By Gabrielle F. Culmer
When I write, a novel can take up to one year or less to complete. To keep motivated, I would write a few hundred words at a time until I find the word flow. It takes commitment, concentration and a very quiet environment. Usually, I write early in the morning or in a very secluded environment, possibly in another city. Often, I first visualize myself writing in a place where I wrote another novel and then either physically or psychologically transport myself to that environment where I have completed that work and continue with the sequel or start a new idea. This then increases to a few thousand words at a time.
There are many ways to keep motivated, I try to keep my mind active by reading something else, such as a favorite author or biography. Or you may treat yourself, if you have completed an enormous task, by a meal out or an outing. This may be to the gym, horseback riding, the theater, time with family members, a restaurant in, perhaps, Mayfair, a trip to your favorite countryside, or a familiar city which provides a different subject matter and motivation. It can also be a lovely memory with friends and family that motivates you and can be reformatted to something positive in the story.
It has also been by completely removing myself from the scenario and then compacting my mind with something unrelated, such as daily work. For instance, Damp Whisper based in London, was started in my free time after a long hiatus from the UK and just after the State bar exams and another Master’s degree in Chicago. Whereas, Arrive by Dusk was started after a total immersion visit to France. Whatever the location, I find it helpful after hours or months of writing to visit another creative place such as a museum, a place of worship, a class, an art store, a concert, or a historical country chateau to induce my creativity. Writing is very therapeutic and once you appreciate the effect that it can have and how it relates to others, you will want to keep writing.
Gabrielle F. Culmer is the author of five fiction novels, including, Where Lives Lead, Restoring Patterns, and Arrive by Dusk, as well as two collections of poetry, recently, Glenely Bay and Nostalgia from Paris. She is a lawyer, and has Bachelor and Master of laws degrees from universities in New York, London, Canterbury, and Chicago. She enjoys traveling, theatrical drama, horseback riding and researching history in her free time.