My Go-To Writing Music

Writing isn’t always sunshine and rainbows. Sometimes it’s hard. In fact, most of the time it’s hard, and when writing is frustrating and motivation is hard to find, I tend to rely on music to get me back in the zone.

Thus the inspiration for this post! Among everything that I listen to, there are songs that I always turn to when I need a boost of inspiration or something to stir those creative juices. Almost regardless of genre, these songs or soundtracks help me get the words down when I just don’t feel like writing.

And this turned out to be a pretty interesting post to write. While browsing through my library of songs, I can see that the songs that I listen to now are not the same as they were 5 years ago. It’ll be interesting to see what songs inspire me to write in another 5 years.

But for now, here are a handful of some of my go-to-writing-inspiration songs. Maybe they’ll help give you a much-needed boost. Especially if you’re doing Camp NaNoWriMo!

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Five Tips to Help You Reach Your (Camp) NaNoWriMo Goals

Hello. If you’re new here, I’m a writer, and I love writing. I especially love writing events, and maybe you do too if you clicked on this post. Maybe you’ve heard of this crazy event called NaNoWriMo. I know I talk about it enough on here as it is. I do it every year and if you like writing at all, you might want to give it a shot.

If you didn’t know, NaNoWriMo is a writing event that happens every year (multiple times, if you count the Camp sessions, which I do) where you attempt to write 50 thousand words in a month and are joined by a huge community of writers trying to attempt the same thing. It’s fun and crazy, and absolutely worth it.

Anyway, that endorsement aside, I’ve done NaNoWriMo many, many times. As a NaNoWriMo veteran, I’ve got a handful of tips that you might find useful during April’s Camp NaNoWriMo.

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Marketing is Hard and Other Indie Publishing Problems

So, this year is not going how I expected it to.

Maybe because I’m riddled with indecision. Maybe because society is crumbling around us. Who really knows what’s going on, but I’ve had some time to rethink what I’m doing with my year.

It was about a year ago that I revealed my plans for self-publishing my first novel, a STILL untitled sci-fi mystery about an eclectic amateur sleuth who loves history, hates technology and is forced to work with an android partner. If you can believe it, I’m still working on that story, but after battling with the aforementioned indecision I keep changing my mind on the direction I want to take it. Or rather, the story I write is pulling away from what I originally envisioned, and so the problem becomes what needs to change – my original vision or the story I’ve actually written?

Any feeble sort of writing routine I had since last year has completely broken down, and while I’m trying to fix that, it’s still taking a bit of trial and error (and a truckload of discipline) to find.

Beyond the writing issues, continued research from other, far more experienced indie authors suggests that I need to work on my platform and build my email list – problems I knew I’d have to tackle but have struggled to tackle in the most effective way.

It’s been an interesting year since I made that announcement, so I thought today I’d break it down for you and reveal what I’ve learned, the struggles I’m facing, and what I’ll be working on going forward.

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I Have No Writing Routine & Other Writerly Problems

I’ve realized something a little unsettling this week – I don’t have a writing routine anymore. I don’t think I ever had much of one – I usually wrote early in the morning or late at night, for unspecified periods of time. I wrote when I had the motivation. Which is not productive enough for someone who wants to be published.

Any attempt at a writing habit was squashed during the holidays – I get too busy and it’s hard to find the motivation to do anything when all you want to do is catch up on sleep.

I really want to be productive this year, and I find I’m not spending enough time writing. More than that, I struggle to know what I should be working on.

And I should be writing a lot more than I am. Especially if I hope to make a living. I have to treat this like a business and not a hobby, and I’ve got some bad habits lingering in these first few months. A quick look at my writing tracker reveals how shameful my efforts to write have been.

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Story Prompts & Plot Generators for Struggling Writers and Newbie Wrimos

It’s a new year and we have a whole new round of NaNoWriMo sessions ready to help us write all the words! The first of which, Camp NaNoWriMo, starts in only a few weeks on April 1st.

For the uninitiated, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month, which is technically in November, but there are two slightly more casual ‘Camp NaNoWriMo’ sessions that run in April and July. Anyway, as you might be able to tell from the name, it’s a whole month dedicated to writing a novel – specifically fifty thousand words of one. That works out to about 1,667 words every day for thirty days, which is also a lot harder than it sounds.

Anyway, more than once I have found turning to writing prompts and story generators really helpful for triggering new ideas and getting myself unstuck when I’m writing a story. It can bring some much-needed randomness (and I mean that quite literally), to a story that feels predictable, or one that you’ve just grown tired with.

With that in mind, I did a little digging all over the internet to pull up what I think are some of the best plot generators for writers. Whether you jump into Camp NaNo with no story at all or you find yourself stuck in the middle of April, July or November, hopefully some of these story prompts will get you back in the groove.

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The Currency of the Creative Mind

I have a lot of ideas and sometimes I take it for granted. It’s the currency of the creative – our ideas, and our imagination. It’s what we pride ourselves on. It’s what sets us apart – the fact that we can have so many ideas floating around in our heads. That’s what makes us creative.

Right?

And I realize that not everyone has trained their brain as I have to create and capture new ideas. For some, those ideas that they are passionate about are few and precious. They’re overwhelmed with their busy lives and don’t have the same luxury that I have. I’ve heard it said many times before.

“You have so many cool ideas. It’s because you’re so creative.”

Of course, I don’t think coming up with ideas is something exclusive to the ‘creative person’. I think anyone can be creative. What matters is opening yourself up to those ideas. You have to work at it.

But here’s the tea: ideas are cheap.

It’s the execution of those ideas that really matter. It’s the difference between talking about doing something and actually doing it. Talk is cheap. Actions are what matter.

Everyone can imagine their ideal life. But not everyone has the courage to work for it.

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