Photo by Pedro J. Perez, used under Creative Commons license
It is so easy to fall behind when you are involved in creative projects. This is like a bad habit and should never be encouraged!
Magic Stilettos is a challenge because I allowed the silly notion that I could just write based on a flimsy idea and let the story come to me. That works sometimes, especially with short form fiction. But that is not always true.
Without direction, you always run the risk of getting lost and running into creative walls.
It's a good exercise to just write, but not if you have a specific end game. In fact, I may take part in a NaNoWriMo hangout this weekend where we simply write, long hand as an exercise.
The idea is to adhere to Natalie Goldberg's rules of writing practice. The Rules are relatively simple and something that I tend to do instinctively.
First you write by hand. Pen or pencil in hand, you keep the hand moving. It is a different experience than writing attached to a keyboard, it helps you access and exercise your brain differently.
You do not edit. You write. If you run out of things to write, you write, “OMG! I have run out of things to write,” until that sparks an internal dialog or a feeling, a setting, a distant memory and you write that.
You don't get to censor yourself or your writing, so the internal censor can go on vacation. If it wants to scream and holler, you tune it out like commercials during your favorite show. By extension, you are allowed to write the worst schlock in history. Quality is not the point, writing – the act of writing – is all that matters.
It is not important whether you may use any of the material produced during this exercise. That is not the point. I can tell you from experience that seeds of ideas can be born from the process, so don't discount it as New Age quackery.
I go into my exercise with the germ of an idea that came to me in that stage between sleep and waking, and it will be incorporated into the outline that I have already begun putting together to move the story forward. It is not at all what I intended when I began this project so it is a little scary and also incredibly exciting.
And that is why I write because it offers me a creative outlet and it opens this magnificent well of emotions to draw from and renew my soul! Plus it includes sexy demons. Sexy demons are always fun.