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.