Archive for January, 2014
Tags: Anita Shreve, George Orwell, Joan Didion, Maeve Binchy, Markus Zusak, motivation, writing
Tags: Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club, writing, Writing Advice
13 writing tips
- Use the egg timer method. Sit down for an hour or half hour or the length of time it takes to do a load of laundry. Write furiously for that amount of time.
- Don’t be afraid to try new story telling techniques. The modern audience is much harder to shock than ever before. Go for sophisticated special effects.
- Know the purpose and skeletal basis of each scene.
- Surprise yourself.
- When stuck, go back to earlier scenes and resurrect dropped characters or details.
- Spend time with people who value and support writing.
- Let yourself be with not knowing a story ending and allow the story to take shape.
- Give yourself freedom to change things.
- Use descriptive, instructive, and expressive speech.
- Write the book you want to read.
- Get book jacket photos when you’re young.
- Write about the upsetting issues.
- Keep putting up colors…for more on this tip and the ones above visit Chuck Palahniuk’s website
Tags: fridge, fun, inspiration, magnetic poetry, writing
I have a set of “Bookish” Magnetic Words that I got for about $10.
When I’m struggling to come up with content, I’ll play around with the words until inspiration hits…or I get hungry and then proceed to raid the fridge. Good strategy is it not?
Tags: Writing Advice
The Writer’s Technique in Thirteen Theses
I. Anyone intending to embark on a major work should be lenient with himself and, having completed a stint, deny himself nothing that will not prejudice the next.
II. Talk about what you have written, by all means, but do not read from it while the work is in progress. Every gratification procured in this way will slacken your tempo. If this regime is followed, the growing desire to communicate will become in the end a motor for completion.
III. In your working conditions avoid everyday mediocrity. Semi-relaxation, to a background of insipid sounds, is degrading. On the other hand, accompaniment by an etude or a cacophony of voices can become as significant for work as the perceptible silence of the night. If the latter sharpens the inner ear, the former acts as a touchstone for a diction ample enough to bury even the most wayward sounds.
IV. Avoid haphazard writing materials. A pedantic adherence to certain papers, pens, inks is beneficial. No luxury, but an abundance of these utensils is indispensable.
V. Let no thought pass incognito, and keep your notebook as strictly as the authorities keep their register of aliens.
VI. Keep your pen aloof from inspiration, which it will then attract with magnetic power. The more circumspectly you delay writing down an idea, the more maturely developed it will be on surrendering itself. Speech conquers thought, but writing commands it.
VII. Never stop writing because you have run out of ideas. Literary honour requires that one break off only at an appointed moment (a mealtime, a meeting) or at the end of the work.
VIII. Fill the lacunae of inspiration by tidily copying out what is already written. Intuition will awaken in the process.
IX. Nulla dies sine linea — but there may well be weeks.
X. Consider no work perfect over which you have not once sat from evening to broad daylight.
XI. Do not write the conclusion of a work in your familiar study. You would not find the necessary courage there.
XII. Stages of composition: idea — style — writing. The value of the fair copy is that in producing it you confine attention to calligraphy. The idea kills inspiration, style fetters the idea, writing pays off style.
XIII. The work is the death mask of its conception.
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This post will be number 100 with a count of 50 likes and 34 followers. Can you help me reach 50 followers by February?
Tags: Gotham Writer's Workshop, Ira Glass, Malcom Gladwell, NPR, Outliers, This American Life, writing
In Outliers by Malcom Gladwell at most 10,000 hours are required to be a success in your craft or field. The Beatles did it. Bill Gates did it. Jim Henson did it. Can I do it? I nearly have a Master’s–come on May 2014!–and have been writing regularly since 3rd grade. I estimate that I’ve put in half the time needed to be a success. By that standard I’m just a beginner at writing. Here’s Ira Glass’ stance on beginners: https://wordplay11.wordpress.com/2014/01/15/ira-glass-advice-on-creativity/. Focus by David Goleman says 10,000 hours can’t just be arbitrary here-and-there hours. They have to be quality time, meaning your full concentration and the feedback of an expert is necessary. These two factors means you’re able to develop a feedback loop, which provides the ability to identify and fix mistakes. That’s why I pursue writing at a level that is demanding as a higher education. I don’t want to be a successful amateur writer. I want to be the best. Is it possible to be the best writer? 10,000 hours is a lot of time.
I’m not giving up though. If anything, I’m inspired that half the required hours have already happened naturally or by the demand of the job market. I’m sure that these hours have already occurred for you as well in your day job, odd job, night job, or whatever job it takes to become schooled in life/creativity experience. Instead of being frustrated by the time it takes to achieve greatness, focus on what makes you an outlier. What unique give do you have to ship out for the world to use? Your experiences, according to Elizabeth Stevens in “Finding Success in Creativity“, shouldn’t be the things “that hold you back. They might just be the key to your success.”