showing up

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Dusk.Around 6pm yesterday, I won NaNoWriMo for the third time. It was incredible, as it is every year, and having another 50k in my pocket is a nice feeling. Also: I have no idea how I got through this month. I can't even compare it to the other four NaNo's because it was so crazily different.

This year, I didn't follow my initial plot. I really didn't have a plot at all, actually. Although in the past I have always believed that deep planning is the only way to do it, I learned this month how to write without a plot, and all the benefits of doing so. Here's the thing: you won't always have inspiration when you need it. You won't. And that's just how working creatively is. You don't always have it. But the thing about inspiration is: if you show up to work, it will too. I started without a plot this year, and I ended up learning something very valuable from what came of this no-plot experience: you have to show up everyday no matter if you feel like it or not. This can be applied to other creative fields: photography, art, music. What most people don't realize is that inspiration usually shows up while you are working, just because you were brave enough to try working without it.

Somehow, we all got it into our heads that you can't do creative work unless you have an idea of what you're doing -- unless you've gotten inspiration from something or from somewhere. This month, I learned that this really isn't how it works. You have to show up and just go with it. Sit down with a notebook and a pen and decide you're going to write something. Sit down at the piano and decide you're going to play something. If you end up throwing it all out the next day, that's fine. At least you learned what doesn't work. You don't always need inspiration to be creative. Sometimes, you just have to show up and do whatever you've got at the front of your mind. You have to be fearless in the sense that the work you're doing might not be worth showing anyone. Or maybe it will.

xoxo | Megan Kristine

11 comments:

  1. This is my 3rd year finishing too :) CONGRATS!!

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    1. Congratulations to you, too! xoxo.

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  2. yes and yes and yes. this is so wonderful and totally resonates with me. i find that sometimes when i think about what i'm going to write for so long i have no more words but when i just sit down and write whatever comes to my head they flow a lot more easily. once again, beautiful post. <3

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  3. I completely agree in the area of creativity. You hit it spot on!
    I wish I would've done NaNoWriMo, but so many other things were going on, and writing a novel is such an enormous task I don't know if I'm ready to undertake yet. Regardless, congratulations, dear girl, for winning!
    xoxo

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  4. Congrats to you on finishing and WINNING NaNo!

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  5. woot! congrats girl! I am going to try NaNoWriMo next year. I have never been much of a writer but I would love to try at least.

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  6. This. Yes. Exactly. :P I won NaNo last year, hoping to go for it again in 2013. :)

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  7. Congratulations, Megan :)
    I started this year but didn't finish, partly because I didn't have any plot or idea or even a theme, and partly because this November was ridiculously busy for me. I wouldn't have any time to write for several days or I'd have to stay up until 1 doing homework and get 4 hours of sleep, and then be too tired or out of it to write anything for the next few days. But I'm not really disappointed that I didn't win; I loved writing the 20,000 or so words I did write and I'm excited to read through them and add on to them on my own time.

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  8. Congratulationnnsss, girl! Simply wonderful! *jumps up and loudly claps a round of applause* Gorgeous picture up there, too.
    You are super talented.

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  9. Congrats!! Love the new design :) It is simple, but still fun & pretty!

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  10. Lovelovelove! Congrats on finishing AND winning girl! I bet you did amazing! That shot up there is also pretty amazing. :)

    xoxo

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