My First Draft & Writing Motivation

Today (9th of June 2016) I finished my first draft. 8 months of writing and 100,022 words later I am so proud of myself. I can now say that I have written a book!!

I thought this would be the perfect time to post about what motivates me to write! I hope that it helps you find some motivation if you need it. I am no expert and none of my suggestions could be considered ground-breaking. I love to read about other writers, their writing process and motivation so hopefully some of you will enjoy this.

Finished Book

1. Research

I absolutely love learning and I enjoy researching and compiling information. So, I love researching for my book. Before I began writing, I did a lot of research to help with world building and to help me get a better sense of what kind of societies and cultures I wanted to create. I still add things as I write, but I wanted to have a good foundation before I started. Thankfully, I already knew a lot about Scotland due to the fact that I’ve lived here my whole life and always found it an interesting place. This helped me know which parts of history and folklore I wanted to include.

1. I think Wikipedia is the best place to start. Although the information may not be completely accurate or complete, it’s still the easiest way to quickly move from topic to topic. I’m sure you know that you can find information on Wikipedia.. but yeah, start there!

2. The next best place to research is, of course, books! I read and am still trying to find and read books about Scottish history and folklore to see what I would like to incorporate into my world. I have also made an effort to read more books with Scottish or Celtic themes, it’s interesting to see what people writing with similar ideas as their base produce. I also find that reading a great fantasy makes me so excited to see what I can go and create.

3. Thirdly, I would suggest just browsing the internet. I have found great information on random blogs and websites which look like they were created at least 20 years ago. I can guarantee that if you are thinking about it, someone out there will have written something about that topic.

4. My final piece of advice is to get out there. Go to museums, go to the beach, walk through forests, climb mountains. The more you experience and the more you get out there and learn, the more you can bring back home with you to write down. I really need to follow my own advice here, but I have a long summer ahead so hopefully I can get out there and learn.

2. Music

Sometimes I like to listen to music as I write, but other times I need silence. When I do listen to music I listen to the same song on repeat over and over until I stop writing. I do use Spotify, however I don’t have many songs on it as I listen to them all repeatedly.

Here are some of the song which inspire me, they are all so beautiful:

  1. The Losing Side of History  – Bear McCreary (Outlander vol 1 soundtrack).
  2. Land of Shadows – Audiomachine (Trilogy).
  3. Journey to Kattegat – Trevor Morris (The Vikings).
  4. Leaving the Docks – Zbigniew Preisner (The Secret Garden soundtrack).
  5. Scarborough Fair – Celtic Women (A New Journey).
  6. The Gravel Road – James Newton Howard (The Village soundtrack).
  7. Opening – Craig Armstrong (Far from the Madding Crowd soundtrack).
  8. Arrival to Earth – Steve Jablonsky (Transformers: The Score).

3. Pinterest

I am obsessed with Pinterest! You can follow me here if you want.

I absolutely love creating boards on Pinterest. I have them for specific plots, book ideas and locations. I also have some for general world building and inspiration for new characters. I am a very organised person and so I love organising my thoughts visually. It really helps me get back into a certain POV or re-imagine a place if I’ve taken a break from writing about it.

Here are some of my favourite Pinterest boards / Pinterest accounts:

1. Sarah Raasch – Pirate Book

2. Here Be Dragons

3. Scotland – EvieHerondale

4. They live in a kingdom, far, far away.

5. Sarah J Maas

4. Sarah J Maas

This may make me sound like a strange stalker, but I am really motivated and inspired by Sarah J Maas. She is my favourite author and I adore both her Throne of Glass series and her A Court of Thorns and Roses series. I got the idea to use Spotify to store the music I write to and create boards on Pinterest from Sarah, so really this whole post should be about her!

Whenever I don’t feel motivated to write I watch this interview uploaded by Cuckoo For Books on YouTube. It is a 48 minute long interview showing the Q&A from Sarah’s visit to the Philippines in March, 2016. She is so passionate throughout as she talks about folklore, inspiration, writing and of course her books (it contains spoilers if you haven’t read them all). As I am also inspired by folklore, though in my case mainly Scottish and Celtic folklore, it is so great to hear her talk about it.

I also get motivated whenever I read through Sarah’s live journal blog. It hasn’t been updated since 2015 but it has posts dating back to 2008, before Throne of Glass had even been picked up by a publisher. I absolutely love reading about how passionate she is about her work. It’s great to see that she always spoke about her work so honestly even when it hadn’t been published yet. It’s so motivational to know that she was once at a point where she didn’t have anything published, and didn’t know if she ever would.

I hope some of these suggestions helped you! I would love to hear what you thought of this post and to hear what motivates you to write. Let me know in the comments and feel free to share this post with everyone you know! 

(“A Book A Day Keeps The Reality Away” Notebook available here!)

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