Moxie, Motivation, and Momentum: 50 Things to Inspire Writers
In September, I presented 50 Fun Things: Moxie, Motivation, and Momentum at the Women of Words 9th Annual Writers' Conference. The stories and prompts shared in this presentation were especially tailored for authors to reclaim their writing mojo and momentum, helping them envision what their lives as authors would truly look and feel like. The list below is inspired by what we brainstormed together in this workshop.
Even if you don't consider yourself an author - even if you're a retiree, an entrepreneur, working at a corporation or dreaming of a career in some other creative field - writing can take on so many forms as a tool to help you live your best life. Whether it's blogging, publishing a book, or journaling just for you, writing can help you transform your thoughts into action and get others excited about your work. We all have a little "writer" in all of us!
Write to be heard. Write to be understood. Write to feel validated. Find your own personal reason for writing and journal about it. Consider creating a "mission statement" based on what you come up with, and display it where you can see it regularly.
Create a scrapbook of your achievements and/or aspirations as an author - photographs of you in settings that inspire you, awards you've received, print-outs of articles you've published or book reviews, photos of you at book-signings or events, the printed receipt of the first book you sold, positive reviews on Amazon, etc.
Write a positive review of the book, article, etc. you HOPE to write! Go into detail about what you liked, how it made you feel, etc. Print it and put it your scrapbook on page 1.
Picture your reader and the impact that your writing will have on them. Thinking of your writing as a tool to help others can keep you motivated.
Remind yourself that writing is a source of joy. Two ways to do this: consider framing a picture of yourself looking like the fulfilled author you imagine, or, find a quote that reminds you of your purpose for writing. Display these reminders in your writing place.
Set goals for your writing and celebrate when you achieve them!
Visualize an average day for yourself after you've achieved all your dreams for yourself as an author. Write down what you do, where you go, and how you feel - in detail.
Join a book club
Join a writer's group: real or virtual
Find an accountability partner you can share your goals with. Check in frequently to make sure each of you stays on track.
Write sincere thank-you notes to the artists and authors that have inspired you.
Have "work dates" with other writer friends where you each write side-by-side.
Visit places like Open Book in Minneapolis, which provide lots of tools to help support writers.
Take a class or workshop where you can receive feedback on your writing.
Declutter the area you do your writing to minimize distractions
Create a sanctuary - a special place to write, or enhance your favorite writing place
Change your viewpoint - literally! Look for a fun new places to try writing, like a cafe, beach, a window seat, or someplace with a view of nature...
Build a fort and cozy up to write or read inside of it. It sounds silly, but getting into a playful, childlike mindset is a great way to boost your creativity.
Create a special place for your pets to be with you when you write
Create or find a special outdoor place to write, helping alleviate cabin fever or cooped up feelings while still being productive
Meditate daily to clear your mind
Go on a writers' retreat, or create your own special get-away
Journal and explore your limiting beliefs, like lack of confidence, imposter syndrome, not having enough time, etc. Seek out prompts online to help you explore these areas and get past your own roadblocks.
Find a guru, coach, or therapist. If hiring someone feels out of reach, there are lots of books and online classes to help you set goals, visualize your perfect life as an author, or deal with issues that hold you back.
Borrow techniques from the business world to help you manage your time and stay on track, like setting SMART goals, using project-management software (like Trello), and keeping a calendar.
Schedule brain-breaks every week doing nourishing activities, like exercise, dance, time with friends, etc.
Celebrate your successes!
Read more! Let yourself get lost in books and enjoy them, rather than analyzing what makes them "good" or popular.
People-watch to get ideas for interesting characters and story lines.
Don't be afraid to break out of formulas and rules. Think of one rule you were taught in your education as a writer (formal or informal) and do a writing exercise focused on breaking it!
Pay attention to your dreams. Consider keeping a dream journal, or occasionally write down an interesting dream and then use a book or online resource to analyze the underlying symbolism. Think of how you can write ideas from your dreams into a storyline.
Find joy in really getting to know your characters. Give them back-stories, consider their likes and dislikes, and even cut out pictures from magazines that remind you of them.
Make visual inspiration boards with images that remind you of the subject, setting, or characters you're writing about.
Cook without a recipe to get your creative juices flowing.
Journal about a past mistake and how it's transformed into a positive experience.
Take note of serendipitous occurrences.
Try writing in a different style or format.
Strengthen your focus, as suggested here.
Research. Dive deep into the subject, characters, or setting you're writing about. Make a Pinterest board, write "book reports" about what you find, or even take a trip to the place you're writing about!
Do something outside of your comfort zone.
Introduce yourself as a "writer" - even if you're not yet published and still work in a different field.
Remember that writing gives you a voice. Write a list of words to describe what makes your voice as a writer unique, and remind yourself often that only YOU can bring that voice to the world.
Write about your most confident, aspirational, author-self as if they were a character in story. How would she/he act, dress, face challenges, and go about their day?
Look for opportunities to do interviews, speak, or inspire others as also you introduce them to your work.
Invest in yourself as a writer. Unapologetically spend some money on something that will help you with your craft, like a new computer, a class, self-publishing costs, etc.
Take a big risk. Or, visualize yourself taking that next big risk that allows you to be more dedicated to your writing.
Choose to NOT finish a book if it isn't grabbing you. After all, you're not obligated to finish what you start when you're doing something for your own pleasure! Value your mindspace and time enough to say, "no, thank you."
Write every day!
Many thanks to Women of Words for the opportunity to introduce 50 Fun Things to an inspiring group of writers!
Are you planning an incredible event and looking for a fun, transformative workshop or speaker to leave you attendees feeling empowered and excited? Here's how to contact me about bringing 50 Fun Things to your next event!