Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Tip for Tuesday

 Today's tip for Tuesday concerns motivation. Not character motivation, but author motivation. If you find yourself flagging in the journey, growing weary, feeling flat and flat out of ideas, I suggest reading a book on craft.

I've been battling over the past couple of months, writing, rewriting. Analyzing, over-analyzing. For some reason, I've felt a lot of pressure with this book, pressure to make it GOOD. I've been having difficulty trusting my writing instincts, and doubts have abounded.

I'm happy to say I've battled through and the book is now being critiqued again by my girls, Katie and Georgiana.

Through the last couple of weeks especially, my motivation has been at a low ebb.

My remedy for this was to read a book on craft. Or two, or three. I just finished reading one book on how to write mysteries, as I am noodling a historical mystery idea or two. I'm currently perusing a favorite book of mine on how to write historical mysteries. Dixon's Goal, Motivations, and Conflict is next on my list, since I'm starting a new book.

As I've read, I find new ideas forming in my head. I'm getting rejuvenated, enthusiastic, ready to tuck into a new project that I'm excited about.

I needed a reminder of why I love writing, about my own motivations for crafting novels, and the encouragement of teachers and mentors in the form of craft books.

This approach might not work for everyone. In fact, I'm sure it won't. But for me, it was just the boost I needed.

How about you? How do you regenerate? Would reading a craft book help, or would it just add to the stress?


  1. Reading a craft book definitely inspires me to improve and inspires fresh ideas to add to the mix.

  2. I can't wait to read it again!

    Actually, this is a timely post, because my motivation has gone pfft. Sooo....perhaps I need to dig into a craft book for a jumpstart.

  3. Timely for me too. I have been perusing craft books, needing some help with revision. I'm struggling with it and don't feel like doing it. :)

  4. I did the same thing. I read The Fire in Fiction by Donald Maass, and I also revisited Alicia Rasley's The Story Within Guidebook. It helped me get excited again.

  5. I love reading craft books. They don't necessarily help with ideas, but they definitely help with approaching the idea I already have and making it better. I read a craft book before starting my new WIP and I think I'm going to page through another as I continue to write.