Pages

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Keeping up the Inspiration


Autumn at Polesden Lacey, Surrey

There have been times when I haven't felt like writing, but more recently I've learnt how to keep it going (who knows how long it will last?!). Keeping up the inspiration helps during those periods when I don't fancy it; so that when I do, words flow more easily.

Taking a walk

The change of seasons can’t fail to inspire; especially the change from summer to autumn and winter to spring. If the sun's shining, I take photos on those walks and upload them to Instagram or Pinterest; and use them for scenes, blog posts or general inspiration. A recent trip to Polesden Lacey inspired the theme for this blog post.

Reading an engaging book

Sometimes I read parts of books I’ve read before, those which have inspired me to write my novels; recently A Room with a View and Mansfield Park.

Writing in cafés
How many times have I talked about writing in cafés on this blog…? I’m going through a café-writing phase at the moment and have a favourite one I keep turning up to, always hoping for a table tucked in the corner. Sometimes I set the timer on my phone if I'm not in the mood for writing.

Visiting a scene
For me, that’s going to see the paintings which inspired book 2 and eighteenth century country houses.

Going to a writers’ conference
I’ve attended two this year and feel more inspired than I have for years. Click here for my posts on them.

Going to a class

This week I went to Sue Moorcroft’s Short Story Workshop at the Guildford Book Festival. Sue Moorcroft writes novels for Choc Lit, is a past vice chair of the Romantic Novelists' Association and editor of its anthologies. Sue also writes short stories, serials, articles, writing 'how to' and is a competition judge and creative writing tutor. Find out more here.

Sue’s reputation as a great teacher precedes her and I came away inspired to write more short stories and submit them to competitions. Sue talked about creating engaging characters, viewpoint; and how to plan and go about writing a short story. She gave us many handy tips, including to use few characters and to make the first page as good as possible. I can’t wait to find a quiet moment to apply Sue’s advice to a short story I’ve written. If you get the opportunity to go to one of her classes, take it!

Sue is running a course at Arte Umbria in July 2015, which I’d love to go to as it sounds like a dream-writing and Italy combined. We’ll see...
Returning here soon!
Going away to write

Soon I'll be returning to a cottage I visited with writing friends in the spring. This will be an opportunity to get stuck into book 2 and move it forwards. And I can’t wait to take an autumn version of the above photo.

One more thing...

If you write historical fiction, and don’t know already: the Historical Novel Society ("HNS") posts links on Twitter and Facebook to interesting articles and posts on history and historical fiction; plus information about upcoming events such as the Harrogate History Festival. You can follow the HNS on Twitter @histnovsoc and find the Facebook Page here

8 comments:

  1. All great ways to encourage inspiration, Anita - love that photo of the autumnal tree!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Rosemary! Love the autumn colours.

      Delete
  2. These are all great tips and tricks Anita! I could definitely use a little more inspiration - for me I think the most important thing is to read. Reading always inspires me, it gives me new ideas, it makes me look at the world a little differently. It also spurs me on! If they can do it, surely I can too:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Melissa-of course you can! Then you can change your user name to Published Life ;-)

      Delete
  3. I really enjoyed reading these tips too. I haven’t experimented with writing in cafes, but would like to give it a go. It sounds like a really great way to remove oneself from all the usual distractions – and possibly to get inspiration from overheard conversations too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And what a choice of cafes you have in Cambridge Clare! The Copper Kettle used to do amazing roasts and chocolate fudge cake, and what a view of King's College.

      Delete
  4. Thanks for such a positive mention, Anita. It would be LOVELY to see you at Arte Umbria if you can possibly manage it. xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're very welcome Sue, really enjoyed your workshop! x

      Delete