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How To... > Motivate The Writer Within

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message 1: by Cathy (last edited Feb 23, 2010 09:29AM) (new)

Cathy (cgraceh) | 236 comments Mod
What do you do to stop procrastinating from writing? (Or what have you heard are good tactics?)

message 2: by Cathy (new)

Cathy (cgraceh) | 236 comments Mod
Other ideas to get the juices flowing:

 describe the worst date of your life
 write about a time you lost something important to you
 write about a prom. anyone's prom. maybe even your parents
 take the reader behind the wheel of the worst driver you've ever known
 a story that begins with, "why didn't you call me?"
 a characer who is trying to gain access to a private club or organization
 Begin a story with, "The last time I saw my mother was 15 years ago."
Invent a character who must choose between the lesser of two evils
 Write a story w/ a phone call starting at 3 am
 A wedding during which the bride or groom changes their mind

message 3: by Tara (new)

Tara Wow! I never thought of these topics. GREAT!!

message 4: by Cathy (new)

Cathy (cgraceh) | 236 comments Mod
I was thinking maybe we could havea challenge folder like other reading groups to challenge each otehr and ourselves to write a little here and there?

Also I have seen real life challenges/contests for writing, some specifically chick lit some just fiction or whatever else your into...what do you think?

message 5: by Tara (new)

Tara I think that's a great idea Cathy. We could always start off with a paragraph and make it longer as we go.

message 6: by Cathy (new)

Cathy (cgraceh) | 236 comments Mod can be public or private...whatever someone prefers...and just be on the honor system that you completed a challenge...I'll set up a folder where we can start brainstorming ideas for a challenge for the Month of March...or even weekly and daily challenges..

message 7: by Suzanne (new)

Suzanne | 50 comments These are some great ideas Cathy! Thanks for setting all this up!

I have such a boring life. I will definitely be using my imagination a lot when I write. haha

message 8: by Tara (new)

Tara Sorry I didn't respond more last night but I had the worst headache ever! It started at work and wouldn't go away until I finally fell asleep. YUCK!

So far so good today.......keeping my fingers crossed.

Are we going to try for weekly or daily challenges. I am in!

message 9: by Cathy (new)

Cathy (cgraceh) | 236 comments Mod you get migraines..i do sometimes and when i do you can beleive I am out of commission for the rest of the day! It is the worst!!

I was thinking we could also use these ideas if we are to do challenges..For example, a weekly challenge could be to start a story by writing about a time you lost something important to you (See other folder for Challenges also)

message 10: by Tara (new)

Tara Cathy wrote: " you get migraines..i do sometimes and when i do you can beleive I am out of commission for the rest of the day! It is the worst!!

I was thinking we could also use these ideas if we are t..."

I do get migraines and have medicine for those but I think this one was a sinus headache. All I wanted to do was go to sleep.

message 11: by Cathy (new)

Cathy (cgraceh) | 236 comments Mod
I just found an article called 10 Ways Twitter Can Help Writers...even if you opt out of posting your personal life on Twitter (like me) this article does give good evidence for using it to hone your riting skills...

message 12: by Cathy (new)

Cathy (cgraceh) | 236 comments Mod
Cathy wrote: "What do you do to stop procrastinating from writing? (Or what have you heard are good tactics?)"

Different types of procrastinators and how to motivate yourself to start writing: Credit to the Authors of See Jane Write: A Girl's Guide to Writing Chick Lit (of course!)

The Overwhelmed – Commit to 500 Words a Day or 2 pgs.

The Instant Gratification Addict – Make a schedule. Example: Commit to 500 words a day, 5 days a week = 2500 words a week or 10 pages. Have fun for the rest of the time. Make your goals bigger if you can.

The Procrastinator – Create a write and reward program to stay motivated.

The Obsessive Perfectionist - Don’t even think about revisions. Just write. Get everything down and before you know it you have a first draft out.

The Mess – Work in small organized steps. 1.)Make an Outline. Focus on plot and character development. 2.)Write an outline for the first three chapters, then write a first draft. 3.)Write a larger outline and work on getting the rest of the book in draft form. (Stray from the outline whenever you need to.)

The Commitment Phobe – Keep writing through any rough spots, even if you're on page 2! (Use an outline.)

The Insecure – Everyone gets discouraged and feels down about their writing at some point. Get a first draft done and worry about making it better later.

The Really Busy – Make writing a priority & part of your routine. Write for an hour at your best time.

message 13: by Alicia (new)

Alicia (diva2416) That is great advice!! Thanks for posting.

message 14: by Cathy (new)

Cathy (cgraceh) | 236 comments Mod
I found a site that has just writing prompts in it...346 of them! Check it out:

message 15: by Jencey/ (new)

Jencey/ (jencey) Cathy that is great! I am excited about going through my penpal edits right now. I find this very motivational. :)

message 16: by Tara (new)

Tara This is a great site. Thanks Cathy!

message 17: by Jencey/ (new)

Jencey/ (jencey) Well have been feeling the writer's block today. I started a new story with one of the prompts above. Very happy with the start anyway. :)

message 18: by Cathy (new)

Cathy (cgraceh) | 236 comments Mod
I don't know if anyone's looking for some extra motivation writing lately, but I started my own blog last week and today I wrote a blog about some inspiring things I came across relevant to writers. (If you wanna skip the introduction about a tennis player, the writing part is about halfway through the post.)


Please follow my blog or check out the post and let me know what you think. Unfortunately I've done NO fiction writing in at least a week. i have a research paper due in two days, posted 3 times on my blog and wrote a couple of reviews. I think my drive to work on my story got ignited a bit more after writing this blog however so I thought I'd share.

Thanks for letting me vent anyways!

message 19: by Cathy (new)

Cathy (cgraceh) | 236 comments Mod
Hey I was thinking this might serve as some good motivation: I received the June Newsletter from Samantha Robey of below:

Author Allison Winn Scotch is running a fabulous promotion. I can’t tell enough people about it, so be sure to spread the word! Her latest novel, The One That I Want, will be released soon, and if you pre-order your copy before June 5th, her agent, Elisabeth Weed, will read your query letter and first chapter of your manuscript! If you are a writer looking for an agent, this is such an excellent opportunity. So many agents won’t even bother reading a query letter, let alone the first chapter, but Elisabeth has said that she will read each and every one from people that pre-order their copy. You can get more details on that, along with where to send your email to here. Good luck!

How fantastic is that! Do you think to send in your first chapter you need to have your whole manuscript completed in case they request more?? (Dumb question??) Curious...

message 20: by Julie (new)

Julie (lajewl) | 6 comments ha, i was thinking the same thing!!

unfortunately, i don't really see a way around it...

message 21: by Cathy (new)

Cathy (cgraceh) | 236 comments Mod
Yeah that's what I figured..although how long do u really think it will take her to get to the chapters?? I would guess these aren't the speediest of processes:) if we commit to write n really got something done...I guess reality is for me..even if I got mine Read..its gonna end there..and I'm okay with that..for now..rejection has to start somewhere..I wonder if they'd give feedback? Tho that might b too timeconsuming...

message 22: by Julie (new)

Julie (lajewl) | 6 comments good point, without the feedback the question becomes how do we really know the chapter is even read? :)

message 23: by Nicole (new)

Nicole (nicole21) | 14 comments From what I've read (I've never tried to get an agent), first time authors do need to have a complete manuscript. They want to make sure you can actually finish before they agree to work for you. I've also seen where the first three chapters and an outline for the rest of the novel is considered acceptable.

I'll add that The One That I Want is a really fantastic book (I got an advanced copy), so go ahead and pre-order!

message 24: by Julie (new)

Julie (lajewl) | 6 comments hey, good news! looks like you don't have to be done with your manuscript already..check it out, go to, it says "Even if you aren’t quite ready to turn your manuscript in, you can still purchase the book and let Elisabeth know you need a little more time, and that is no problem."

what an opportunity!!

message 25: by Cathy (new)

Cathy (cgraceh) | 236 comments Mod
Julie wrote: "hey, good news! looks like you don't have to be done with your manuscript already..check it out, go to, it says "Even i..."

Oh thanks so much for finding that out!! Now i"m nervous about sending in my first chapter it's not enough...won't show enough of the story to be good enouggh....oh well.I guess you gotta start somewhere right?

From those of you in the group that have gone through the process (successfully or not) of sending in your manuscript and having it read by an agent/publisher etc. Do you have any advice on what the first chapter should include to really grab them? Stand out? Make them want to read more?

If you have time to offer some advice that is. Thanks!

message 26: by Cathy (new)

Cathy (cgraceh) | 236 comments Mod
Julie wrote: "hey, good news! looks like you don't have to be done with your manuscript already..check it out, go to it says "Even i..."

I just read the brief info on the submission requirements and it says that the novel you submit the first chapter to must be FICTION and NOT GENRE FICTION. Does this mean that Chick Lit should not be sent in because that is genre fiction?? Not sure...

message 27: by Cathy (new)

Cathy (cgraceh) | 236 comments Mod
Great link on Twitter today! A journaling process to Eliminate Writer's Block. Please check it out, print it and hang it up at your work station...or use it as a bookmark in your own journal:)

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