Refill the Creative Tank

If you signed up for NaNoWriMo, chances are you are starting to feel a little tired. You have been pushing diligently for that daily word count, ignoring the house, dust bunnies and plot bunnies, and may even been vaguely aware that there are some holidays coming up (no, I’m not talking about December 1st).

First of all – KEEP GOING! YOU CAN DO IT!

But for a moment, I want you to think about your car. Pretend you started with a full tank of gas on November 1st. Then pretend you drove 40-50 miles a day in it. Would it need a refill yet? (If not, we might all hate you. Not really. Maybe a little).

For writers, our minds and hearts and souls are our creative tanks. True, they probably get better miles to the gallon than our cars, but there are still times when we need to allow a break, a refill. This can come in several different ways. For me, music does wonders for my creative tank. I listen to classical music while I’m writing nearly all the time. It is a necessity for both my sanity and to provide a more satisfactory background noise than those that often accompany sharing a residence with people. When I really need to fill up the tank, nothing an do it like live performances. I know this about myself, and in the last few years, I have been more mindful to take advantage of opportunities to fill my tank.

You may be thinking, “But I have to hit my 1667 a day!” Yes, to win you do. But concentrated, dedicated effort can reward you with time to still fill that tank. Go for a walk, watch AN (one) episode of your favorite show, etc. There is a necessity of balance that writers (artists really) start to forget. We can become manic, so focused on a goal that nothing else matters, but in the end, we are still people, not word processing robots.

So go forth! Write like the wind! Then take a break and reconnect with the people you love.

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Tasha Seegmiller is a mom to three kids and high school English teacher in Southern Utah. She writes contemporary women’s fiction with a dash of magic. Her loves include Diet Coke, owls, chocolate and cinnamon bears. She is an editor for the Women’s Fiction Writers Association quarterly newsletter and can be found here.

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