Monday, September 20, 2010

how to prepare to write the (pagan) novel

its getting to be that time of year. jack o'lanterns, falling leaves, and back to school can only mean one thing... NaNoWriMo is JUST around the corner. i haven't decided yet whether or not to attempt it again, mostly because november is usually a very busy month for me. however, when a Facebook Friend who runs the Pagan Writers' Community asked for contributions to inspire newbies, i put a few thoughts together.

- Clear space
Before starting work on a new project, I like to take a day or two to clean my desk and make space for whatever books or research materials I might need. I also like to take some time to make mental space for the time and effort I’m going to have to put forth. I try, as much as possible to carve out at least one hour of writing time a day no matter what else might be going on. If you have a particular time of day you know you write best, try to make as much time to write as your schedule allows.
- Spend time out of doors, or commune with your deities
For me, nature is our great nurturer. I observe what’s going on outside my window as source of comfort, energy and inspiration. Notice the phase of the moon, pay attention to the season. What’s going on in the animal world around you? How about the plants? Consider how you might harness your creative energy so as to be most productive, and enlist the help of OtherWorldly energies. For example, I don’t write well under full moons, so I tend to use the days immediately before, on and after a full moon as days to do anything but write. I find I frequently do a lot of planning under a waning moon, and write best under a new and waxing moon. You may find your energies are aligned as well to such natural rhythms. Now is a good time to strengthen your relationship with a goddess, god, or nature spirit to help you achieve your goal. Consider your relationship with your writing “deva" and consider how to strengthen it. This might lead you to my next step.
- Create a ritual to use every day
By bringing our attention to the words and actions associated with a particular ritual, the ritual creates focus, which creates energy, which creates the intention and thus manifests the goal. I use a simple ritual every morning to bring my attention back to whatever story I am working on at the moment. My ritual includes ordinary actions like going to the bathroom, washing my hands, and getting a cup of coffee. However, by using this time to envision myself releasing toxins and things I don’t need any more, cleansing my hands and fueling my creative fire, by the time I sit down at my desk I’m usually feeling quite productive. I also light some sage and a candle and sometimes draw a Tarot card if I’m seeking inspiration or feeling blocked.
- Set intention
My intention this summer was to take all the old ideas I’ve had kicking around in the back of my computer, put them into proposal form and send one a month to my agent. So far, I’ve sent her four proposals. My actual writing goals varied depending on the type of story I was telling and how much old material I had to work with.
- Take focused action
All the planning, ritual work and intention setting in the world will do you no good if you don’t take action. The art of writing is as much the art of applying the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair as it is about anything else. Set a reasonable goal for yourself – one thousand fresh words a day is reasonable - ten thousand is not – and stick to it as much as you possibly can.
Enhanced by Zemanta

No comments: