NaNoWriMo Inspiration

This is my favorite painting. Wanderer above the Sea of Fog by Caspar David Friedrich. How can this inspire you with your writing? Well… when writing, and especially when writing in such special conditions, such as the ones demanded by NaNoWriMo, it must feel at times that you don’t know what you’re doing. You’re lost… you don’t know if there’s a destination to be reached anymore.

The thing is that… being lost isn’t so bad. After all, no matter how many maps and compasses we own, how many plans we make, in the end, we’re still facing a big, misty unknown. We never know what’s going to happen. So my advice is simply this: if you don’t know where your story is headed, don’t worry. Keep on writing, you never know what you might find.


55 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo Inspiration

  1. Nice – I love that picture too. I agree with you. There's always a moment when a book, picture, project, whatever you're working on, looks like a complete disaster. Too many people give up at that stage. Sometimes, you've just got to finish the book and then worry about the difficult bits afterwards.


  2. Great advice! I've been embracing this lesson all week, learning the tricks that will allow me to let go of the story and just let it do as it pleases in its first stages. I guess that's the irony of writing; to gain control of a story, you have to first let it go.


  3. Thanx, I needed to hear that as i haven't written in 2 days and am 8,000 words behind… but you're right I do not know what I might find… at least I have a long weekend here to hide away and write, write, write… :)


  4. I have just begyn to write again after raisinf 9 children on a hobby farm. At first i was frozen but the icy walls around my spirit have slowly melted as I write, write, write iposts on my blog. Now i sense springtime in my writer's soul. You have helped me more than you will ever know


  5. Great read…I don't know how many times I have set down to write something and found something better in the fog of my untapped consciousness. Love the painting as well…a picture is worth a thousand words and more in this case.


  6. "You’re lost… you don’t know if there’s a destination to be reached anymore." Even worse, for me this week, was seeing those rocky outcroppings and knowing there was a destination I wanted to reach, but the fog prevented me from seeing any one of the many ways to go there. I finally decided to simply enjoy the foggy path and stopped trying to reach any specific rocks. For this month, wandering is really the better way.


  7. I like this painting for the unusual take on romantism, which was more about being one with nature most of the time. Here, it is more about Man against Nature, but fighting it not with machines and destruction, but with his soul. Nature is chaos and unpredictable, but Man will not succumb to this ) Perhaps, this is why this painting can be so encouraging to writers )


  8. When I read the part where you said 'being lost isn't so bad I took it literally and remembered when I was (kind of, almost) lost.. Literally.. :P In a way it was fun? Haha, two different 'losts' yet how you (I) deal with them are similar… ^__^a

    And about that painting, at first I thought of Sherlock, then a traveler, and that made me think of Doctor Who.. (wow, all the movie references :P ) But I think a traveler suits it best, no? :)


  9. Caspar David Friedrich is one of my favorite artists. He is able to capture the loneliness of a landscape so well. I love finding inspiration in other forms of art. Sometimes even a song inspires a new poem for me.


  10. I appreciate this short post on several levels. First it is brief! Second – I call this state of confusion we arrive at in the creative work as "wandering through the dark tunnel". And I agree – it is an integral part of the creative process – not knowing (at least for a time) exactly where we are going to "arrive" with the work is not such a bad thing. It is a chance for discovery.


  11. I mentioned you in my blog today! Coincidentally I was also talking about connecting and the novel I am writing. In the picture I see the ‘wanderer’ as the author watching over the characters and seeing how they unfold. They have their own stories and we just have to listen. I find when I try to ‘write’ them, it is forced, when I listen and write what I feel, it is natural.


  12. Totally agree, Cristian. There's some reductionist thinking out there in the world of writing theory; structure it first, etc. In other words let the intellect rule your writing. And that's a recipe to kill creativity stone dead. You're right, enjoy being lost, and keep writing.


  13. Hello, Christian! Caspar David Friedrich inspires me also very much, it was just this spring that I bought his album in Münster. I guess because there is so much of exalted and sacral behind his vision of landscapes. xeniadmi


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