Friday, July 31, 2015

Small Challenges

Why Challenging Other Writers Can Be Great For Productivity

WiFi at Moulin de la Galette by Mike Licht.
 Licensed under CC by 2.0. Thought bubble added to original.

Are you in the middle of a project (or even at the beginning of one) and you just can't seem to get yourself into a writing groove?

Enlist your writing friends to help by challenging them to a word-count goal! Say, 1,000 words per day for one week, or perhaps 2 hours of editing time per day... whatever works for your project and your schedule.

Not only will you have the edge of competitiveness added to your work, but you will also have your friend's support and encouragement as you proceed in the challenge.

This can even work cross-discipline, as in, you don't have to both be writers. You can have a goal of 1,000 words per day, and your artist friend can commit to work on her painting for 1 hour per day. Anything goes in the search for inspiration.

Over the past few weeks, I've been distracted by vacation and visiting relatives. To combat my dwindling writing production, I challenged one of my friends. Both of us committed to write 1,000 words a day for one week. We're both doing great. The best part? I'm going to count this blog post as part of my daily word count!

But, you say, what if you're in the middle of a creative person's desert? If you're the only writer you know IRL, you can always find a community of writers online. Try such sites as WritersCafe or Goodreads. Or you could always challenge yourself, and promise yourself a reward at the end of your successful challenge.

For most of us, a challenge will get our competitive nature going, and the more successful days strung together, the less willing we are to break that chain of success. Anything that spurs us to write is a good thing, and sometimes enlisting other writers is the best motivator of all.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Inspiration: It's Everywhere

These are some things that inspire my writing.


Reading and writing are inextricably linked for me

New books are always being written, thankfully. I am constantly amazed and gratified about how many books there are available in the English language. I feel happiest when I have at least 3 or 4 books in my queue that I am really excited about reading.

Sometimes reading a really great book will inspire my writing intensely.


Different locations are always inspiring. I love travel, and I love to put my characters into new situations and new landscapes. It's always interesting when they come across something they've never experienced. What will they do? They don't know, and neither do I most of the time!

From the oceans off the west coast of the U.S.A.... the red southwestern deserts... the verdancy of the east... the grandeur of old European cities, it's all inspiration for me.

After a childhood and early adulthood of no travel, over the last several years I have been lucky enough to have traveled quite a bit. Whenever I do, I keep a part of my mind aware and open for inspiration. It could be anything, from a building with interesting architecture, to someone with an interesting personality, to a grand landscape. Anything is fodder for me.

Fellow Book Lovers

Fellow book lovers unite!

Every time I can talk with someone about books (either virtually or in person) I feel great inspiration. There's nothing like finding a fellow book lover whose life is informed and enriched by fiction.

For me, inspiration can be found anywhere. These are three of my favorites. I'd love to hear about yours.