We have all felt disheartened as writers. It can manifest itself in a variety of forms. Lack of impetus, illness, stress, unrealistic comparisons, self expectations or stumbling over a particular section in a writing project. Some call it writers block. In truth it is just life.
Here are some tips to bring you back your writing mojo.
1. Focus on enjoying telling your stories. Do it to the best of your ability.
2. Remember you are building an inventory of your writing but also learning your craft.
3. Lessen your expectations, don’t be so hard on yourself. Yes, we all want a certain quality to our work, but with patience it will come. There is no quick fix.
4. Don’t compare another writer’s finished work against your in process drafts. You have no idea how many changes they made.
5. Remember you get to rule over your own creative process. You choose, shape, mold, and create whatever you want.
6, Your words will, in time, sway minds, move hearts, and touch the lives of dozens of people you will never meet in person.
7. Your words, your stories are your legacy.
8. Do not take rejection personally. Think of it as a learning tool.
9. Take a long-term view of your writing career – no-one is ever an overnight success.
10. Participate in supportive writer groups. Share your work with encouraging friends.
What have you found works for you when you are feeling disheartened?
When creating a story the main element is the characters within the narrative. To ensure we, and our readers, can visualize and become empathic with these protagonists and antagonists, we need to take into account their personalities and backstory. We can begin by asking questions to enable us to create a fully formed character.
What is this character’s name?
Names are a vital first impression for your reader. It can denote an age, location or era. Research names for your story that will fit time and place. You may also chose a name that has a significant meaning.
2. How old are they?
You can state a character’s age, or allude to it with their reactions, preferences or actions.
3. What do they look like?
You can give subtle clues to your character’s looks through careful descriptions rather than listing their physical features. For example, the steamed up mirror gradually revealed her wet long black hair. He easily picked the box off the top shelf.
4. Who are they?
Utilize a character’s occupation, a prominent personality trait, or interaction to give your reader a glimpse at them.
5. Where are they?
Ensure the location of your scenes is ‘visible’ to your reader. A dark room, a summer day in the park or a sandy beach. Place your character within these locations and have them interact with their surroundings.
6. What era/season/day do they inhabit?
With historical fiction, or date/era sensitive stories this is important so your readers are orientated to where your characters live.
7. Who are your characters interacting with?
Name other characters within a scene, this is usually accomplished through dialogue, or interaction.
8. How do they relate to the other character(s)?
Create scenes that help your reader understand the relationships between your character’s. For example, Tom laid his hand on Cheryl’s shoulder as she typed up the letter. She shrugged her distaste at her boss’s physical touch. Tom positioned himself on one side of her desk and grinned.
9. What is your character accomplishing in each scene?
Each scene should relay what your character is trying to accomplish, with whom and how. Give your readers enough information, but also ask questions on what happens next.
10. Keep your character’s plight foremost.
Keep your reader engaged with curiosity, emotional investment, or sympathy for your character, this will keep them present in the story.
Remember to be true to your story but also your readers expectations within the specific genre.
Do you have certain questions you ask your characters? Care to share?
I am once again committing to a blog schedule for the upcoming year.
As last year’s topics and posting days proved to be popular, I am going to keep the same schedule for this year. There will be weekly posts divided between writing topics on Tuesday’s, when I will be delving into my writing (and reading) life.
The posting days will continue as Tuesday and Thursday of each week as follows:
Bibliophile’s Collective Tuesday
Stories behind my published books and also from works in progress.
Update on events I will be attending – if possible physically, if not virtually in 2022
Glimpses at my current writing project.
Sharing short stories or poem’s I have written from prompts or workshops.
My book reviews
Wordsmith’s Collective Thursday
Special Interviews with authors from Creative Edge
Author Interviews for Creative Edge Publicity
Also I am happy to host an author interview for anyone interested in doing so.
I welcome your suggestions for inclusion of a topic or a theme, so please comment below.
I will continue with my monthly newsletter, so please sign up when prompted. I hope we can develop a great relationship with this new venture – Sneek Peeks & Glimpses. Thank you in anticipation.
Wishing everyone a wonderful, healthy and fiction filled Christmas and New Year.
We all know that the holiday’s tend to reek havoc on our writing schedule, but there are ways of grabbing writing time. There are always lulls in activities, whether it’s traveling time, the lethargic atmosphere after a meal, or solitary early mornings. You can find somewhere to ‘hide’ away, even if its only for half an hour or so. Here are a few tips to try.
Relax your normal rigorous writing timetable – take time to chill and observe.
Keep track of the number of words you write instead of how long you wrote.
Make the most of “un-scheduled” time – waiting for a flight or sitting in a vehicle en route to a function, at children’s rehearsals, a break for coffee during shopping.
Wake up earlier (or stay up later) than usual to ensure that you spend some time writing.
Decide on a specific amount of time to write and block that time.
Use the time to track your progress on a current project.
Feel comfortable to reflect on your writing plans or current project.
Experiment with prompts, a new genre or a short story.
You’re going to be around a lot of people so pay attention to the interactions and conversations use it as research.
A new location can inspire an new idea or inclusion in a current work.
Always carry a notebook and pen.
Refuse to feel guilty when you remove yourself to write.
Remember it is okay to rest and enjoy the celebrations.
How do you find time to writing during the holidays?
Promoting a back list can be frustrating, if a little boring, as we naturally want to concentrate on our latest shiny novel. However, all our books are worthy of attention for as long as they are available for sale. There are several ways to keep the back list titles fresh and you can actually utilize the change in seasons to plan it.
Firstly, can you categorize your books by season. Look at the season the narrative is set within or it’s genre and use that as your starting point.
Summer: romance/vacation adventures/a beach read/contemporary summer town story.
Spring: a character’s new life/moving to a new town, school or college.
Fall: chilly horror/mystery/monsters and Halloween.
Winter: isolation/struggles of survival/Xmas romance.
I think you get the idea.
Here are some other ways to keep the older titles fresh.
Do a live reading (if restrictions allow) or read on any social media site or streaming site.
Upgrade the cover.
Revise the content – new edit, additional information, add book club questions and new reviews.
Write a prequel.
Arrange guest blog posts centering on the back-list book(s).
Create a readers guide for book clubs.
Use niche topics to promote.
Utilize a podcast interview to promote all your books.
Request new reviews.
Offer a sale price.
What methods do you use to keep your older books fresh and saleable?