Help to get past writer’s block For this “Ask the Editor” post, we have the eternal question about writer’s block. Actually, several of you asked about this one, and it’s no surprise. Some define writer’s block as the inability to think of what to write. I don’t think that’s what it really is, and I […]
Get ideas for writing Another reader question: “Where can I get ideas for writing?” Anywhere and everywhere. That’s the short answer. The long answer is… Anywhere and everywhere: the nightly news stories books you read songs you hear idiosyncracies of people you know watching people in the mall sermons or homilies newspaper headlines shopping trips […]
You have a home to manage, and children, and maybe a spouse, and possibly some money-making ventures… You’re tired, and you may even be hurting physically. Brain fog sets in…how are you supposed to write anything?! That’s what this whole blog is about: how you can write, with all the other things you have on your plate. How to find the motivation and the energy, carve out little bits of time and space, come up with ideas, how to shape up the mess you see on your screen (or in your notebook), how to find a place for your writing in the world.
Some writers think they need to use fancy words, pull out the thesaurus and find something obscure, but most editors don’t like that. Use normal words, just not the same ones every time. If you say “ran” every time you indicate quick ambulatory movement, you might try “jogged,” “loped,” or “trotted” a few times in the book. If everything is blue, you might make something in your book red, unless a blue universe is important to your story. Highlighting the places where you wear out a phrase can help you see just how often you use it, and learning this about yourself will help you be a better writer.
Maybe you’ve had the “Who am I to be doing this?” kinds of thoughts. Maybe your confidence is in the basement and can’t find the elevator. Whenever you have one of those “impostor moments,” just take a deep breath, remind yourself of what people have said about you and your abilities, or take a look at your accomplishments, and write a few more sentences.
Sticks and stones Davina wrote an inspiring blog post about being hurt, how she had let it affect her and hold her back for four years, and how she’s now pushing past it to carry on with her photography work. Someone trashed her, tried to ruin her reputation and her business, and it devastated her. […]
I am not your mama. I can’t tell you what goes in your “time wasters” list. Even your mama can’t determine what is a waste of time for you. A few questions that might help you figure it out.
If you want to improve your writing, you’ll need to watch out for certain errors that most writers make, such as continuity errors. Sounds straightforward. What is simple isn’t always easy, though, and it definitely isn’t always done. Continuity errors are mistakes I find quite often when I’m editing fiction. I’m reading along and ooops, something doesn’t fit with what […]
Writing teachers, experts, and editors—most of them, anyway—push writing with an outline, or, more accurately, using an outline even prior to beginning to write. The rationale is that it helps a writer be organized and being organized means communicating effectively. I tend to disagree with the party line on that. Yes, disorganization can decrease effectiveness in communicating, but being organized does […]
What if you’re not a writer? That’s probably just your Writing Dragon talking. Some people want to be, but they don’t have any natural ability for it, and they never develop their skills to the point that they can be a good writer. Some of them just don’t write anything, ever. People who never write […]