The Writing Report – January 10: Motivating yourself to write in the New Year.

After you’ve stepped away from your writing for a bit, say for the holidays, how do you motivate yourself to jump back into it? It’s often difficult to find that motivation, especially if you’ve left a story mid-stream as I have done with the second novel I’m working on.

To be honest, I’ve never really juggled as many projects as I have over the last year. Having surgery and taking medical leave left me recuperating in my chair for 12 weeks. During that time, I juggled two novellas and a novel. Now, those two novellas have been published, and I’m currently working on publishing a completed novel – The Letters in the Books – and another novel that I mentioned before. I’m nearing 40,000 words on it, but stopped to enjoy the holidays with my family.

Now, as I head back to campus for the spring semester, I have two novels to juggle. One that needs prepping and one that needs to be written. So, where do we find the energy to tackle both projects?

We had 8 inches of snow this week. Getting out in nature to pause and look at the beauty can stimulate your creativity and make you want to write something.

The answer lies in the wonderful writing community we have built online, especially on Instagram. I have tried connecting on Twitter, but I find it difficult to get others to engage. I don’t have the time to post 10 times a day about little aspects of my life and writing. Who cares how many words I’ve written each day or what kind of sandwich I had for lunch or what the name of the first television show I ever watched was? I find so much of the banter to be inane and of little help to promoting a writing career. However, I’ve found a community on Instagram, and that community tends to be incredibly supportive and energetic. Ask for help, they offer it. Stuck in a rut? They give advice. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve leaned on the Instagram writing community for assistance, and they’ve always been there. We all have our favorite social media accounts; do your best to stay engaged in the ones that work for you.

Seeing what other writers are up to can spark ideas, inspire you to get off your duff, or prompt you to finish that last chapter. But the cog only works if you’re an engaged member of the machine; you get inspired, but can you inspire others as well?

We have to do what it takes to continue to write our books. We are storytellers, and though we may forge ahead with ideas and notebooks and outlines, you have to have a community to be able to share these triumphs with.

So, it’s ten days after New Year’s Day. We have to write this year. We have to get somethings done. Set aside some time for you to tap those keyboard keys and let your story flow. Inspire others, and get inspired. We’ve taken time away, but now is the time to get back on track.

I’m planning on writing a little bit each day this week, whether it’s a half-hour or two hours. I will pencil it into my schedule and begin to get lost in my characters and their plots.

Setting aside time for yourself to be creative and write is one of the best gifts a writer can give to herself.

So go and do it.

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