It’s November and NaNoWriMo has started. And I’ve realised I haven’t updated you with part two of my Preptober. The first part, where I talk about focus and creating my version of an Artist’s Statement, is here if you haven’t seen it and would like to take a look.

The second element of my novel writing preparation is another attempt to scale the motivation mountain on which I’ve been floundering.

Just as I’m hoping my Writer’s Statement will act as a guide and keep me focussed, I’m hoping my motivation/procrastination woes will be helped by a big dose of inspiration.

So what’s proving useful to motivate and inspire me at the moment?

💡 Listening to my favourite artist, the great Maggi Hambling talk.

About anything. But specifically about her process and her influences.
There’s something comforting in hearing an established, super successful artist talk of insecurities and how she conquers them. She gives me courage to move forward and embrace not just my work but a more creative life in general.

If you haven’t heard her inimitable, uncompromising style, check out the BBC radio 4 show ‘This Cultural Life’ on iTunes.

💡 Listening/Watching Taylor Swift’s new album Midnights.

The depth of her lyrics and the creativity in her self written & directed music videos leave me in awe, that so much talent is wrapped up in one person. Listening to the specificity of each song reminds me of the power of writing the small, intimate moments; the ones you think no one else will relate to because it’s too small and too specific but they become the lynchpin of the work. Because humans are really not that different from each other.

If, by some chance, you’ve not heard it yet it’s streaming on Spotify.

💡 Reading, both in my favourite genre and “great literature”.

I’ve been listening to Salman Rushdie’s ‘Satanic Verses’ and I’m blown away by the invention and allusions. It’s heartening to see (or in my case hear) the patterns in his prose. If you’ve not read it, it’s a beautiful combination of 1980s contemporary and a kind of mythic magic realism and it’s giving me courage to write in the style I want instead of trying to fit in. 


How do you keep yourself motivated and inspired?