Writing A Novel? 3 Tips To Boost Your Creativity

Are you writing a novel? It may well be therapeutic. Over the past decades, studies have shown that both writing and art have therapeutic effects.

Writing a novel may be good for you

Writing has been used as a therapy to recover from emotional trauma as well as to aid physical healing.

For example, a JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) article from 1999 was titled: “Effects of writing about stressful experiences on symptom reduction in patients with asthma or rheumatoid arthritis: a randomized trial.”

The study concluded that writing offered: “clinically relevant changes in health status at 4 months compared with those in the control group.”

Many writers and authors have suffered from ill health for much of their lives. As the saying goes… much of the world’s work is done by people who weren’t feeling well at the time.

Julius Caesar, for example, arguably the most effective military commander in history, suffered from epilepsy. Not only did he command his legions, and live in the field with his soldiers, Caesar was a prolific writer.

Caesar wrote well. Cicero, no slouch at writing either, wrote of Caesar’s Gallic War (a seven-volume work):

The Gallic War is splendid. It is bare, straight and handsome, stripped of rhetorical ornament like an athlete of his clothes. … There is nothing in a history more attractive than clean and lucid brevity.

Tip: if you’d like to be as prolific as Caesar and Cicero, consider dictating some of your writing, as these busy men did.

Tips to boost your creativity while you’re writing a novel

Want to boost your creativity? These tips may help.

1. Be guided by your intuition: if you’re ill, journaling can’t hurt, and may help you to heal

Do you feel you’d like to write about your illness? If so, do it, with this proviso: if you’re under the care of a medical professional, ask his or her advice about therapeutic writing before you start.

In the study referenced in the JAMA article above, they assigned patients to write about the most stressful event in their lives. They assigned the control group of patients to write about neutral topics.

2. Use journaling to lessen your stress

Unless you’re under the care of a doctor, please don’t write about events that are traumatic. However, you can write about stressful situations, if your intuition nudges you to do so.

Many years ago, when my children were small, I suffered from panic attacks. In those days, doctors were happy to medicate for any reason at all, so I ended up on medication for some months.

My intuition nudged me to write, so I wrote in my journal.

I used prompts:

  • What do I need to know today?
  • What can I learn from… (an event)?
  • What’s my best response to… (an event)?

When my medication ran out, I kept writing. Over time, my panic attacks occurred less often, and finally stopped.

3. Follow your intuition for ways to build your writing muscles

Is your intuition nudging you to doodle or paint? If so, consider taking an evening class. When speaking about creativity with writers, art journaling seems a popular activity. There’s a lot of satisfaction in splashing paint onto paper or canvas.

En Plein air (outdoor) painting is fun, and gets you out into the fresh air. Want company? Most towns, no matter how small, have an art society. Members take their paints with them on hikes, or have urban sketching days.

Watercolor painting has definitely enhanced my creativity. Not only is painting fun, it builds your writing muscles, because you become more observant. I often pause during my daily walk to marvel at the many colors in a cloudy sky, or at the variegated greens in trees.

Yes, You’re Creative: How To Unlock Your Imagination And Build The Writing Career Of Your Dreams

Yes, You’re Creative: How To Unlock Your Imagination And Build The Writing Career Of Your Dreams

eBook: $5.99

In this book we'll aim to increase your creativity to unlock your imagination and build the writing career of your dreams.

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Write Fast, Write Well: How To Be Prolific, and Sell – Powerful tips to increase your writing income

Write Fast, Write Well: How To Be Prolific, and Sell – Powerful tips to increase your writing income

$4.99

What If You Were Twice As Successful, Or Even THREE Times More Successful Than You Are Today?

There's No Ceiling On A Writer's Income... You Just Need To Be Prolific.

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Resources to build your writing career

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Writing Goals: 3 Tips For Self-Publishing In Series

Writing Goals: 3 Tips For Self-Publishing In Series

We’re powering through March; the first quarter of 2019 is almost done. For many of us, it means that the writing goals we set in January have vanished in the rear-view mirror.

It’s time to revisit them. Have you been reviewing your goals regularly?

Review your writing goals weekly, it’s essential

For many years, I was hopeless at meeting goals. I’d set a goal, and forget all about it. Then I complained that “goal setting doesn’t work.”

Finally I realized that I had to review my goals regularly. If I didn’t, I’d forget them, because life and work would get in the way.

Reviewing your goals is essential. These days, I review my writing goals every week.

I’m sure you’re wondering: what do goals have to do with SERIES writing?

In a nutshell: you need to set goals when you write in series. Otherwise, you’ll forget about your series because you’re chasing the latest bright shiny idea you had.

(Apropos of series writing, Planning And Writing A Hot-Selling Series has just been released; check it out.)

Series sell, in both fiction and nonfiction, but it takes persistence to write in series

It’s worth focusing on series for one simple reason: you have more chances to sell books and build a readership. When I coach authors and look at their publishing catalogues, I see a lot of standalone books.

There’s nothing wrong with writing standalone fiction and nonfiction, but writing in series is better.

You do need to set goals however, so here are some tips.

1. Set series goals: how many series will you start this year?

Series sell. Ask any author who writes fiction or nonfiction in series about his experiences. He’ll tell you that his only regret is that he hasn’t written more series books.

Authors are collaborating to write series these days, because they know that a rising tide lifts all boats: a successful series helps you to sell all your books.

Set a writing goal for the number of series you’ll start this year.

2. Keep series’ books short: aim for a book you can write in less than a month

When I suggest to my students that they write in series, they sometimes complain about the effort ONE book takes, let alone several.

Two words: write short.

3. Consider collaborating with other authors on series’ promotions

With five million books on the Kindle Store, it’s a challenge to gain and maintain visibility. More authors are collaborating in various ways.

A collaboration helps everyone. So consider limited collaborations with other authors. You might promote each others’ series in the back matter of your books, or send out mailings to your mailing lists.

Planning And Writing A Hot-Selling Series: Selling Writer Strategies, Book 7

Planning And Writing A Hot-Selling Series: Selling Writer Strategies, Book 7

eBook: $4.99

When you write in series, you're giving yourself more chances to sell with every novel you write.

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Plan, Write, And Publish Serial Fiction In Four Weeks

Plan, Write, And Publish Serial Fiction In Four Weeks

eBook: $5.99

Why write serial fiction?

Everyone's busy today. A serial is by its nature, faster to write, and publish, than a novel.

It's a quicker read too, and many readers appreciate this. While a reader may hesitate before committing hours to a novel, he can read an episode of your serial in minutes.

If you’re a new author, a serial serves to introduce you to readers. A reader may not be willing to commit to a novel by a new author, but be willing to read an episode of a serial.

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Resources to build your writing career

Check out Angela’s Writing Classes and Angela’s books for writers.

Social Media Common Sense: Write Books, Do What Works

Social Media Common Sense: Write Books, Do What Works

Do you spend too much time on social media? Are you more productive because of social media, or less?

Photographer Nick Fancher posted an interesting article, Why I Deleted All of My Social Media and 60,000 Followers.

He makes an interesting point:

…social media trains creatives to be inauthentic. At the least, social media trains us to stay within the lane of our “brand”.

Social media: cui bono?

If you feel that social media could be encouraging you to be something that you’re not, read Nick’s article, as well as the comments.

One of the comments made me giggle:

Good point and one that nobody seems to realize.

All those followers are not sending you nickels. They follow you because they want a “how to” on how to shoot like Nick or how to get 60K followers like Nick.

It’s a valid comment. I enjoy social media, but it can be a time sink. It’s vital to remember, cui bono? Who benefits?

Judging by Nick Fancher’s article, his social media presence boosts social media. It doesn’t provide sufficient benefit to him — it may even be destroying his creativity — so it benefits him to walk away.

Avoid the time sink: get on and get off social media

As I point out in Social Media For Writers: Increase Your Sales In 15 Minutes A Day, you can do all the social media you need or want to do in a short period each day.

Social media is valuable to many authors, because in an overcrowded marketplace, readers need to hear about your books. You can’t rely solely on your publication schedule.

If you guard your time on social media, a presence on selected social media networks boosts your advertising.

Social media danger: guard your mind state

As well as stealing time in which you could be writing, another danger of social media is your mind state. A writer told me recently that she’d unsubscribed from all her Facebook authors’ groups.

Cui bono, again. The groups depressed her, and she wasn’t writing.

We all suffer from FOMO (fear of missing out.) But as she said, if something happens which concerns her self-publishing business, she’ll learn about it anyway. If she isn’t gaining anything from those groups, she’s wise to unsubscribe.

Social media can be valuable as a promotional tool. It can be fun, too. However, if it’s not benefiting you, it’s time to rethink.

Social Media For Writers: Increase Your Sales In 15 Minutes A Day

Social Media For Writers: Increase Your Sales In 15 Minutes A Day

eBook: $5.99
Author:
Genre: Marketing

You want to sell more of your writing. Chances are that you've tried social media, with minimal results. You believe that "social media doesn't work."

That's not so. It works, but you need to know how the huge social media networks, and the various advertising networks, operate to use them to your advantage.

Discover how.

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Self-Publishing Strategy Made Easy: How To Market Your Books In 15 Minutes A Day

Self-Publishing Strategy Made Easy: How To Market Your Books In 15 Minutes A Day

eBook: $5.99

Do you enjoy writing and publishing your books, but find that marketing them is a challenge? You're not sure what works, so your efforts are muddled, half-hearted, and inconsistent.

What if you could market in just 15 minutes daily?

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Resources to build your writing career

Check out Angela’s Writing Classes and Angela’s books for writers.