Sunday at the Festival of Writing: inspiration and motivation

Our Festival of Writing 2017 live blogs gave authors insight into what to expect of a Festival experience. In the final ‘live’ blog from the Festival of Writing 2017, Sarah Ann Juckes reveals the top tips of the Festival in 2017, and reminds us how we can do it all again in years to come.

The last day of the Festival of Writing 2017 came too soon. Writers geared up for another day of one-to-ones, workshops and networking, wishing it all didn’t have to end.

Fortunately, the key take-away from today was how to keep motivated. Below, I’ve listed some of the top tips to come out of Sunday, including how you can ensure you keep the momentum going throughout the year – until the next Festival.

The idea generator

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Top tips from Sunday at the Festival of Writing:

1. Refute every point your doubts make. Having tried is the true bravery – Debi Alper.

2. ‘Show don’t tell’ is for novices. You need to show AND tell – C M Taylor.

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4. Your Twitter handle should be your name, or the name you write under – Julie Crisp.

5. Find writing friends you trust, and share the pain and triumphs of being a writer with them – Debi Alper.

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7. Do personality tests for your characters to learn more about them. Amanda Saint uses 16 Personalities.

8. Narrative arc is about change. Your character needs to be different at the end to how they were at the beginning – C M Taylor.

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How to stay motivated until the next Festival

The Festival will come round again each year, but how can you ensure you put everything you’ve learnt into practice all year round?

Here are my tips.

  • Organise your festival notes – If your notes are anything like mine, they’re all over the place. Highlight your most important ideas and keep them safe.
  • Write a to-do list – Did you have lightbulb moments during workshops? Make sure you action those, whilst your ideas are still fresh in your mind.
  • Email that agent! – If you’re one of the lucky ones who were asked to send their work to an agent after the festival, send it in the next four weeks (if possible). Title your subject line ‘Festival of Writing 2017’ (they’ll read these first), and send it whilst your meeting is still fresh in the agent’s mind. A book deal is a surprisingly good motivator for the rest of the year.
  • Keep in touch – Other writers are a lifeline. They know what you’re going through. Keep in touch with the friends you made over the weekend via social media or email. You’ll be surprised what a difference they’ll make to your writing year.
  • Sign up to our newsletter – As well organising the Festival of Writing, we’ll be sharing useful tips throughout the year. Whether you join one of our courses, attend one of the many events we run throughout the year, or just keep an eye on our regular newsletter, we’ll share the inspiration you need to keep at it.

The idea generator

Get better ideas faster, with this simple guide.

Fond farewells

Thank you to everyone who came to the Festival of Writing 2017. Lives really were changed here this weekend – whether that be by signing with an agent, winning a prize or just meeting the people who will keep pens moving.

The idea generator

Get better ideas faster, with this simple guide.