If you’re a writer (aspiring or otherwise), you’ll know that the craft is both plenty of fun and lots of hard work too. As with any creative practice, you’ll have good days and bad days. To help you to stay motivated and producing great work, try these five tips and tools.
1 . Meet-ups
Of course, you love your craft, but sometimes writing alone can get a little bit lonely. Naturally, many of us find it easier to concentrate when we are alone, yet there’s no harm in taking yourself to a weekly writers group.
Look on websites like ‘Meet-up’ to see if there are any writer’s clubs in your area. If you can’t find any, you could always try Facebook. If you cannot find one, consider starting one! I did and it is so much fun to gather as friends from time to time now.
Finding a circle of writing-friends can help you to trade tips, get inspired and make connections. There are some great meet-ups out there which involve writing together in coffee shops, with breaks to chat and give feedback.
2 . Name Generator Sites
If you’re a story writer, you’ll likely be forever wracking your brains to think up new names, be it for characters or fantasy locations. It can be challenging to think of the perfect name for your protagonist (or for an alien if you write sci-fi)! To help you out, there are some excellent name generator sites which can offer some awesome ideas and get your imagination flowing again. How fun it is to find new assets and tools of the trade, right?
3. Story Tracker App
Story Tracker is a great app for those who submit to online publications. Whether you are submitting stories, poems or articles, Story Tracker can help you keep track of what you’ve sent where, as well as deadlines and income. For those who are submitting to a wide variety of publishers, Story Tracker can be an excellent way to stay organized.
(Did you know about this one? What a find!)
4. Stay Inspired
We all have those times where we experience writer’s block; it can be frustrating when you just can’t seem to get into the flow. No matter if you’ve had a good or bad writing day, you need to stay inspired! Staying inspired means you have to keep reading; read widely across different genres and styles, always be on the lookout for new writers.
When you read something amazing, you’ll feel that rush of energy and start to feel motivated again in no time. If you’re finding it hard to complete a longer piece of narrative, why not take a break to try a small paragraph or poem to get you going?
5. Automatic Writing
Automatic writing can be a fantastic exercise to get your creative ideas flowing. Take a blank piece of paper and a pen, start writing whatever comes into your mind and don’t stop for two minutes. Allow the words to flow onto the page without much thought; the idea is to channel your pure subconscious or raw imagination. Do not worry about grammar, punctuation, spelling, or even making sense; just allow yourself to write in free verse.
You may end up with not much that you can use in a traditional sense. Yet, you’ll likely end up with a few beautiful lines of poetry and the odd reflection or realization. More importantly, you’ll have warmed up your imagination.
Many of us who link up with Five Minute Friday are used to automatic writing; we simply may not have known the name of this style of writing.
Here’s an additional resource on overcoming writer’s block by Jerry Jenkins.
Lastly, writing can be an amazing way to cope during hard times. Many writers find solace in keeping a journal to write down difficult emotions, especially when we experience a sense of peace or healing. When we write our feelings down, we allow ourselves a welcome release, for often we have released our challenges to the One who comforts us as only He can.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.
2 Corinthians 1:3