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Frequently Asked Questions: A Series

Since we are all quarantined I thought I would address in a series many of the FAQ's I have been asked over my writing career. This is the first installment in a weekly series that I hope will illuminate how I approach my writing practice. I hope by sharing my process, aspiring writers will follow their natural pathway to their creative process. In this blog post I will explore the most frequently asked question.

How do you stay motivated to create?

I come from a family who were constantly creating, whether it was sewing, cooking, woodworking or energetic conversation that led to creating. I had to think about what that process was and how has it affected my creative execution. As it turns out I use many of the "techniques" my family used organically.

Many people see motivation and inspiration as synonymous but they are dissimilar. Inspiration is the process of being mentally stimulated to write while motivation is the reason one has for writing. When we're motivated there is a desire or willingness to write. We need the inspiration first to stimulate our brain to bring in desire. I am inspired by books that I've read so sometimes I reread those novels that have affected me the most. Walking in nature inspires me so sometimes I take an early morning walk before I sit down to write. Other times I do a yoga practice with deep breathing. My great aunt has inspired my writing so she is the main character in my trilogy. Through these inspirational triggers I am able to reach the allusive motivation. Inspiration is personal so what inspires me doesn't work for everyone.

Motivation comes after you find inspiration. The energy of motivation is universal while inspiration is personal. If you know yourself then you can easily find inspiration, Think about what has inspired you in the past. Was it being around positive people, reading a novel, or movement of some kind. These are the traditional modes of finding inspiration. But we are all individuals, so our inspiration is unique to us. Think outside the box to find inspiration. An example would be automatic writing or psychography. The writer sits quietly and begins writing disregarding the conscious mind. The words or phrases come from the subconscious and may inspire a story or character. This exercise makes the mind work creatively so the process has already started. Even if the words don't inspire the mind will be motivated to find structure for your creativity.

Writers will find inspiration in their own personal story. Even if you feel your life is mundane write out your story, I guarantee you will find what you're looking for. Everyone has an inspiring story of transcending adversity since life is peppered with roadblocks. This may inspire a character study or plunge you into understanding your own interest in writing. Remember there is always a way to find inspiration but you also need the element of motivation. And if you don't fee motivated sit down and write anyway. You have nothing to lose.


Carmela Cattuti started her writing career as a journalist for the Somerville News in Boston, MA. After she finished her graduate work in English Literature from Boston College she began to write creatively and taught a journal writing course at the Cambridge Center for Adult Education As fate would have it, she felt compelled to write her great aunt's story. “Between the Cracks” has gone through several incarnations and will now become a trilogy. Her second novel, The Ascent has just been published. Check out her books at To connect with Carmela email her Visit her website at

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