The Difference Between Discipline and Stunting Yourself as a Writer

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When my whole life has revolved around one, one project for more than a month or two, I go into a type of cruise control. I zone out and just go through the same motions every day. I would absolutely kill to write something else, but as a writer I have always heard that if you stop at any point during a large project, you have hang up finishing it. Chances are you’ll never get back to working on your project because you’ll be too busy working on something else.

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First Rejection Letter of 2019

Stack of Rejection Letters

Not many people would be excited about receiving a rejection letter, and I’m thrilled that my work has been rejected. However, I am sure there are plenty of you out there who are also receiving your first rejection letter of 2019. While this isn’t fun, I do want to congratulate everyone who has received a rejection letter this year. Whether it be your first or your 50th, the fact that you submitted at all is a wonderful achievement.

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6 Ways to Make Your Characters Pack an Emotional Punch

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss - The book where the characters made me feel things.

I’m reading a book right now that is making me feel things. This, from a writer’s perspective, is an awesome accomplishment. The author has created characters that make me hurt. As a result, he has put me in scenarios that scare me, all despite it being based in a fantasy world. Even so, it moves me and carries real world weight for me as a reader. How cool is that? I wanted to take a moment and figure out what made this character real to me:

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Coming Back from a Hiatus

How this all started

Stack of Books on "Coming Back from a Hiatus"

I was in my senior year of high school, and I was trying my best to be a writer when being a writer had never been so accessible. Self-publishing was booming, and I wanted to boom right along with it. I read so many blogs, books, and articles on writing and publication. All of them suggested creating and cultivating a social media presence.

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Writing Topics for Creative Writers

Writing Topics - Notepad and Laptop

The struggle of every creative, fiction writer: coming up with new ideas. I constantly fear that the day will come where I have nothing new to write about, and while that is a valid fear, it probably won’t actually happen. There are countless blog posts with writing topics, story-idea-generators, and plenty of new fads that you can craft to fit into your own, unique universe. To help combat this fear, I am here with my own list of writing topics:

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6 Tips and Tricks for Strong Character Development

Strong, Developed Fictional Characters from a Manga

I think you’d be hard-pressed to argue against the idea that characters can make or break a story. In most cases, if not all, they are our guide through a story. More importantly, sometimes the story is their story. Regardless, your characters need to be compelling, or at the very least realistic in some manner. Now, when I say realistic, I don’t mean they have to be human, but they need to have depth. Much like ogres, your characters need to be like onions; they have many layers. Now, “how,” you may ask, “does a character get so onion-like?” Never fear, here are some tips and tricks to consider when developing your little onions… er, characters:

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3 Perks of Being a Writer

Hello all!

As some of you know, I have graduated with my BA in English *cue roaring applause.* Thank you, thank you. Anyway, being a recent-undergrad-grad, I find myself lost in a sea of post-grad depression. I’m discovering it’s very hard to be determined and focused without the familiar structure of school and work-life. Without one half of that combo, all I do is work and come home, which leaves me a lot more time to just… think, and I have done a lot of that recently.

I call it thinking, but really I’m just drowning in a sea of nostalgia. I think it may be that it just recently happened, but I have been ruminating on my final creative writing class. It was so different, and the professor was just as different. This professor just boggled my brain. Don’t get me wrong, I learned a lot throughout my entire undergraduate career, but something about that final class during that final semester just really resonated with me. I talk a lot about writing, the crafting of it, the mechanics of it, etc. However, I didn’t realize there were also a set of perks that came along with the title of writer. That is what my final creative writing class taught me, and I wanted to share some of those today.

Let’s get going.

– Calling yourself what you are — a writer — opens doors.
Of course it’s always nice to have the proof to back it up, but just by claiming you are a writer from the get-go can provide an amount of opportunities. For example, I’ve been working on a piece centered around the history of a bronze sculpture. It probably goes without saying that I know jack-squat about bronze and how it reacts to certain elements or time. So, I did some googling and found a person that works with bronze metals and restores older pieces from various stages of wear-and-tear. I sent him an email, making sure I mentioned that I was just a writer hoping to expand my knowledge on the subject. He was beyond helpful. He sent pictures, asked me questions about my fictional bronze sculpture, and even helped shaped my story. Just by letting him know I was writer and wanted to learn, I gained so much knowledge and ended up having a great experience I might not have had, otherwise.

– You are always building a portfolio.
If you are a writer, you are also a creator. You are constantly creating something, and you are always building a portfolio. My professor always told us to attack everything we wrote as if someoneanyone, might read it. That is something I never really thought of when writing, but it has become more integral the farther I travel from my undergraduate career into my professional one. You don’t really realize how many of the pieces you work on you can eventually use in a professional setting. I was recently (and by recently I mean 3 weeks ago) hired by my dream company *cue second roaring applause.* Thank you, thank you, but surprisingly (or perhaps, unsurprisingly) my job doesn’t directly deal with writing in any way. Even so, I had so much to put on my resume and into my portfolio that proved I was capable of working in a professional setting. My work proved to my now-employer that I could meet deadlines, that I could communicate effectively, and that I was able to complete projects effectively. I provided them with multiple versions of one piece to prove I had an eye-for-detail, that I am dedicated, and that I am not discouraged by failure. By constantly creating, you are constantly creating proof of your skills and character. We spend so much time learning to show and not tell, and by doing so, we are creating ways to show our skills, rather than just tell people we have them.

– You can always be a writer.
No matter what path my life takes, I will always be a writer. If I stay on my current career path, if I decide to do something else, if 40 years pass, if pen and paper become obsolete, if we all have to move to another planet, if the world implodes… doesn’t matter. I can, and will always be, a writer. As long as you write, you are a writer. A writer is someone who writes in journals, who writes for a newspaper, who writes just for their mom, who blogs, who writes grocery lists, who writes poems, who writes stories, who tells stories, who records stories on a laptop, phone, tape recorder… if you believe you are a writer, all you need to do to is write. Simple as that. To prove you are a doctor, you need a license. To prove you are a NASA employee, you need references, or name badges, or check stubs… but a doctor doesn’t need a license to prove he is a writer, too. He is a writer because he writes.

Are these perks super cool? Probably not to everyone, and maybe not even that cool to many of my fellow writers. Regardless, I hope you got something out of this. Be proud, writers. Read, write, repeat.

Thanks for reading.

Lissy