Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Five Ways to Get Your (Writing) Groove On by Marie Wells Coutu

Marie Wells Coutu
The holidays are over and, if you’re like me, you took a few days off from writing. And you’re finding it difficult to get back into your writing routine.

Or maybe you finished your WIP two weeks ago and took a much-needed break.

Now it’s time to get back to work. But you can’t seem to get your seat in chair. Perhaps you’re stuck for an idea of what to write next. Or you’re in the middle of your novel but the characters won’t talk to you. Or the weather has frozen your mind.

Sometimes all it takes is to open a document on your computer and start typing, and the thrill of seeing a story come to life returns. But other times, the blank page staring back at you causes brain freeze.

Here are some ideas to help thaw those creative juices:
Image by pixabay.com
  • Pick a minor character from your favorite TV show or movie and write his/her backstory.
  • Take your favorite writing craft book (one that gives writing exercises) and turn to Chapter 5. Whatever the writing assignment is, DO it (don’t just read about it, as I frequently do).
  • Look through a magazine or newspaper and find a photo with two or more people. (Don’t get sidetracked reading the articles!) Write a scene about what happens next with those people.
  • Think about your life in the past two weeks and pick an event that had the potential to be tension-filled. Change one action or line of dialogue and write about what would have happened.
Now that you’ve gotten words on the page again, keep writing. Maybe even try this:
  • Challenge yourself to your own NaNoWriMo. Write the first draft of a novel in 30 days. Sign up for the Novel Track: Writing loop for members of ACFW for encouragement along the way from fellow writers. Or just grab one accountability partner and root for each other.
The important thing is to get started today.

You’re a writer, so write something.
About the Author
Marie Wells Coutu began telling stories soon after she learned to talk. At age seven, she convinced neighborhood kids to perform a play she had written. She wrote her first book, “I Came from Venus,” in eighth grade, but studied journalism in college. After a career writing for newspapers, magazines, governments, and nonprofits, she returned to her first love—writing fiction—at the age of fifty-five. Her debut novel, For Such a Moment, won the Books of Hope Contest. Thirsting for More, the second book in the Mended Vessels series, released in April 2015. Books in the series are contemporary re-imaginings of the stories of biblical women, including Esther and the woman at the well. Marie retired after 15 years with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, and she and her husband now divide their time between Florida and Iowa.

Thirsting for More
Northern transplant Victoria Russo moves to the charming southern city of Charleston, South Carolina, from cold Connecticut, hoping to renovate her career, her life, and an old house. Instead, she faces animosity, betrayal, and calamity. Will she repeat the pitfalls of her past mistakes, or find the freedom and restoration she seeks?


  1. I love these hints and helps. Yes, mye ditor did give me the holidays off, but it's catch-up now. I am in the closing stretch, I mean, the supposed bad-guy just showed up and I KNOW what happens next...just gotta stop the distractions of close-cleaning and get it down. Gr.
    Thanks, Marie. I visited Charleston (and Beaufort) not long ago, and this California girl has gotten her South on. Can't wait to read your book!

    1. Tanya, I'm so glad you found this helpful! And I hope you enjoy my book set in Charleston.
      I hope you'll find a way to stop being distracted and tell your story (via the keyboard). And now I need to take my own advice. 8-)

  2. Love this post, Marie! These are great ideas to get started when all the "voices in your head" go silent!

    I especially love the last tip. So glad I listened to you when you suggested it!

  3. Angie, glad I could help! We all need to find encouragement wherever we can!


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