A Moment With: Liz Fenwick’s Advice on Staying Motivated

returning tideAward winning author Liz Fenwick’s latest novel, The Returning Tide is released today by Orion.

Two sisters and one betrayal that will carry across generations . . .

In wartime Cornwall, 1943, a story between two sisters begins – the story of Adele and Amelia, and the heart-breaking betrayal that will divide them forever. Decades later, the effects of one reckless act still echo – but how long will it be until their past returns?

A big, lovely welcome to Liz who joins me today with her advice on staying motivated when writing. Over to you, Liz…

The beginning of writing a novel is a wonderful thing. I am in love. The book in my head is perfect in every way from flawless sentences, twists galore and characters to die for…it’s all there unsullied by actually putting a single word on the page.

This love affair normally lasts for about 20,000 or maybe to 40,000 words if I’m lucky…then the doubts creep in. What was I thinking? It’s awful. These thoughts I refer to as the crows of doubt and they really begin to circle. This is when I turn to research and writing craft books. I’m always scared that I won’t find the inspiration to complete the story but digging into research fills my head with more ideas. Writing craft books make me look at things from a different angle.

Both of these exercises are essential to finding the will and the inspiration to keep going until I type the end.

I also remind myself that the first draft of the book is for me…for me alone. It’s fine that it is so far from perfect, from the book in my head. I tell myself that once the first draft is done I can fix it but I can’t fix an empty page.

Sometimes I have to bribe myself…if I write 2000 words I can read someone else’s book or can go for a walk or spend twenty minutes on social media or have cake. Things are desperate if I resort to cake because I’m not allowed it. But, well, sometimes only cake will do…maybe it’s the sugar high the pushes me on and makes me forget my fear. Because it’s the fear that always stops me. I have to push the fear away and focus on achieving small goals.

The best thing for staying motivated though is frequently meetings with my writing buddy, Brigid Coady. These are best done accompanied by wine. We know each other’s work and are as excited the other’s books – many times I’m more excited about hers than my own. But Brigid, my enthusiastic plot whisperer, keeps me going through the dark days of the middle of the book when I can’t quite see my way through. She can because she’s been there holding my hand through each book… being cheer leader and butt kicker as needed.

If you can find a critique partner/writing buddy then you have the best tool available to keep you motivated because they believe in your writing even when you don’t.


liz fenwickAbout Liz:

Liz is the award winning author of The Cornish House, A Cornish Affair, A Cornish Stranger Sky, Under A Cornish and a novella – A Cornish Christmas Carol. After ten international moves, she’s a bit of a global nomad. It’s no wonder her heart remains in Cornwall.

The Returning Tide is out on the 23rd of March 2017 (and available in most UK book shops,) and she’s currently writing the next book.

Liz’s books are available in Dutch, Germany, Portuguese, French, Estonia, Norwegian, Danish, Turkish, Swedish, Latvian, Serbian and Czech.

For more information on Liz and her novels, visit http://lizfenwick.com/ or you can say hi to Liz on Twitter, @Liz_Fenwick


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I’m Laura. I started Novel Kicks in 2009. I wanted a place to post my writing as well as give other writers like me the opportunity to do the same. There is also a monthly book club, a writing room which features writing prompts, book reviews, competitions, author interviews and guest posts.

I grew up by the sea (my favourite place in the world) and I currently live in Hampshire. I am married to Chris, have a cat named Buddy and I would love to be a writer. I’m trying to write the novel I’ve talked so much about writing if only I could stop pressing delete. I’ve loved writing since creative writing classes in primary school. I have always wanted to see my teacher Miss Sayers again and thank her for the encouragement. When not trying to write the novel or writing snippets of stories on anything I can get my hands on, I love reading, dancing like a loon and singing to myself very badly. My current obsession is Once Upon a Time and I would be happy to live with magic in the enchanted forest surrounded by all those wonderful stories provided that world also included Harry Potter. I love reading chick lit. contemporary fiction and novels with mystery.

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