Monday Special: How To Put The Fun Back Into Writing (and life, while you’re at it) by Christina Hollis

It’s a great pleasure to welcome Christina Hollis to the blog today.  She has some great suggestions to keep your writing fresh and inspiration flowing.   There’s also a signed copy of Christina’s new book, His Majesty’s Secret Passion, to win!  All you need to do is leave a comment on this post.  

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Writers usually have to squeeze their imaginative sessions into odd spaces between a full time job, home life and family. Writing is often a business, but it’s got to be enjoyable, too. If it isn’t, it’ll show in your work and that won’t do your readers, you, or your career, any good at all.

Take a fresh look at everything you do, and it’ll improve both your writing, and your non-writing life.

A change is as good as… several thousand words.

I write every single day, including holidays. I’d urge everyone to do the same, but there’s no point in writing just for the sake of it.  Make sure you’ve got something to say. Don’t slog away at a project simply because you think you must.  Take a break from your current work in progress. Start a journal, or write a non-fiction article about something unconnected with your work in fiction. If you’ve been writing long form, think about writing a short story for a change.

Don’t beat yourself up…

It’s never a crime to take a day off, or fail to hit your word count. In writing, the only thing that matters is your reader. You can’t expect to do your best for them if you’re overstretched and stressed. If your reader-in-waiting happens to be the editor at your publisher, then keep them informed. This should include asking for an extension to your deadline in plenty of time, if you need it. Twenty-four hours to rest and regroup will do you the world of good. You’ll bounce back to achieve a lot more the following day than if you kept battering away in the hope of an elusive  breakthrough.

Chill out…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATake a walk outside, so fresh air can stimulate your thoughts. If you commute to work by public transport, use your travelling time to let your mind freewheel. Don’t try it while you’re driving! Keep a notebook handy, to write down any flashes of inspiration. Always do this the minute it strikes you. We always think we’ll remember to do it when we get to the office or arrive home, but how often does real life drive out the dream before we’ve got it down on paper, or up on screen? Learn to soothe your mind through meditation. Our lives are so busy and stressful, taking a few moments each day to collect our thoughts is an important aid to mental health.

Then warm up…

Start work on a scene full of drama, romance, sex, intrigue, or whatever gets your motor running as a writer. Plunge straight into something exciting. It doesn’t matter if you’re temporarily writing out of sequence. You can always shuffle text around during the editing stage. Getting some words onto a page is the important part. Once you’ve got your teeth into something (or someone!), you’ll find it difficult to stop.

HisMajestysSecretPassion_w9345_750What’s your favourite tip for keeping your writing fresh and enjoyable? There’s a signed copy of His Majesty’s Secret Passion on offer for a comment picked at random on 22nd February, 2015.

Christina Hollis writes contemporary fiction starring complex men and independent women–when she isn’t cooking, gardening or beekeeping. Her books have been translated into more than a dozen languages, and she’s sold nearly three million books worldwide. You can catch up with her at http://www.christinahollis.blogspot.com, on TwitterFacebook, and see a full list of her published books at http://www.christinahollis.com. Her current release, His Majesty’s Secret Passion, is published by Wild Rose Press, and available from them at http://bit.ly/1C0CxOU or in the UK, from Amazon at http://amzn.to/1DF99Dv.

To leave a comment please click where it says ‘Comments’ in teeny, tiny type at the bottom of this post.

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15 thoughts on “Monday Special: How To Put The Fun Back Into Writing (and life, while you’re at it) by Christina Hollis

  1. As Christina suggests, I find a walk really helps to refocus on what I’m writing, and I keep a notebook by my bed because it’s usually three in the morning when I wake up and know just how to get out of the tangle I got into the previous day!

    • Thanks for commenting, Merryn—the notebook trick is invaluable, because no matter how sure I am I’ll remember to write something down “in a minute”, it never happens unless I do it *straight away* !

  2. Hi Christina,
    I agree with the need to take time out sometimes as I really think it shows in our writing otherwise.
    Congratulations on your book news…and happy beekeeping!
    Helen R 🙂

    • Thanks, Helen. It hasn’t been a good day for walking today—every time I take a break, the heavens open! I don’t think the weather’s going to improve soon, as the bees aren’t flying. They can’t be tempted out of their hives, even though the wood around us is full of the catkins they love at this time of the year.

  3. That’s a very useful blogpost, Christina. I also find watching a film can help new ideas spark in your mind for you own work.

    • Thanks, Marilyn—that’s another good idea. It’s finding the time to sit through a whole film that I find a problem!

  4. Taking a break to walk outside definitely works for me, as does keeping up with reading other people’s writing. When I’m really jaded, I write a sex scene, even if I end up not using it! Always gets the creative juices going. Great post, Christina!

    • It’s funny how people react differently to writing sex scenes. I have to wait until the words are really flowing, then plunge in. But you’re definitely right about getting outside for a walk. That always works for me.

  5. Good advice, Christina. I used to really beat myself up over not writing but I’m more chilled now. I have a full time job, a family, a Brownie pack to run AND writing so if I miss a day or two, I’m so much easier on myself now. I never stop thinking about writing so I feel better knowing I may not be physically writing but I am plotting/character developing or whatever else goes on in my head.
    Thanks for joining us
    Jessica

    • Thanks for commenting, Rachael. Although it’s gloomy and wet here today, there’ll soon be plenty of sunshine, and good weather for walking.

  6. The winner of the prize draw for a signed copy of His Majesty’s Secret Passion is Ellie236. Congratulations, Ellie—send your snail-mail address to me at christinahollis(at)hotmail.co.uk, and I’ll get your prize in the post asap. Thanks to everyone who commented, and to the WriteRomantics for inviting me here. Happy writing (and reading) everyone!

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