If your writing is treated as a business, do you draw up business plans and goals every year? I do. I decide on how many books I want to have finished and plot out a time frame that includes editing and revisions and any deadlines of publishers I have to meet. And every January I brim over with enthusiasm and positive vibes, certain I can meet these commitments.
In a perfect world, I’d probably meet all those goals and commitments.
But life usually intervenes somewhere along the line, given like many, I have a family and a full time ‘other’ job. Of course that also doesn’t include the times when the creative well is bone dry.
I love writing, I don’t want it to turn into something I feel I have to do but how does a writer maintain that new year enthusiasm and motivation when faced with the grind of day-to-day living? And sometimes it is hard. And tough. And sometimes its fraught with difficult situations and events that hit you in the face like a tonne of bricks.
It’s hard to continually keep the magic in your voice and words when its 1.00am and you’re still staring at the screen and have to get up in four hours to begin another day. Or when you’re emotionally exhausted from dealing with daily challenges like your water meter springs a leak and gushes a whole dams worth of water down the road and the Water Board says ‘not my problem’ and the plumber says ‘ring the water board’. You get my drift.
Here’s a few tips and tricks I use that help me:
* Take a hard look at those shiny New Year goals and decide whether I’d been under the influence of Xmas punch when I wrote them. In other words, are these goals realistic?
* Revisit and revise my goals on a monthly or quarterly basis. Am I behind, can I catch up, what can I do to meet that deadline? Or better so I don’t have a heart attack, can I revise that deadline?
* Visualise my achievements at the end of the year and that nice ‘I did it!’ glow to revitalise flagging motivation.
* Re-read my current ms from the beginning – this can help me to re-vitalise my enthusiasm for the story, especially if events have forced me away from writing for a few days or (gasp) a week!
* Revisit my GMC’s and backstories for my characters. Are they too bland? Too predictable? What can I add or change to bring that sparkle back into my work and stop me nodding off at my study desk?
* Also if I’m stuck and another scene from further in the story pops into my head, I’ll write that scene and come back to where I was later on. (Writing longhand is also another trick, I understand it utilises a different section of your brain and I know, it sure helps me when I’m dithering at the keyboard.)
* Squeeze in an hour or two for another passion – mine is bushwalking. The fresh air, pounding the bush track, breathing in the scents of our bush help clear my head, helps beat off any mild depression and I often come up with a solution to a writing problem along the way.
* Meet with other writers and brainstorm if you’re stuck and feel like you may as well paper your walls with your ms.
* I find music to be a wonderful source of creativity.
* Fill your creative well; take a break, see friends, a movie, listen to music, stroll along the beach, have a coffee shop date and mingle, keep active and watch your inner health by making good food choices. I’m a big believer in a sluggish body makes a sluggish brain and junk food makes me want to curl up and have a nap so I avoid it.
* Mostly, I remember why I chose to write in the first place – for the love of it.
What works for you? What helps you to snap the magic into your words?
I’m currently working on the next book in my sci fi series and would like to leave you with the blurb of my current release, Star Pirate’s Justice.
BLURB: Carly has one focus in her life: to return home to her terminally ill younger sister. When she learns that a Darkon traitor possesses gateway maps to Earth, she uses all her skills to track him down. But capturing the charming star pirate turns out to be trickier than she anticipated…
Volkar is determined to prove his innocence to those who drove him to a life lived on the Outer Rim, and he will overcome anyone who gets in his way. But his surprisingly sweet captor has some skills that will come in handy, so he strikes a deal: the maps for her help. Neither expect their partnership to turn into more, but as dark secrets are revealed, their lives become forfeit — and the relationship blossoming between them nothing but a starburst of happiness in the deep shadow of the sky…
Find S E Gilchrist at: