Writing Challenge, Day 25: Starting the Fire

30 Day Know Thyself Writing Challenge

Day 25: What makes you want to write more?

I find there are a few things that stoke the creative fire:

  1. Real-world inspiration. Reading about people like Amanda Hocking with wild success stories is immensely encouraging. Hocking had tried for years to get her books accepted by publishing houses but they all kept turning her down. Finally, in a last-ditch effort to raise $300 so she could travel to see a Muppets exhibition in Chicago six months down the road, she self-published a book on Amazon. By the end of the six months she had made $20,000. Now, with a faithful and growing audience of readers, she has made millions selling subsequent publications. How can you NOT want to write after hearing stories like that?
  1. Talking story. You know how when you tell your friends “I’m writing a book” there’s a pretty good chance they’re going to ask (unless you are Chris Moyles*) what it’s about? Yeah. Well, when that happens and suddenly you have to explain yourself, it throws a lot of things into perspective reeeaaally fast. You don’t want to sound like an idiot, so you paint your story-in-progress as best as you can—sometimes amending plot holes and trimming excess along the way!

Of course, even if your novel doesn’t magically sort itself out under the pressure of describing it on demand (which is, I find, more often the case) the process of drawing a quick outline is an illuminating one. You realize what characters or details need attention as well as where the story needs development and change. The fire to improve can be a compelling one.

Telling a friend about your work is never more encouraging than when he or she is excited about it—then you know you have something. It’s the perfect motivation for putting your butt in the chair!

  1. Shower epiphanies. I do my best thinking away from the screen. This might be on a run, sipping an iced tea on the deck, or in the shower. I’ve talked about this before, but there is a lot of power in letting your subconscious connect the dots as it jumps from place to place. It just needs the time and space in which to do it. I tell you, there is NO better motivation to write than having a kickass idea when there’s no computer at your fingertips!!!

*See what happens if you ARE Chris Moyles and announce you are writing a book. Reaction starts at 1:40.

2 thoughts on “Writing Challenge, Day 25: Starting the Fire

  1. Oh Julie, Chris Moyle clip made me laugh, thank you! As you know I truly love your posts. And yes, Amanda’s story is certainly amazing, mostly because it took her long time to reach so called ‘overnight’ successes. I am afraid it always does. She wrote because like all of us misfortunate creatures; it is compulsion she could not stop. The good test for that is to imagine having $$$ millions in the bank right now and answer to yourself honestly whether you will still write. If the honest answer is ‘yes’ – then $$$ millions do not matter at all. Because you/me will still be doing the same thing we are doing now. Yes of course, on a better keyboard, nicer house, country, etc. Still the essence of our being will remain the same. If the honest answer is ‘no’ – than that of course changes everything, including the ‘name of the game’. But somehow I do not think that would be the case!


    • I’m glad you enjoyed Stewart Lee (the comedian) on Chris Moyles…I can watch that again and again and I still laugh 🙂

      I think you are absolutely right about Amanda and the compulsion to write. We don’t do it for money; we do it because we must. But of course my dream is to be able to one day support myself writing. I don’t need millions…but seeing that success develop is still inspiring 😉

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