The life and words of Ashley, Erin, and Michelle

Bribing my Muse July 22, 2009

Filed under: Writing — ashleybarrett @ 8:42 am
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Last week I talked about why writing can be so scary. This week I want to talk about little things I do to help myself jump off that cliff and start writing. Use the word bribe if you must, I prefer “positive reinforcement.” Sometimes, I need something  to remind me that I actually like to write.

Going to the library or a bookstore is often a good start. I don’t feel isolated or lonely because I’m surrounded by books and people who love them. Going somewhere to write gives me a sense of purpose and a relieves me of every duty but writing. Also, bookstores and libraries are full of  rewards. I can set myself a time or word quota and then promise myself twenty minutes of free reading and browsing. A drink or snack from the cafe isn’t a bad little motivator either.

Sometimes even writing tools themselves can make me want to dive into creativity. I love handling the beautiful journals at Barnes and Nobel or Borders. Especially the soft leather ones. I love the pocket on Moleskine notebooks–although I seldom put anything in mine. The thrill of fresh paper or the eagerness to test out a new pen (I’ve spent my life searching for the perfect black pen that doesn’t smear when you write with your left hand. I know Erin and Michelle only write with a certain brand of ultra-fine point pens but I press too hard and shove the felt point into the metal tip) remind me how much I enjoy the act of writing.


Not every bribe has to be expensive. Try buying some markers and letting yourself write or draw in color. Try a new font on your computer, a new theme on your blog. Or maybe do something to spruce up your writing space like add a favorite scented candle or some flowers to your desk. I enjoy the visual pizazz and elementary-school-satisfaction from journaling with markers.


This laptop desk is both pretty and functional and even includes a cup holder!  Now if only they made a lapdesk that could either convert into a laptop case or fit in one.

Time for me to get off this blog and start writing!

So tell me, what do you do to get yourself motivated?


4 Responses to “Bribing my Muse”

  1. uninvoked Says:

    There you go. ^^ I’ve done a lot of writing since I started working on my noveling blog, Uninvoked, and I can tell you that a left handed pen is an essential for a lefty. You may just want to give it a try.

    • How cool is that! I wish my birthday was coming soon so I could ask people to buy it for me. Thanks so much. My lifelong search for the perfect pen could be over!

  2. uninvoked Says:

    It’s hard to find the perfect anything. I will use any pen that writes, but I’m obsessive about notebooks. A good notebook has a nice cover, an interesting shape, and lots of empty pages. The best kind of notebook is one that is brand new, with nothing at all between you and a fresh clean start on your WIP. This is second only to a special lucky notebook, which has had at least two brilliant flashes of inspiration written in them and therefore proven to be reliable.

    An unlucky notebook is one that has been sullied by math, grocery lists, or un-writing related work. Doodling aside, of course. If its particularly bad it should be used exclusively for these purposes or thrown away. Bad vibes, and all that.

    As you can see, I’ve gotten very superstitious through the course of writing Uninvoked. I hope you stop by and let me know what you think of it. ^^

    • 🙂 I understand there are good and not so good notebooks and journals. For me I tend to like the flexible covers and the spacing between the lines is very important. Page size is too. I like something that I don’t have to feel like I’m cramming words onto but not something that’s so big I can’t carry it in my purse. I don’t think I’m very superstitious but perhaps a little fussy although I’ll use anything that words I have “preferences.”

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