I too am inspired by On Writing. I like the idea of taking and incorporating master writers' inspirations and advice to motivate, encourage and reinforce our writing and our kids' writing skills.
So sit back and read/listen/look at what others suggest:
Stephen King: Routine and music (yes, music!) help motivate his 'hypnotic' state when writing.
Note that in this clip (with King and Niffenegger), each author has a writing routine one slightly more structured than the other. I found it interesting that Stephen King's ritual involves a "path" to his writing "place" to get the that "hypnotic" state of writing. I also found it interesting that Stephen King listens to hard rock music when writing. BUT when discussed further, both King and Niffenegger note that the music has to be something they like and that is so familiar they don't hear the words. The lyrics if they listened to them would interfere with their writing process.
This last point has come up so frequently in conversations with parents: Can my child work and listen to music at the same time? In my experience, there are kids (and adults) who need background noise when they work, as it actually helps them focus; others need silence. (I like background noise, myself - what about you?). We are all so different, I am not sure there is one answer. I do know this: research is now showing that college kids actually CANNOT multitask successfully. Background music though, is a different thing as it is not being consciously attended to.
Neil Gaiman: Read a lot and live...and write.
Terry Pratchett talks about writing and how he began by writing parodies of other writers' (good and bad) works - in an effort to shape his voice and skills.
Taylor Mali advises to "Root your writing in things, things you can touch... we find our way to truths through things..."
Barbara Kingsolver: "...you have to see, smell, hear and taste a scene...and real life experience is really important... getting into the world... to evoke that sense of space... Literature is made of details... while you might begin with big ideas, you end up with millions of tiny details..."
Toni Morrison talks about writing about the feelings of the most vulnerable (so others will better understand) - and she assumed the voice of the black female children whom she felt were the most vulnerable:
Did you note the common themes:
- These author always wrote - even as a kid. One wrote in the margins of all the books he had, another kept a diary, another wrote and doodled in a notebook.
- These author had to find his or her own way to make integrate their writing and their experiences - to make the writing "real."
- These authors read avidly.
In closing two more clips. One on famous last words, because... if they're your last, make them count!
And a final, a more traditional "inspirational" closing:
How did you discover the joy and power of writing? What do you do to inspire you or your kids to write? Please let us know.