Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Inspiration for Writers

Motivation is an important thing that gets books written. This combined with a creative mind and a great storyline is what makes a book stand out to publishing houses. As a writer myself, I'm not always motivated to sit down and create. Sometimes I need a kick in the pants to get the juices flowing. I compare writing to a fire. The more motivation and inspiration I have, which is the fuel, the warmer and sustaining the flames are. The motivators are the fuel.

So, the big question is, "What motivates a writer?"

Tip 1:

Know where your story is heading. I'm not suggesting that a writer should sit down and write every detail and aspect before diving into chapter one. For some, plotting works. For others, like myself, I like to jump in and take off. However, that doesn't mean that I don't have a solid storyline in my head and I use it as the core path on the map. Verging from this path is fine as long as we hop back on the storyline train every once in awhile. What a writer doesn't want is to lose sight of the plot. For instance, when one is making a pot of stew they know what the end result will be--stew. However, this is where writing style comes into play: one can add their choice of veggies and meat to come up with what suits their flavor. It'll still be stew no matter what you throw in. A writer never wants to have holes in their plot.

Tip 2:

Find your place of solace. I've always needed one thing while I write: SILENCE. No music, no TV, no noise. Another motivator for me is natural light. I sit by a massive picture window and it helps the creative juice start flowing. Chocolate is always welcome at my desk. I eat a candy bar a day while I'm in my writing/mental zone. One writer friend said she sits down and reads a chapter or two of her favorite writer and it sparks her competitive side. Another author told me he works out and writes better pumped.  Find what works for you.

Tip 3:

Stay true to yourself. Write what you love. The greatest joy in life is doing what makes us happy. Follow your instinct. I don't feel like any writer must stick with one genre, or sub-genre. Being a writer means creating. My brain is chocked full of story ideas and characters. I just happen to love writing romance, but I'm not chained to that genre. In fact, I see a children's book on the horizon for me. It could turn out to be the worst book I've ever written, but at least I'll give it a shot. The inspiration comes in bringing a story and characters to life. Nurturing them into believable people. Connecting true life to a fantasy world.

Tip 4:

Set goals and stick to them. Word targets have been a huge motivator for me. Each day I choose how many words I'm going to write, but am very careful not to aim too high. The idea is to reach the goal as inspiration. Once I reach my target it gives me the motivation to continue on. A few of my writer friends have word count challenges. They either set a goal of words and see who reaches it first, or they have a free-for-all and see who writes the most words in one day. All writers know writing books is a competitive field. It's not that we want to do better than another writer, we just like the challenge of winning.

Tip 5:

Join a critique group. When I first started writing I joined a wonderful group. During that time I learned more than I thought possible. Not only did I learn to grow a tougher, thicker skin, I also got the best advice from a diverse population of writers. The critters who helped me the most are the ones who didn't hold back with the blunt truth. It made me a better writer and a better person.

What is your motivation?



  1. Interesting, and a lot of valid points, depending perhaps on your genre. As a writer and writing professor, not sure I agree with the sticking to the plot – at least it's never worked for me. The novels I was able to publish wrote themselves; the characters led me rather than vice versa. But all writers can certainly come up with their own rules, just from learning through trial and error. Nice blog.

    1. Thank you, Sandra. My books tend to write themselves also, but I attempt to keep an abstract plot in my mind.

  2. nice tips! I am only an amateur writer, still feels funny calling myself that...but I think I can try these tips to become a better one. thanks!

    1. Thanks for your comment. I hope they help. These are only my tips and what has worked for me, so you'll find what works for you through your journey. I hope I've helped in giving you some "inspiration." Again, thank you. Good luck and best wishes.