Write while the heat is in you. -- Henry David Thoreau
Passion translates through the pages and to make sure readers are enthralled, the writer must be too. But deadlines don’t go away when there is a lull, or the holidays have arrived, or there’s a new show on HBO. Writers must write, high, low, rain, sleet or perfect beach weather. Where does the inspiration come from? Here are a few ideas:
Tip #1 Show up: Writing is like a date; you have to show up if you want something to happen. Get to your desk every day, turn the computer on and say here we go! Sooner or later the Muse will be there, but you have to make the first move. Always.
Tip #2 Set an intention: State your goal for the day. Say it aloud. You might also write it down on a post-it and stick it to your monitor. It might be, two thousand words a day, flowing like a river, or ten pages edited, clean and easy. Setting an intention keeps the goal in sight. Adding a ‘feel good’ to the statement lifts the spirit.
Tip #3 Write what you love: This is major. If you aren’t passionate about your story, readers won’t be either. This isn’t something you can fake. Write what lights you up. If your current assignment doesn’t, find a way to change your mind about it. Throw caution to the wind. Fall head over heels. You have to LOVE the thing to make it sing!
Tip #4 Look after yourself: When others are on holidays, splashing in the pool or gliding down the ski slope, the ‘blank screen’ can seem like a punishment. When this happens, amp up the self-nurturing! Good food, power naps, exercise and socialise. Deadlines to not equate with prison sentences. You’ll get more done if you schedule in daily ‘me’ time.
Tip #5 Evoke the muse: In ancient times, no story told without calling on the Muses. ‘Tell me, O Muse,’ Homer begins, and we know where that got him. Stephen King suggests that when writers feel blocked it’s not because the Muse has abandoned them: I think what happens is that the writers themselves sow the edges of their clearing with poison bait to keep their muses away, often without knowing they are doing it. Love your Muse and she will love you back! More on evocations
Tip #6 Ghost write: If the keys aren’t clicking, open a new word .doc and write a few paras in another voice. Choose some author with a different style. Ask yourself how Dostoyevsky, Oscar Wilde or even Homer Simpson would write. After a few hundred words, take a break. Have a cuppa. When you come back to your work, your fingers will fly!
Tip # 7 De-clutter your desk: Clear out all the old cups and wrappers, organise your notes, clean the draws and vacuum under your chair. This Feng Shui tip really lights a fire in the belly. You can clean up your virtual desktop too, and tighten your backups and files. The outer environment reflects the inner. Take a look around and see if anything is askew. It will boost you Qi big time.
Kim Falconer is a Supernatural Underground author writing epic science fantasy novels. Kim’s latest series is Quantum Encryption. You can find out more about her at kim.falconer.com. She posts on the 16th of every month.