This is sort of a follow-up post to last month’s post about not writing. Writers are notorious for NOT writing; but if we want to be writers, then we need to, you know, write.
So here are some ideas or tips/tricks to get yourself writing. I’ve used (or currently am using) several of these techniques myself.
- Write five sentences or five paragraphs based off a story prompt. There are hundreds of places to find story prompts – from pictures to phrases to songs. Here’s my Pinterest board of story prompt pictures, as a place to start.
- Set a time in your calendar. A schedule can help you not only have some writing time, but not waste that writing time by doing everything else but writing. Even if all you have is an hour a week, put it in your calendar or set a reminder on your phone.
- Make your writing space more comfortable/easier to use. Even if you don’t have a dedicated writing desk or space, make your favorite spot more conducive to writing without lots of prep work. Keep your computer and notes close by, keep your favorite pillow in that spot, make sure your favorite coffee mug is clean before your writing time begins—whatever you need to do to reduce prep time.
- Find the method that works best for you and stick with it. If you write all your first drafts longhand with a quill pen, then do it. Learning from other writers is good, but if you have a method that works and you like it, don’t mess up your flow by trying every new technique that comes along.
- Journal or write something unrelated to your current project. For those times that writers’ block hits, you can still write.
Now, go write!
What are some of your tips and tricks to make yourself write? Please share!
If you’re a writer, then you probably know that one of the hardest things to do is actually write. It’s also one of the easiest things to do, which makes the whole writing thing that much more confusing (to both writers and non-writers alike). Anyway, a common theme I’ve seen on writing blogs and Twitter is writers bemoaning their struggles in writing. And I have certainly experienced my share of not writing. Like, a lot. So, why don’t writers write? Well, here are some of the most common struggles that I know about:
1. No Time to Write
There’s never a good time to write, or ever enough time to write. Even during recent quarantine times, when we were all stuck at home with nothing to do but write, many found it hard to write (myself included). Why? Because I was stuck at home, so I could work on ten thousand other little projects, instead of writing. So what can you do when there’s no time to write? Find a minute here, ten minutes there, and write two sentences, two paragraphs. Just write. Continue reading
There are different schools of thought when it comes to describing the physical appearance of characters in a book. Some readers want to know exactly what a character looks like—from hair and eye color, to the size of their hands and the color of their shoes. Other readers prefer little to no description, and give the character an appearance of their own choosing in their imagination as they read. Neither one is right or wrong, or better or worse—and no matter which one you do, you will likely have readers who want more or less description.
Some genres lend themselves to more in-depth physical descriptions of characters. In fantasy and science fiction, where there is a lot of world-building and thus descriptions of scenery, objects, and fantastical creatures, some physical description of main characters is expected. Also most romance genres describe characters’ physical appearances.
But whether you’re writing a fantasy romance or a literary drama, what’s the best way to actually describe the characters? Most editors and experienced writers agree that the info-dump method is not the best way. A full paragraph (or more) of straight “telling” description is not the most engaging way of describing a character: “She had brown hair and blue eyes. She was five-foot-five, unless she wore heels. She wore a brown leather jacket and a red scarf.” Continue reading
As I’m writing this post, the entire world is the midst of fighting the COVID19 pandemic. While every person, family, and community is impacted differently, we all are experiencing changes in our lives that we hadn’t planned for and hadn’t wished for.
With so many people stuck at home and/or out of work, many folks are taking up writing. And many full- and part-time writers are continuing to plug away at their projects, either writing more or less than before, depending on how their lifestyle has changed. Continue reading
It’s been quite a while since I’ve published anything, though I’ve been getting more disciplined with my writing habits. I finished this short story months ago–even had it edited and revised and everything–but for some reason I just hadn’t pulled the trigger yet. Why are us writers and artists sometimes so reluctant to share our beautiful and finished projects with the world?
The answer to that is, I think, long and complicated and the subject for a different blog post. But anyway, I finally did click “upload” and “publish” on Amazon, so here we are: a brand new short story in my decopunk Roaring 20s historical fantasy series! I’m currently writing the first actual novel of this series, but this story should give readers a little more insight into my character and her world before the novel is ready. Click the link to buy and enjoy! Continue reading
Instead of writing a new year’s post about my writing goals for the coming year, I decided to reflect for a moment about the year I just finished. On a non-writing front, 2019 was an odd year for me (mostly personal stuff), and I had some financial difficulties, but all in all it was a good year. I didn’t get nearly as much written as I’d planned at the beginning of the year, but even a little progress is good, so I’ve decided to focus on that. And so, on that note, here are some of my writerly highlights from the past year:
Favorite Book of 2019
Since the dieselpunk historical fantasy novel I’m writing has elements of a mystery story, I’ve started reading some mysteries. My favorite read was Silent Murders by Mary Miley, the second book in a mystery series set in the 1920s. I read the first book, as well, and enjoyed it, but the second book was the better of the two. I have the third book sitting on my book shelf, so I’ll be reading that this year. Continue reading