Friday, November 13, 2009

NaNoWriMo: Productive Methods of Avoidance

I have found that I have several ways of being productive AND avoiding writing. Unfortunately, no matter how much I love writing, I do find that other things tempt me into the abyss of avoidance from time to time.

The five most productive things* to do when you're avoiding your novel:

1. Make a playlist - Music plays a big part in our lives. A lot of people spend their mornings and evenings in the car with the radio for company. So, it is no wonder that music plays a big part into our creativity. We hear it often and it evokes emotions. So, I recommend making a playlist ( or a personalized radio station ( for your novel. You may find some new inspiration.

2. Take a bath/shower - I find that getting myself clean provides two forms of productivity. The first is the necessity of hygience. Taking a shower is a necessary part of life, so why not get it out of the way when you're avoiding your novel. THe second form of productivity is giving you time to brainstorm. I have found no better place than the shower to do some brainstorming.

3. Read - As Michael Chabon said, "Every novel is a sequel. Influence is bliss." Therefore, it stands to reason that reading is an excellent form of inspiration. Just make sure you're writing your story when to get back to your novel.

4. Clean - This is yet another necessary part of life. However, it does offer you a lot of time doing a mindless activity. Turn it into a mindful activity by using this time to brainstorm. Carry some post-its in your pocket and jot down your ideas as you go. The ML for my area, Becka, gave us the excellent idea of using post-its to jot down bits that come to us. They are small, compact, and can fit over 100 words if you write small. The uses for post-its are endless.

5. Go somewhere - This will serve duo purpose. Getting out will give you the opportunity to think on your drive. It will also give you the opportunity to get around people, which are the largest inspiration for our novels. Grab a drink, take a seat, and watch the mannerisms of those around you. Who knows - you might find a new character for your novel!

Now, go get back to what you were doing. The hours are limited and your imagination is endless.

*This is simply a personal list. I do not claim to be an expert, though I have avoided writing a lot and found new ideas along the way.


  1. I like your list. Yesterday I started on a playlist of Christmas music. I'm listening to it now, actually. I haven't yet had good writing ideas while in the shower this November, but I have in the past. I do have them when I'm driving to and from work however. I know Chris Baty says we're exempt from doing the dishes, but I find it very zen; I think it helps my writing. And I've been reading Stephen King's "On Writing." Thanks for sharing your list.

  2. I could defnitely see the dishes being zen. I read somewhere once that the movement of water is somehow connected to our creative brain.

    Christmas music = win!! I think my blog for December is going to have a Christmas theme. =)