Friday, February 21, 2014

Winter Doldrums? Ten Fun Exercises to Get Going on Your Writing Again!

If you have the book blahs this week, if the Inner Critic is loud in your ear and heavy on your shoulder, try one of these favorite jump-starters.  
They all work.  
Most take ten minutes or less--about the time it takes to walk into Starbucks and order a latte. 

Ten Fun Exercises
1.  Write down your book's working title.  Play with this, have fun.  For inspiration, browse a bookstore or your home library shelves.  You'll begin to feel more focused.

2.  Write five reasons you're writing this book.   You'll remember your passion for the topic, place, characters, or plot.

3.  Write down your chapter titles--even if you're not sure you'll have chapter titles.  You'll tap into the vision of the bigger project.

4.  Make up three blurbs for your back cover.  Imagine asking one of your favorite reviewers or writers to do this--and they say yes.  What might they say?  You'll start realizing this book is worth praise!

5.  Design your book cover.  Use a pen and paper, a graphics program, or go for it with Photoshop.  What colors, designs, images best express your book?  Seeing your book cover mock-up will inspire you.

6.   Get out file folders or open Scrivener or another organizing software.  Create sections for your book--start with the three acts, or major divisions.  Then move into chapters, then into scenes or islands.  Gather your research, ideas, and writing into these sections.  You'll feel very organized! 

7.  Write down three ways your book might affect someone's life.  Would it get them moving on a change?  Would it inspire them or help them know they're not alone?  Would it present new ideas and education?  Would it carry them into a wonderful story?  You'll get more in touch with your reader, who can support you through the journey of writing a book.

8.  Write your premise statement.  See the post below from February 7 for how to.  You'll have an instant "elevator speech" or agent pitch.

9.  If you've been working on this for a while, print out everything you have so far.  You'll be amazed at how much there is--and how far you've come since you started.

10.  Email three writing friends.  Ask them to each tell you one thing they absolutely love about your writing.  Print these out and post them on your writing wall.  You'll remind yourself that you have support and you'll keep going!