Tips and Tricks to Get Yourself Writing Again

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! 

5 Reasons Why Writers Don’t Write (and What You Can Do About That)

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

Describing a Character’s Appearance

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

What to Write About During a Crisis

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

5 Pinterest Tips for Writers

Everyone loves Pinterest, right? In case you didn’t know, Pinterest is a digital pin-board social media site where you can browse images and save your favorites to your own personalize boards. If you’re a writer, here are five great ways that you can use Pinterest to help with your writing.

Pin Pictures from your Blog or Website

Shameless plug for my newest book!

This is probably the most important one for increasing your online exposure and boosting traffic to your website. If you have pictures on your website and blog posts, then when people find those images on Pinterest, there will be the automatic link back to your website. Have you ever found a cool new website because you followed a link on a pin? Well, others can find your website the same way! Continue reading

The Right Way to Write

So many blogs, books, and classes these days tell you how to write. Some offer craft of writing education, others (like mine), offer tips and ideas for genre-specific works. For example, I’ve offered advice from my own learning and writing experience about inventing fantasy words for your epic fantasy or sci-fi story, or researching for and writing historical fiction.

But a bigger, and perhaps more important, question is this: is there a right (and thusly, wrong) way to write? My answer is both yes and no.

First of all, in fiction writing, there are some basics that yes, you need to get right if you’re going to have a marketable (or even readable) book. Stuff like coherent plot, characters, and basic grammar and spelling really do matter. Studying writing crafts books, taking seminars from established writers, and just plain old reading well-written books are great ways to learn how to write right.

But what about the more abstract elements of writing “right”? Does that even mean? Continue reading