First, dear reader, let me apologize for the lateness of the hour. It has been a wildly patience testing day.
But, I finally have a few minutes alone at my computer. So where to begin?
Yesterday, we were talking about all types of inspiration, everything from inspiration for story ideas to inspiration to keep you focused on your writing. There are of course, too many places and forms of inspiration to name, and even if I could name them all what really matters is what inspires you personally. Because, writing is nothing else if not personal. You will spend countless hours thinking about your story, researching your story, developing the characters, the setting, the time frame. The exact words to use that clearly and emotionally convey your message. You will write it, rewrite, and rewrite it again. You will give it to someone else to read and make even more changes. There are hundreds of books out there to help you, books that promise you that if you do x, y, & z you can write a novel in a month. If you use this method you can push out a book a month, the list goes on and I am not saying those methods don’t work, maybe the do. But, do they work for you. When I decided to try self-publishing I read every books, blog and article I could get my hands on, I listens to every book and writing related podcast I could find in iTunes. I went to conference spoke with out self-published authors. I made a lot of great friends. I spent hours reading, trying different, methods, listening to so much advice. But, the biggest lesson I learned out of all of it, if that none of them are wrong, but not all of the methods work for me. You must find your own path and I think that is the most frustrating part, because when you are new to the journey you don’t know which way is your path, you don’t know which way to go when you reach that fork in the road.
So you may be asking at this point, okay I’m inspired now what do I do? You need to start planning. If you sit down and just start banding out some words on your keypad you will mostly likely get frustrated. It is going to feel like it is a jumbled mess and you will lose direction pretty quickly. Trust me I’ve been there. You been to rein it in and refocus. Turn on that Rain Rain app I was telling you about and draft yourself an outline, a story line, a sequence of events you want to happen. It can be as detailed or as general as you want, but make sure it works for you because you are going to want to use that to keep your story on track and bring you back in line when you let the creative flow go wild on the page.
But, the good news is, that you can try something and if it does work just toss it aside. There is no rule that you must do something this way or that way. What works for one may work for another.
I can tell you that I have narrowed down my inspiration to a much smaller group of podcasts that I listen to on a weekly basis. I still listen to the some of the others but I am more selective about which episodes.
What inspires me and hopefully will inspire you too, is Joanna Penn’s podcasts the Creative Penn and Books and Travel. The Creative Penn is help and inspiration for authors at any stage of their journey. She’s a very successful thriller author but has written many excellent non-fiction books to help authors because she was once in the exact same place as you are right now, just getting started. She does quite a bit of traveling for her book research and she shares her personal travel experience on her new podcast Books and Travel, which is wonderful if you are a traveler because she can give you the inside scoop that might help on your next trip. And if you are not much of a traveler her experiences may inspire to that that trip you have been putting off.
Mark Dawson and the Self Publishing Formula Show with James Black is also a wealth of information. Mark also offers several courses on writing and advertising. If you are not familiar with Mark you can find him on Facebook and through his website.
Two books I can’t recommend highly enough are Activate and Verbalize by Damon Suede. The man knows what he is talking about and just reading the first couple of chapters will improve your writing, so imagine what can happen by the time you get the end!
Until next time, keep writing!