Be Novel For Your Novel

I had a pretty unusual day. School was delayed on account of the too-far-below-zero temperatures, and since I work in a school, so was work. I had time to run errands before work, and afterwards I decided to have lunch at a full-service restaurant by myself (note to fellow introverts: do this! It rocks!) and go sweater shopping before picking up the boys from school.

I would do none of these things on a normal day, and because of that, today was also an awesome day. Everything was new and different. Even the things I do regularly, like go to the grocery store, felt different because I went before work.

differentThe brain loves novelty.

What the frick does this have to do with writing? you may be asking.

I’ve been stuck in a bit of a writing rut. Nothing severe, but it’s more pronounced because it seems every other writer I know is in the thick of NaNoWriMo, which I’m not doing. It’s not like I’m getting nothing done: I’m editing two books whilst making progress on a third. Not 3,000 words in a day like my NaNo friends, but progress nonetheless.

So I’m writing, but my normal spark for the craft has been off. Maybe it’s the impending winter or the colder temperatures. It doesn’t matter. What matters is my day full of novelty helped re-ignite it.

Even if it only lasts for the rest of the afternoon or for the next hour, I have more energy to effectively edit or pound out more words.

Over the summer, I took a class I needed to renew my teaching certificate. It was on the subject of how the brain obtains and retains new information. One of the major points was the brain loves novelty. New experiences wake it up and make it pay attention. Even if the new experiences have nothing to do with the new information you’re trying to attain, your brain is more engaged, and that certainly can’t hurt the creative juices, right?

Doing something new or different could be just the thing you need to jump start or steer your creativity. It doesn’t have to be anything big or cost money. Drive a different route to work. Go to a different coffee shop. Lug your laptop to the library and work there. Or take a break and visit a museum you’ve never seen.

Your brain will be happy and reward you with renewed energy and creativity.

Question time: How would you like to break the daily routine? 

5 thoughts on “Be Novel For Your Novel

  1. “How would you like to break the daily routine?”

    That’s a great question. I consider the best times in my writing life were fueled by change and having to adjust to that change. I have generally just let change happen to me, but I think I’m going to follow your advice (“Doing something new or different could be just the thing you need to jump start or steer your creativity.”) and guide the muse more than be yanked around by it.

    Thank you!


  2. So true! Going to a full service restaurant alone is awesome! Also, that writing thing 😉
    I do find sometimes it is just a small shift that can make a difference… Shifting the medium you write with can help in a pinch, I’ve found.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Neat post!! I know what you mean about feeling weird when everyone else is Nanoing… but I’m also editing, and didn’t want to leave that project to work on something new, so.

    Just curious – how long did the energy last? Or is it still going on?


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