Updated: Jul 4, 2019
I have an adorable rescue dog named Arlo. He sleeps beside me at night, and he wakes up when I wake up. We have our morning routine of pets and kisses and behind-the-ear scratches, but this comes only after Arlo’s own morning ritual. Moments after he opens his puppy dog eyes, he raises his nose to the sky, opens his mouth, and unleashes an incredibly high-pitched scream. It’s as if he is so excited to be alive for another day that he has no choice but to release his enthusiasm with his ear-piercing shrill. He does this every day.
What in your life makes you so excited? Is it your writing project? (I hope so.) But when was the last time it made you so excited that you screamed?
It’s normal to lose enthusiasm with your novel. Maybe you hit some roadblocks or writer’s blocks. Or perhaps life just got in the way and you could no longer find the time to write.
But don’t forget that you have a story in you that needs to be unleashed upon the world. People need to read your writing.
So let’s figure out ways to recapture the thrill you felt when you typed “Chapter One.”
1. Get Involved with a Group Online: This is the easiest, least time-consuming, most no-pressure way to get a writerly kick in the butt.
Twitter: If you are an early bird (or aspire to be one) and have a Twitter account, join the Five a.m. Writers Club by using the hashtag #5amwritersclub. They are an incredibly supportive bunch and will give you the motivation to keep writing (and getting up before dawn). Not a morning person? You can interact with other writers by using the #amwriting and #writerslife hashtags.
Facebook: There are a number of writers groups on here, as well. Here is a short list:
Indie Writers Unite!: www.facebook.com/groups/indiewriters
Fiction Writers Global: www.facebook.com/groups/fictionwritersgroup
Children’s Authors and Illustrators on Facebook: www.facebook.com/groups/childrensauthorsandillustrators
Women Writers, Women’s Books: www.facebook.com/groups/WWWBMagazine
2. Join a Local Writers Group: Sometimes the best way to stay motivated is by making face-to-face connections with other writers. By joining a writers group, you also get risk-free critiques and feedback, support, inspiration, and new friends to boot. You can go to www.meetup.com to search for writers groups in your area.
3. Take a Class: No matter how long you’ve been writing, there’s always more to learn. You can find classes about revising your novel, tips for your specific genre, and even how to write query letters. In my hometown of Minneapolis, we are lucky to have The Loft Literary Center, which offers just about every type of writing class you can imagine. Here’s a list of their classes to give you ideas of what to look for in your area.
4. Get a Writing Coach: A writing coach is like your literary Sherpa. They will guide you from your outline to the finished product and will help you avoid or overcome the pitfalls on your way to becoming a published author. When you hire a writing coach, you often purchase multiple in-person or over-the-phone sessions where you can vent and get advice for your particular obstacles, and receive lots of encouragement. A quick Google search will bring up many options.
5. Schedule Time to Write: With five million things on your mental to-do list, finding time to write can feel impossible. This is when you have to recommit to making writing a priority in your life. It’s an urge you have; it’s a goal; and, it can make you feel so good and accomplished. You remember how positive you felt when you had a writing routine, so make time for it again. If you keep an agenda (old school on paper like me or on your phone), schedule at least an hour as often as you can, if not daily, to write. Try fitting it in before work in the morning or at night after you’ve put the kids to bed or your other responsibilities are done. Just by writing it down and making that simple commitment to yourself, you will be more likely to actually sit down and write.
Now go forth, you literary creatures, and write!