Once upon a time, if you asked me if I believe I could write a novel, I would have said, “No.” That changed when I started “Picture Bride”, a book I have now completed after working on it for two years. Determination was the single most important factor for my finishing this project. But how do you get this fire in your belly?
For many years, I had this vague notion in my head that I would write a novel. It was just a seed, blown about and unable to take root as life kept happening and other priorities would uproot this little sapling. When I finally decided that I had a book in me, the seed grew and took hold this time. If you’re contemplating whether you should start writing a book, and you need assistance in motivating yourself like I did, here are some of the things you can do.
- Take a writing course. The positive feedbacks can leave you glowing with pleasure and wanting more. I took an online program and thoroughly enjoyed working with my coaches.
- Turn the internet into your friend. The resources online are limitless. When my writing bug first nibbled, I couldn’t find anything helpful in the bookstores and the libraries—the internet was only just emerging. The best I could lay my hands on was a book that put me to sleep each time I attempted to read it. Needless to say, I never finished it.
- Read about the writing craft, advice from bloggers, books…anything that helps you improve your art and teaches you about the publishing world.
- Join writing forums, the ones that allow you to post your stories and poems for other members to critique in a constructive environment. I found writing.com to be extremely helpful in fuelling my creativity during the early part of my novel.
- Join social media. I was hopelessly lost on Twitter during my newbie attempt and turned away for a long time. When I came back, I was determined to figure out what the buzz was all about. What I discovered was a whole new universe where writers and others are more than happy to share all kinds of useful information. Follow the links on some of the tweets to find out what other writers, social media gurus, and sometimes, unsavoury characters—you can skip these, are doing.
- Attend a writers’ conference. When I attended my first one, I received the biggest boost to my writing side…I can’t begin to quantify the benefits.
- Create a writing routine and stick with it. Make your goals achievable so you don’t come down hard on yourself with the guilt trips. My target was not word count…that was too difficult given that some days my left brain was more active than the right.
- Write short stories and poems to take breaks from your book. It’s like flexing the smaller creative muscles to feed the bigger ones.
- Find out if there’s a writer in your community or amongst your contacts. Befriend him or her. Somewhere along my writing journey, I was introduced to one. She not only fanned the sparks that sometimes threatened to fizzle, but we’ve become good friends too.
- Buy a tablet or an ebook reader. It’s so easy to download books and they cost a fraction of the printed ones. Sometimes they cost nothing! And you’re supporting the writing community in the process.
So write on.