I was recently asked how I find the motivation/inspiration to keep on writing (even though I’ve currently hit a wall when it comes to anything blog-related!). When that first epic novel that you poured your heart and soul into finally gets published, sometimes there doesn’t seem to be much of your brain left over to write another one.
The key is to keep things fresh and to not put pressure on yourself to write something when you are not ready. Obviously this is easier said than done and doesn’t work when you have a deadline to meet.
For me, having a blog both helps and hinders the creative process. The advantage is that I am constantly writing so once I get in the zone I’m off. The disadvantage is that my blog can distract me from working on other projects – so I have to juggle and prioritise accordingly.
Of course, getting in the writing mood/zone in the first place can be tricky. Blog posts are far easier to write on a consistent basis than a whole new book. I have new ideas all the time for blog posts – usually from reading other blogs funnily enough – which I then write down and work through one at a time.
The idea for my second book ‘Theseus & the Mother-in-Law’ came about when I was still writing my first – ‘Greek Expectations: The Last Moussaka Standing.’ But I didn’t start writing it straight away. I had a few other ideas in the mix and wanted to write a play. I started the play and it just didn’t feel right – I couldn’t get into my usual writing frame of mind. So I put the idea to one side and after reading through my notes on Theseus, suddenly became inspired to start the new book.
I’m very much the type of person who gets a lightbulb moment and then just runs with it.
I had absolutely no plans for a poetry book when I hit upon the idea of a short story in verse. In fact at the time I was toying with the idea of some sort of cook book. But after coming across some new authors who wrote in verse I became inspired to jump on the bandwagon and ‘Seraphina’ was born.
When I write I go into a sort of trance. I could spend hours staring at the same sentence and then suddenly I’m vomiting out words like a bad case of food poisoning!
I’ve even got to that delirious writing state where I can’t remember what I’ve written. Ask me now how I came up with certain plot twists or characters and I couldn’t tell you. It’s a bit like an out of body experience. And no I don’t do drugs. But feta cheese is incredibly powerful!
That doesn’t mean that I don’t get writer’s block. It happens all the time. But if I’m not in the mood, then there is no point trying. I just come back to it another time.
Many of my writer/blogger friends have their own ‘special place’ (wow that sounds weird) that they retreat to when they need to get in the zone (even weirder), but many of us simply sit at the kitchen table/dressing table/toilet in the wee small hours of the morning tapping away.
So if you need to get yourself into the writing mood here are my top tips:
Jot down ideas as you go along
These ideas might include notes about your current project or a future project. Write down EVERYTHING and you never know, it might inspire you later on.
Read other work
When I’m totally stuck for ideas I turn to other people’s work. Basically it’s research. You are finding out about literature on the current market within the genre you are writing about. The best writers are those who are voracious readers.
Give yourself a break
If you don’t have to meet a deadline then don’t push yourself. Inspiration will come…eventually!
Find your writing space. If you work best slouched in an armchair, writing by candlelight then do it.
Write, Write, WRITE!
And finally, just keep on writing – even if it doesn’t make any sense just get it down on paper!
So how do you get in the writing mood?