Today I would like to talk about finding motivation to write, how difficult or easy it can be day to day. On a good day I might be able to write a fair bit, maybe even a couple thousand words on a weekend. It can be anything that motivates me; a dream, a random thought popping into my head, or something I have seen or overheard in passing.
Most of the time I tend to run off of ‘What If’ scenarios; What if Thomas’s Talent manifests in the middle of a fight? What if Dr Laciano figures out who the bad guy is before anyone else? These scenarios have led to some very interesting scenes in The Revelation Academy, one even adding an important aspect to the climax of the book.
But sometimes nothing comes to you, no random thoughts or overheard conversations to fuel your writing. So what do you do? When I was younger all I would do is sit on the sofa with my laptop open, a blank word document staring at me. I would sit there for several hours, wiggling my mouse every so often to keep the screen awake. (Admittedly this still happens sometimes).
But what I am trying to implement at the moment is if I find I am struggling to add to the WIP I randomly ask someone to give me a genre, any genre whatsoever and I would start thinking of a story to fit that genre. For example, a little while ago I asked my fiance to give me a genre and he said mystery. After that I thought only of the mysteries I have read/watched and thought of what I expected from those stories. Then I start to write anything that comes to mind. Within half an hour I had a short story beginning to form on my screen, a murder mystery where a young woman is found dead under a tree in a park. No clues as to who she is or why she was killed. By writing the story like this I feel I am digging out the answers, like I am digging on an archaeology site (being a History graduate this image makes most sense to me). So rather than knowing exactly what is supposed to be happening and trying to put it into words I am working through it like a reader would.
This method could be used as a writing exercise to get your brain in gear for writing something longer or it could be used to start a new book, pushing you towards your next big project.
Another method I use to find inspiration is simple, keep a notebook for the odd bits of story you think up during the day. I have a small A6 notebook that has one liners in it, to inspire me at a later date. This way whenever these little thoughts pop into your mind when you are trying to focus on something else you can write them down to be used later. This can be used for any sort of creative writing, and also for blogging!
Here are a few other tips and tricks you might find useful!
- Flipping through a tabloid magazine – you could come across a rather ridiculous article that might kickstart a silly plot line.
- Imagine what an animal might see in a normal day, what stands out? You can develop this by imagining what an animal might make of human habits, what would they think of our lives if we could talk to each other?
- Sit in a coffee shop and be as nosy as you can. Although you might want to make it not so obvious that you are listening in.
- Attached to the one above, sit in a window somewhere and watch people go about their shopping. What is going on in their heads?
Do you have any tips or tricks that you use? Let me know as I am always on the lookout for ways to keep myself writing.