Monday Writing Motivation: Rocket Fuel for Your Writing

 In Monday Motivation, Richard Beynon's blog

I’ve been murmuring now for some time that an announcement is in the offing that I hoped you would greet with enthusiasm, not to say cheers and tumultuous applause.

Well, that day has now arrived. Of course, because I’m a writer, and can’t let an opportunity for drama pass me by, I will begin by sketching the evolution of the project I’m about to unveil. Bear with me.

Trish first suggested that I write a weekly blog about things that might be of interest to writers in, I think, 2011.

“What sort of things?”

“Oh,” she said airily, “something that’ll help get them off their bums and in front of their computers.”

“Something informative?”

“No, no – something inspirational, something motivational.”

There’s nothing an old hack likes more than a tight brief. So, I sat down at my computer and bashed something out. It wasn’t, I thought, really up to scratch, but it was mine. Over the next few weeks and months I worked my way towards the sort of thing that satisfied me and would, I hope, amuse and entertain (and inspire!) my slowly growing readership.

Because Trish and I spent up to six months every year cruising the rivers and canals of the UK on our narrowboat, Patience, I found those experiences provided me with a wealth of material that seemed to fit the writing project: young swans that exercised diligently in their efforts to master flight; a mallard duck that laid – and then abandoned – a clutch of eggs on our forward deck; the surprises that every voyage delivered to a writer who delights in surprises.

Every year the tally of blogs rose. I celebrated the fiftieth, the hundredth, the two hundred and fiftieth

I wrote not only during our trips on the water, but, from 2015 onwards, during our annual writing retreats in Venice, where I specialised in people-watching. I made a meal of near-disasters, as when we nearly ended up flying over a retaining wall into a pasture adjoining a house we were living in on a retreat in Croatia. I found writing analogues in Parisian restaurants. I read books and watched films that inspired me and constructed lessons around them that I retailed to you. I listened to radio programmes on which sometimes great writers imparted secrets of their craft – which I passed on to you.

In short, I mined every experience for, yes, motivation and inspiration that might light up your day and your writing projects.

Last year we passed a significant milestone: I wrote the five hundredth blog in the series.

And all the while I was the happy recipient of a steady stream of emails from you responding to my blogs.

And it occurred to me – as it might have, much earlier, to someone of a more entrepreneurial bent – that it might be possible to publish a collection of my blogs in book form.

Which brings me to my announcement.

Over the course of this and next year, I will be publishing a series of Monday Motivation collections, arranged by theme. Accompanying each will be a workbook containing additional, rather more formal notes, and a number of writing exercises and prompts, equal in number to the blogs in the relevant collection. Each collection, and its matching workbook, will be available separately, or bundled together.

These will be available both as ebooks and hard copies, and, who knows, one day in the future, as audio books.

Cover of Rocket Fuel for Your Writing: Inspiration and Motivation for Writers

What is available for today as a gift is a forerunner of these books and workbooks. We’ve called it Rocket Fuel for Your Writing: Inspiration and Motivation for Writers. It contains a series of my blogs arranged by theme. Each thematic section of the book ends with additional notes and writing exercises or prompts. You can download it for free here. You can download it as a PDF, read it immediately on your laptop or phone, or send it to your Kindle, Apple Books, Kobo etc.

And, if you’d like to buy a hardcopy spiral-bound workbook which includes lined pages on which to respond to each exercise, you can purchase it through The Great British Book Shop in the UK, or Takealot in South Africa.

I think you’ll enjoy both the blogs – even if you have a vague memory of having read them before online – and the exercises, designed as they are to help you flex your writing muscles.

Happy writing,


P.S. We’re excited to say that we’re also planning another publishing project. We’ll be republishing of Jo-Anne’s out-of-print books, Sad at the Edges and Touching the Lighthouse. Jo-Anne’s other three books, The Innocence of Roast Chicken, My Brother’s Book and The Imagined Child are all still in print and are published by Pan Macmillan.

We’ll be sharing the publishing process of Jo-Anne’s books and the Motivation and Inspiration books with you in a series of blogs. We hope you’ll find then useful.

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