It always amazes me how much work being creative is. There is so much preperation before you even begin to consider a project. You need to pick a pattern for your quilt (or whatever your project), pick your thread for piecing then your thread for quilting, your fabric for the pieces and backing and binding, and pick the batting for the inside. Then you need to go through your tools, do you have what you need, do you have sharp enough scissors, or a new rotary cutter blade? What about rulers, do you have the right shape and size? If your quilt has applique there is a whole bunch of other stuff you need to get together (and my mind is completely blank on what that stuff is at the moment because I am NOT good at applique and rarely do it!). Then, if you live in my world, you have to carve out time where you can occupy the dining room table in order to cut, piece, sew and create. Sometimes it is daunting just thinking about beginning a new project. Hence the 4 quilt ideas (with some of the tools/fabric etc) in my to do pile – not being done. Too much energy just to get started!
Now when you are in the middle of creating, it doesn’t feel quite so much like work. Well, that isn’t always true – when I am in the midddle of my quilt and sewing the 14th strip, or block together and I realize I have so many more to go – then it can feel like work. Or when I am crocheting a baby blanket and am making millions of little squares to eventually crochet together, and I have maybe 10 to go out of the 50 I need – then that can feel like work too. Actually, because my creating is a “hobby” and the rest of my real life takes up far too much time, I end up starting to create, then have to put it away for a few days. Needing to dig it all out again when I have time to indulge my creative side is work… especially when it sometimes takes me more time to figure out where I left off then I actually have time to create!
NONE of that is as much work as the other work in my life. Not as much work as dishes, laundry, bathrooms, cooking AND my day job. Maybe it doesn’t feel like too much because there will be an end result. And to be frank, there is never an end result with laundry!
When it came to starting a writing project, I did not think I would have the need to be prepared. I have been reading a lot on how the process of writing works and for each writer the set up can be so different. Some people need to write a detailed synopsis of their story, or outlines, or character profiles, including secondary characters. Some writers have a load of research they do on settings. Other writers do very little pre-work. They tend to take and idea and run with it, and JUST START writing. When I originally signed up for NaNoWriMo, I figured I would be more of the fly by the seat of my pants kind of writer. I kind of figured I would have to have some preliminary notes (vague ideas really) of what I was going to do but I thought it would be minimal!
I started thinking about the scope of what I was going to be attempting. 50,000 words! In one month! For someone who has never, ever written that many words together in my life, I found myself a bit freaked out. So I prepped. And then read my prep work and prepped some more. I DO have detailed character profiles, an outline of scenes and Acts of my story. I HAVE researched settings. I HAVE pictures and thoughts spewed everywhere. I think I am above and beyond prepared! AND it did NOT feel like work! It was kind of fun making stuff up and then linking it to reality in my research. This is the one time prepping for a project happened by accident!
So as of tomorrow I start my journey of writing 50,000 words! I hope I have enough prep work done. I probably do. I hope it doesn’t bog me down so much that I can’t “go with the flow”. I hope I have enough of a story that I don’t write all my scenes in my 3 Acts and tap out at 20,000 words! Then what???
Good luck to all my fellow NaNoWriMo-ers. Catch you on the other side!