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Finding your Writing Motivation

Finding your Writing Motivation

You’re writing or editing your novel, managing to bypass writers’ block and all of the other demands on your time. You’re determined; you’ve downloaded the productivity apps… the Do Not Disturb Sign is making an appearance. Despite everything though, you’re losing the love for your project. The novel that once inspired you enough to make you put pen to paper now fills you with dread whenever you sit down to write.

What can you do to re-harness your enthusiasm for the craft if your current piece is just not working for you? I’ve been there, and I want to share my top tips for getting your muse back…

My Tips for Getting your Writing Muse Back

Pretend that your novel doesn’t exist. Ignore it completely (for now). It’s a well- known but daunting strategy, that of ‘stick it in a drawer for a couple of months’, especially if you’re in a huge rush to get your work out there, to reach an audience through self-publishing. Stop for a minute, though. Just think how much more fired up and creative you could be if you stop pressuring yourself to perform, and you can come back to it with a rested mind. It’s surprising how refreshing a new perspective on the same old piece of work can be.

Try your hand at writing some short stories or flash fiction instead. Embrace the idea of writing in a completely different format or a genre that is entirely alien to you. This will make you think in a different way. It may also have the unexpected benefit of leading you down a new avenue with your existing novel – or perhaps, it might convince you to start a whole new manuscript from scratch. As an added bonus, it will help you to expand your writing portfolio.

It’s surprising how refreshing a new perspective on the same old piece of work can be.

Enter a writing competition. This one ties in with #2, in that you may as well hone your skills and put your brand new masterpiece to good use. Imagine how inspired you will feel if you win or get shortlisted… and the associated coverage will look great on your CV. You could even tap into any successes by referencing them in future marketing campaigns once your novel is completed. Who knows, you could get spotted by agents or publishers…

Read as much – and as widely – as you possibly can. Not only will this reacquaint you with your love for the written word, but it basically serves as writing revision, so it’s a perfect pastime to use to rest your mind, guilt free.

Do your writing research. You cannot get complacent when it comes to writing. Every single book you read, whether it is a novel or a book about the writing craft, will inform you about your own writing strategies a little bit more. As well as that, you can do some research into any elements of your book that you have yet to pad out. While we all write about what we know, there are going to be aspects of a story that you need to look into further in order to make it authentic and believable. Would the leaves on that type of plant really be golden at that time of year? Does vodka leave a detectable scent on someone’s breath? What is it actually like to work in the police force? Every single detail in your novel needs to be accurate; you may as well use this hiatus to do any research that you have been putting off.

Those are my favourite methods for finding my muse when I’m feeling uninspired. Get in touch with us on Twitter and let us know what yours are. @selfpublishmag

About The Author

Rachel is the Editor of The Self-Publishing Magazine. The magazine aims to educate, inform and entertain the world about everything to do with self-publishing. Rachel has an English degree and a Creative Writing MA from the University of Southampton, and writes in her spare time. She is also a keen runner and an avid reader, especially of historical fiction.

Video Update!

From the editor…

Events season is here. Perhaps you're heading to the Self-Publishing Conference this spring? Literary events are great opportunities for authors to network and learn more about the competition, and the market as a whole.

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Indie Pick


The first in a series of stories about life in a rural England coping with the challenges of the Agricultural Revolution

Tom Norbery’s decision to bring two orphaned children to live at Linmore Hall, changes the life of his son for the better. It does not make his older brother less aggressive, or his mother kinder, but for the first time in his life, Joshua has a friend – someone to talk to, to share his adventures and ambitions with. All he has to do is accept Charlie Cobarne’s little sister as part of the package, which does not seem much to ask.

But Sophie disdains female refinements in favour of masculine hunting pursuits at which she excels. She challenges her brother and Joshua and in so doing, she binds their friendship together… but her continuing presence causes the once strong bond between the young men to become a recipe for misunderstandings.

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