Pose for the paparazzi. Autograph your books.
Write like a dream, promote like a rock star.
Fame and fortune are yours!

Friday, January 28, 2011

How to get a book out of your head

The Preparation of the Novel, we get a glimpse of the rituals and self-created environments of some of the world's most prolific, successful writers. 

The Preparation of the Novel includes the notes of lectures delivered by the late Roland Barthes at the Collège de France in the 1970's. According to Columbia University Press, his American publisher, "Barthes's lectures move from the desire to write to the actual decision making, planning, and material act of producing a novel."

Barthes looks at the “maniacal” urge in the author’s body to write. That's not as crazy as it sounds. When I have an idea for an article or a book, I do my usual daydreaming and, yes, procrastinating. It gets to a point where my physical body can't contain the ideas any more and I MUST write. In an explosion, the words burst forth from the walls of my body. It's crazy, really exciting, and a relief. That's often how I get started. Sustaining the discipline is another story.

2. Where do you feel most motivated to write? J.K. Rowlings wrote the Harry Potter books at caf. In an interview she said, "You don't have to make your own coffee, you don't have to feel like you're in solitary confinement and if you have writers block, you can get up and walk to the next café while giving your batteries time to recharge and brain time to think."

I love to write when flying. My thinking is clear, and I feel a heightened creativity. I once wrote most of the first draft of a book on a flight home from Las Vegas.

3. When do you feel most motivated to write? Some writers like waking up at the crack of dawn, while others prefer the night time hours. There's something subversive about writing at night, like you're the only person awake in the world. Whenever you feel motivated and creative is what's important. Start honoring your most creative time of day by sitting at the computer and taking the plunge. 

Some other ideas not mentioned in the review but might be worth thinking about:
  • Does weather get you in the mood to write? For some strange reason, cloudy, overcast days make me feel "literary."
  • Do you like to write when you travel?
  • Have you ever tried writing in a library, bookstore, restaurant, or caf

Bottom line: you can listen to motivational speakers all day long, but only intrinsic motivation will make you productive. Becoming a prolific writer is just as much about the art and science of making yourself do something as stringing words and sentences together. 

So what can you do to enhance your writing space? Schedule the best writing time? How about setting the alarm on your cell phone? 

What are some rituals that will create a mood and inner motivation to write?

Donna Marie

No comments:

Post a Comment