Friday, August 6, 2010

That New-Book Smell...

So here's a question for you:

What kindles your flame?

Here's what I mean: you know when you get something new, and it makes you excited to use it? Like this, for instance:

I got new running shoes yesterday. My previous shoes were old and very worn; I was experiencing pain in both feet and my knees.

"What can fix this?" I asked myself.
"Shopping," myself instantly answered. "Erm, shoe-shopping, that is."

So I found some pretty new running shoes, and even though I'd already been to the gym yesterday, I kept thinking, "ooh, I should go try them out." Fortunately, I was able to wait until this morning for my usual gym time, and you know what?

The shoes were totally worth it. I'm pretty sure I could have run all day (and by all day, I mean for like 10 extra minutes).

I think this carries over into other parts of our life--new appliances, new tools, new clothes, new furniture, new toys--all just dying to be used, and us dying to use them.

So here's my question: when you've worn your MS out, and it's giving you pains everywhere and just not supporting you the way it used to, how do you infuse it with new life? How do you give yourself the urge to write/revise/edit like it's brand new?

New music?
New candles? (maybe I'm the only fire-obsessed writer)
New drinks?
Rearrange your desk?

Curious mind want to know.


Unknown said...

First I just want to say that your facebook picture rocks!!!! Shows your super fun personality, which I adore :)

Okay now I love the new shoes, and can't wait to get a new pair this weekend! I might even show you (if you're good, lol)

I find that new music helps, a movie that brings out the pieces I know I want to capture, or putting it to the side and reading a few novels, working on a new WiP give me time to think all my options out!

Sarah Ahiers said...

yeah, shopping is generally my solution as well

Jules said...

Well, currently it is a hot water heater. Mine decided to expire all over the floor this morning. :)
Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Erica Mitchell said...

Because both WiP's are set here in the city I live in, going out and visiting some of the locations helps me rework the MS. Occasionally new music will help but not nearly as much as this sort of field research I do :) Have a great weekend!

Crystal Cook said...

Awesome I love new running shoes, I just had to get some new ones too to correct my lame overpronation.

Anyways, reading a book that I love helps me. Because then I think, 'I want to do that!!!' And then I go and try it, my way :)

And I don't know why, but reading about how other writer's work, especially author's or CP's ;) that I admire, always makes me feel excited about what I'm working on again.

Anne Gallagher said...

Unfortunately for me, it's cleaning the house. I got two pair of shoes and they didn't do a thing. Cleaning does. I don't know why.

Shelley Sly said...

Sometimes I have to not think about my MS. I play with other ideas, I do completely non-writing related activities, and then it comes to me.

I recently got that inspiration while brushing my teeth. Out of nowhere, I got an idea for how to re-write a MS that I haven't touched in months. Strange, I know.

Lola Sharp said...

Revisions are hell. I got nothing for you.


Making it the best book it can be, a book you'd want to buy and read more than once. Improving your craft with each draft.

And taking breaks. When I take breaks from it, I try to think about it, about what I don't like and what I could do to make it better.

Have someone else read it and help you brainstorm, which leads to fresh ideas and enthusiasm.

But, basically, it's mostly hell.

The lure of the Shiny New Idea really starts screaming...ignore it. (or jot it down in a notebook, then forget about it.)

Hell. All the many layers/rings of blistering, stenchful hell.

sarah darlington said...

It's so funny you did a post about this. What kindles my flame? Well, a couple weeks ago I was in the car with my brother and I mentioned something about how theraputic it was just for me to go into a book store. And buying book! WOW--I get basically a high from it. (Actually I think we were talking about the new Nook from Barnes and Noble and how I'm never getting one) Anyway and then my brother said. Clothes gave him that shopper high and if you knew my brother--very macho--and me--pretty girly--you'd know how backwards that whole exchange was.

As far as what encourages me to keep going with writing--sometimes reading a new book although sometime that hurts me. But other than that I'm not really sure.

Lola Sharp said...

Oh, I too think you look adorable in the FB picture...the hair is working for you. :)

Now suit up in your fire retardant PJ's.

Old Kitty said...

For me, I leave it alone for years and discover it again and see that it ain't so bad! LOL!!

But seriously!!! Putting the MS away for a day or so and then returning to it with fresh eyes!

Lovely running trainers - yay!!!

Take care

DL Hammons said...

That's some very stylish shoes (for a girl)!

I find that frequent breaks heads off any stagnation. The only time I can't get motivated to write is just following the completion of my first draft.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

New music!


In one word MUSIC!!!!!!!!!


Hannah said...

Music definitely helps with the wip. Also writing exercises but from your mc's perspective. That's fun!!

Courtney Barr - The Southern Princess said...

First of all I love your blog! Secondly, if I wore any shoes other than boots, sandal, heels or flats I am sure I would love the running shoes... ;o) But alas it has now been ten years since high school and it has been ten years since softball, volleyball or cheerleading so no ten-nies for me! ;o)

Oh and by the way you are Royally Tagged!

Visit My Kingdom Anytime

Courtney Barr - The Southern Princess said...

oh I forgot: what gets me going: MUSIC... definitely!

Visit My Kingdom Anytime

Unknown said...

Arg! Blogger ate my comment :(

What I said was: I need to put my MS aside when the magic stops coming. After a little break, I read it with fresh eyes and gain perspective on how to make the writing more vibrant.

Love your new shoes. I need new gym shoes, badly!

The Words Crafter said...

I was watching a movie the other night and it really inspired me....? Love the new shoes, btw!

Karen Jones Gowen said...

New purse smell, new shoe smell and new book smell-- aaahhhh!!! Heaven. Sometimes, if it's my birthday, I'll even have them all at once.

Summer Frey said...

Erica--that's a fabulous idea. My MS is also set in the city where I live. I was thinking about going out and taking some pictures of certain places that feature in the novel.

Music! Music music music! And I agree! Thanks for the input, all!

Kimberly Franklin said...

I have to say, inspiration strikes me at weird times. I just never know when it's going to hit. But most of the time, all I have to do is turn on the music and I'm good to go!

Stephanie said...

When I can't stand to look at my MS anymore...I have to walk away and work on something else. Sometimes I can go back in a week...sometimes not.

Summer Ross said...

I clean my desk then i want to use it again.

Anonymous said...

Take a break, work on another WIP/non-writing project...sometimes I find getting some alphareader friends on board makes the job easier, especially if they're the super-critical kind!

Belle Wong said...

I need to take a break, do something else creative. And then make sure I don't get so distracted I never come back to it!