- Reading the Verla Kay message boards (Good News! posts only, otherwise I get bogged down with doubt).
- Reading any book on writing. They always make it sounds so easy. My favorites: On Writing by Stephen King, Writing the Breakout Novel (workbook) by Donald Maass, Crafting Stories for Children by Nancy Lamb, and Story by Robert McKee.
- Reading about the recent sales of middle grade and young adult novels (J.E. Who me? does a monthly compilation in her Livejournal blog). There is nothing that gets me fired up more than learning who has sold a novel.
- Staring at my visual boards and browsing through my notebooks. I create visual for my stories and although the purpose is to aid in my writing, they also inspire me. Puts me straight into my character's head. Here is the link to my previous post on how to make one for your story.
- Critique groups. I love critiques, especially when an idea is presented and I immediatly see how I can incorporate it into the novel. I try most everything I understand. The ones I don't understand requires a great deal of thought, research, reading and analysis. Usually in the end, I get it and my story is better for it. My current critique group has been dormant the last few months. Maybe that's one of my problems...I need my critique group! Val? Laura? Maggie? Where are you?
- Reading blogs about other writers in the same boat. My favorites are listed on the side panel. We all struggle with something. My writing pal, Maggie struggles with plot. I struggle with creating emotional depth in my characters. Others struggle with word count...just getting the damn story down. Some writers I know struggle with revisions and not wanting to do them. We all have something and there is comfort in that.
- Reading great books. I'm reading Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale right now. I love it and I'm only on the third chapter. Reading Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson was literally a treat. Seriously, as good as a huge bowl of french vanilla ice cream with home-made hot fudge sauce.
- Oprah. I love the features of living your best life. I watch her while making dinner for my family. I was so motivated by her recent Best Life Challenge that I, of course, took it. I logged on to Bob Greene's Bestlife website and committed $60 to the pursuit of living my best life. Sure, I had a few pounds to lose but more importantly my goal was to increase my physical fitness and reduce my dependancy on ice cream and chips. As a writer, my free time is spent sitting down. I have been using that excuse not to exercise. Bestlife encourages me to exercise even when I don't think I have the time. It's fanatastic and I've steadily lost weight, been eating very well and really do have more energy. That's how I got up a 5am to write in this blog.
There you have my list of all-time goal boosters. Things that focus me. Inspire me. Will help me get my manuscruipt out....scary.
On the flip side, however, there is only one thing that is a complete downer for me. One measly question. So, how's your book coming?
What motivates you? Or not?