What can you do if you just can’t write? This has been my struggle this Nano. I usually have a time getting started, but this year is different. I have no doubt that part of it stems from our October difficulties.
However, there are other things that can be done to keep your project (I say project rather than novel because my work is primarily non-fiction) moving forward. Here are five.
Outline. What do you have? What do you need? Is there research that needs to be done for your project?
Write vignettes. Get the scene out of your head. No transitions, no history, just stream of consciousness that can be incorporated later on in your project.
Study the history of your subject. My particular book offers some historical perspective and learning the history of the place can give you ideas for storylines in both fiction and non-fiction.
Edit. Re-read. Revise. I know that Nano is for writing and not editing, but if you can’t write…re-read. Something may come to you.
Take a Break. Light a candle, have a cup of tea, read a book. Set a timer for ten minutes and just sit with eyes closed and mind open. Or twenty minutes.
Take the pressure off of yourself. What are some of your suggestions when you’re blocked?
My daughter came up with this recipe. It is excellent for those in your life who prefer their vegetables crunchy and just barely the other side of raw as she does. I was complaining of her lack of vegetables in her cooking and she decided to show me up by frying up some apple slices and baby carrots in what was left of the chicken tenders in the pan. We ate it over rice, and it was not only very good, it was refreshing as well.
Later on that same weekend, I made a similar dish with fried chicken breasts and buttered egg noodles. My veggie combo consisted of: apple slices, grape tomatoes, and dried cranberries sauteed in about a quarter stick of butter with a tiny sprinkle of fresh ground pepper and a pinch or so of apple pie spice (cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice).
My apples were not crunchy at all (and that was how I liked them) and unfortunately, I was the only one who liked the tomatoes and cranberries, but experimentation is at the heart of cooking. Had I mashed them, they would have made a nice chutney.
Try something new. That’s been my husband’s refrain for the last couple of years: TSN! (Try something new.) I wonder if chopped pecans would have improved it a bit. Ah, but next time.
What would you have added to my sauteed apples that would have been better?