Thursday, February 18, 2010

Psych Up

Whenever I'm out for a run or competing in a swim meet, music always pumps me up and gets me in the mood. If I'm sore, tired, or struggling, there are a few songs that will come through the speakers, instantly psych me up and help me power through.

I find the same can be true for writing. There are mornings where you wake up, sit down at the computer and, you're just not feeling it. Words don't seem to come, ideas don't flow, and your word count goal seems impossible to reach. For me, music doesn't inspire me to write, but there are a few things that can get the creative juices flowing.

Reading. What better way to inspire a novel than to read a great one? Reading a few chapters from one of your favorite books can remind you why you wanted to write in the first place and inspire you to keep moving forward. Nonfiction can be helpful too, especially writing guides. ON WRITING by Stephen King and WRITE FASTER, WRITE BETTER are two that always motivate me.

Getting Out. Most writing is done inside, alone, in a chair. You sit at a computer and make things up. Getting out of the house and exploring your neighborhood can open your mind, reconnect with the real world, and allow you to bring authenticity to the fictional world of your novel. Even if you're not writing about the same city you live in, hearing people talk and interact can be enough to freshen your dialogue and watching the traffic or the trees can help add texture to your scene.

Change The Scene. Do you always work at the computer at your desk? Try sitting in a chair with a paper and pen or heading to a nearby coffee shop. Changing the circumstances can initiate a change in attitude and motivate you to write.

Pep Talk. Every writer should have another writer they can talk to. Spouses and friends are okay, but if they're not writers, they won't completely understand where you're coming from. I think of the writer friend like an AA sponsor: they're there to encourage you and help you move forward while making sure you don't slip. Sometimes calling your writing buddy and talking about your story can be a world of motivation to keep moving forward.

1 comment:

Darwyn Jones said...

Like an AA sponsor, huh?
So, can I call you at 2:30 in the morning when I've woken up, shaken and sweating, realizing that I killed off the wrong character?