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Tip Tuesday #115

Tip Tuesday offers tips on writing craft, research, querying, blogging, marketing, inspiration, and more. If you'd like to send in a tip, please e-mail me at agentspotlight(at)gmail(dot)com.

Today's tip was sent in by Alexandra Loewen who doesn't blog but tweets @alexandraloewen. Alexandra's previous tips include #75 on character names and #106 on adding music to your writer's toolbox. Here's her newest!

I discovered a new form of inspiration that is simple, but particularly effective for me: I changed the theme on my iGoogle page to the setting of my current story. Now every time I open my laptop or return to my home page, I am hit with a visual of my story’s setting, which draws me right back in and inspires new thoughts and ideas for the story. Very importantly, it also keeps me focused on the work I should be doing, which comes in handy when I start to get distracted by email or something that looks interesting online. For those not using iGoogle, perhaps you could try this with your wallpaper.

This idea may also work with a subject instead of a setting, or any powerful visual that immediately reminds you of your story.

To change the theme on your iGoogle page, look for the small ‘change theme’ button in the bottom right corner of the theme box. Then enter your setting in the ‘search themes’ box and see what compelling images come up!

~Alexandra Loewen


  1. How interesting and most inspiring! Thank you for this handy tip!

    I have a lovely pic of my cat Charlie on my pc to inspire me - or at least to make me smile and to start my internet/word doc working on a happy note!

    Take care

  2. I love that idea, putting a computer desktop (or iGoogle background!) up that relates to your WIP. I currently have album artwork for my favourite band on my Google background, but this may be an option for me too!

  3. That's an awesome idea because it would remind me to write, not be on the Internet so much. Thanks Alexandra for the tip.

  4. Interesting idea, but personally, if Google is accessible, I'm probably not getting as much writing done as I ought to be. Thanks, though, Alexandra!

  5. I understand about the distractions when getting on the computer. Temptation comes in many forms.
    I do endurance sports and am usually training for some event in the future. Right now, it is a half ironman triathlon and I have a picture of the early morning "get-ready" of last year's event. It helps me get out the door.

    For writing, well, I need to work on that.

  6. Thank you, Old Kitty, Trisha, Natalie, Matthew, Nicole, and Marv, for all your kind comments. I'm most appreciative. And many, many thanks to Casey for posting my tip today!

  7. Well, I feel pretty stupid. I don't even know what iGoogle is. I use music to transport me into my book's world. It works pretty well.

  8. Very cool! I do have my Google theme set to something, but I never thought of making it my setting in my book. I wonder if they have an apocalypse theme...

  9. Thanks. Going to change my wallpaper now.

  10. I love this! I'm definitely going to try it.

  11. That's a great idea. I keep my book covers as my wallpaper, but I think changing it while I write would be helpful when setting up a scene. Thanks!

  12. That's a very neat little tip. I love visual inspiration. Thanks, Alexandra and Casey!

  13. That is such a quick and useful tip! Thank you!!!

  14. Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy! What a wonderful tip!

  15. A very clever and interesting idea! I just recently started to use iGoogle and even changed my background, but it has never occured to me to have my novel's setting. Brilliant!

  16. Thanks so much, Nancy, Elana, Miranda, Gaylene, Kristin, Marta, Donelle, Kelly, Ali, and Angela! I'm glad you liked the tip, and I hope it works well for you!

  17. Oh my GOSH, Alexandra what a great (and fun!) tip. I'm working on a paranormal adventure for MG---am so going to try this out and keep all things computer in the spooky zone! Thanks for this!

  18. Hmmm, I'm back---also thinking I could change my blog look for the month of Feb to reflect the wip I am working on.....

  19. Very true and I sometimes collect pictures (usually found on the Internet) that closely reflect on what I'm working for the day. :D Thanks.