Motivational Writing by Valerie Haynes Perry

Balboa Press publishes articles written by our authors in which they share some aspect of their self-publishing journeys. These are the words of Valerie Haynes Perry author of Write the Book You Want, For more information, check out her website and Facebook. Download the Balboa Press free publishing guide to receive more information on self-publishing your book with Balboa Press. 

Writing can be an entirely positive experience. After publishing seven books, I continue to love every aspect of this art and craft. I remain dedicated to ongoing improvement as I write more, and more, and more. Over the past year or so, I’ve encouraged other serious writers to feel good about their writing. Sustaining that way of being is more than enough to remain motivated about the unfolding adventure of writing a book. So, I’ve defined motivational writing as follows:

valerieMotivational writing describes the empowering relationship that exists between serious writers and their work and naturally inspires others to complete their own projects. The Motivational Writing Circle is a community of writers who embrace this practice.

We held our first Motivational Writing Circle on Saturday, September 24th, in Oakland, California. There were eight of us. We wrote in a local art gallery that is a landmark and treasure. Here’s what we did:

  1. We walked around the gallery for ten minutes.
  2. We wrote about the art for five minutes.
  3. I listened to each writer express where he or she was with their writing in order to address ways to help each writer move forward with their work.
  4. We wrote about thoughts or observations that stood out in our minds so far that day.
  5. I listened while the writers read their words.
  6. I asked each writer how he or she felt about what they wrote.
  7. The listeners contributed their impressions of what was read.

Isku-001058233 consider item 6 to be the key step in this process. Often, in any type of writers group, when the writer reads, others comment on the work first. I’m experimenting with placing the focus more completely on the “reading” writer as a form of motivation. It feels important to let the reading writer be the first one to respond to the personal impact of his or her own words. That way, they are protected from being overly influenced by what others think, feel, and say. I regard this approach as a very useful way to motivate serious writers to stay in touch with their intentions for writing.

At the end of this first meeting, I asked each writer if they knew how to move forward until the next time we get together. After a discussion that led to everyone answering yes, one writer said, “I’m so busy all the time. I feel ready to retire. All I want to do is write.”

Using Write the Book You Want—Be Your Own Coach, Valerie motivates serious writers to finish their books and encourage other writers. Write the Book You Want is the third book in Valerie’s writer’s trilogy. It’s preceded by Listening Out Loud—A Friend to the Serious Writer and Write, Read, Listen—Your Handy Writing Coach. Valerie also loves to write fiction. Her first three novels and collection of short stories are Tanner Blue, Painted Deserts, Members, and Music for the Dream—Seven Short Stories. She’s working on a new novel—a Western of all things!

Balboa Press authors who’d like to share a 350-600 word experience related to the self-publishing of their books are invited to do so by sending a message through our Facebook page at, by tweeting us @BalboaPress, or by emailing We may not be able to use every story, but we will read and consider them. Balboa Press reserves the right to edit stories for content, grammar, and punctuation accuracy; as well as for space. 

1 Comment

  1. Hi Valerie,

    I have seemingly misplaced your email address and would like to chat with you.. Would you please contact me?

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