25 Apr

BITS – The Curse and Bane of Creatives

Banner - Fountain PenHave you ever had a case of BITS? That’s “Big Important Thing Syndrome.”

That’s when we attach a lot of importance to something, which then brings with it all manner of strange and destructive critters, from plain fear to insidious perfectionism and delusions of grandeur. Which completely destroys our creative ability.

The solution? Do something that moves you forward that is completely NOT important.

Do NaNoWriMo.

In case you don’t know what it is: National Novel Writing Month. Each November, hundreds of thousands of writers sit down around the world and spit out a 50 000 word “novel” in a month.

Note the quotation marks. All you need to do is produce 50 000 words. Doesn’t matter if those words are good, bad, terrible or even readable. All that matters is the number.

My first time winning NaNoWriMo, I started with the larges steam engine in the world, added a cursed ring, and had a guy on a train in a desert for 50 000 words. Booooooring.

Doesn’t matter. It was 50 000 words long (and ended with an “and then Deux ex Machina, The End.”) That was all that counted.

That, and the fact that I’d written an entire novel. It unlocked all manner of doors in my mind, allowing me to write more, and learn more.

Because in the end, writing is learning, and without learning, you can’t write. That can either become a negative spiral, or a positive one. You can either write, and learn so you can write more advanced things, or you can despair that you don’t know how, and not write, to finally never write again.

Because that’s what it amounts to.

Anyone can write. Only a few people write a novel. The difference between those who do, and those who don’t?

Those who do, didn’t give up. That’s all there is to it.

Luck and Persistence!

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