Three weeks into January, and I’m feeling quite accomplished. One of my greatest goals for NaNoWriMo last year and for myself as a writer has been to adhere to the habit of writing daily. And, three weeks into the new year, I’m still doing it. Who knew this pantser with the untamable muse could become so disciplined?
While I would love to blame it completely on determination and self-control, I can’t. If there’s one thing that I’ve learned about myself as a writer, it’s that maintaining any sort of pace requires feeding my muse. I hadn’t realized it before, but that’s exactly what I’ve been doing over the last three weeks as well.
My first novel was born after watching Star Wars for the first time. After the movie ended and I was sent to bed, it felt like something in my young mind had woken up. Dreams of epic battles and heroic feats swirled around my mind. I wanted to be part of it. More than anything, I wanted to be involved in something heroic. So, I pulled out the nearest half empty journal and started scribbling a story that has remained my pet project (and sometimes my bane) ever since.
Throughout the years, I’ve found that my passion for writing peaks whenever something awakens that part of me — that part that longs for adventure and heroism. Sometimes it’s listening to a soundtrack while driving alone between pastures and forests. Sometimes it’s a beautifully written book that I wish I were a part of. Sometimes it’s strolling outside and allowing my muse to wander freely as well, placing myself amid some imaginary adventure.
And sometimes — like at the moment — it’s the latest Legend of Zelda video game. Perhaps it’s odd and amusing, but my imagination shifts into high gear after helping villagers, decimating monsters, and saving the day while accompanied by a soundtrack.
When that part of me is awake, I feel the most alive. I feel most in touch with people around me, with my priorities, with life, with God. And while it’s sometimes easy to get busy and allow my imagination to fall into hibernation, that’s not the way I was meant to live. I’m meant to be awake. God gave me an imagination; I need to take care of it.