a half.

2016 may not have been a very good year in terms of my growth and progress in life, but last November and December had brought with it an important epiphany. While I had never stopped scribbling tales in short paragraphs, I stopped putting them up on the internet. A voice in my head insisted that I would never be as good as the legends like J.K. Rowling, Patrick Rothfuss, etc, so what was the point. Why show the world how bad you are? Isn’t it better to keep it to yourself?

However, going back to all my previous words, the ones that I had deemed unsophisticated, they don’t seem so terrible anymore. Today, they are merely words of an amateur. They are not my best work and could definitely use a revamp, but they are also not as unsalvageable as I had once thought.

If you are reading this post, I’m sorry that it is so long. You can stop reading if you want. I’m not writing this to inspire anyone else but me. It is just a reminder to stop beating myself up. A reminder that my opinions are as fluid as my state of mind and just as fickle. It is a reminder to not let that voice in my head stop the words flowing ever again. It is a reminder of my dream of getting published one day. It is a reminder of how far I have come from being the 17-year-old me who sent terrible yet heartfelt poetry to my friends and pestered them until they begrudgingly left me a compliment. It is also to tell myself even if I think I’m the worst writer on the planet, I can get better as long as I keep writing.

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