There’s no reason to say you’re stuck!

I’m always surprised when writers (of all levels) complain about being stuck with writer’s block. How is this possible?

Sure, I get bogged down thinking while I write- how do I best approach this conflict, what should my character say in this situation, etc. but I rarely- if ever- have nothing at all to write. Am I lucky? Lying? Or just plain old full of great ideas all the time?

I’d say it’s more accurate that I try to keep my eyes on the prize and remind myself that the process of writing is kind of like a roller coaster– there are highs and lows and sometimes it goes fast and other times, well, it drags a bit.

A good thing to remember is that with the internet we have a lot of inspiration at our fingertips. Whether it’s pictures, music, or lists of writing prompts, there really is no excuse for not writing.

Today’s inspiration comes in the form of a list of prompts to stimulate those creative juices. Now, get writing!!

365 Creative Writing Prompts

The Most Important Tip for Writing

Please enjoy this post written by guest author by Noah Larsen!

The ability to write well is a wonderful and useful skill to have. Whether you are writing for school, to relieve stress, or to land a job, the ability to properly write is important.

As you write your paper, the primary thought that should be running through your head is “How will this impact my audience?” Your audience could be a professor, a colleague, or a boss. Making sure that your audience understands the purpose of your paper is vital to get your point across. As writers, we must cater our papers to our audience.

How can we do this?

One simple tip is to not use jargon. Jargon is vocabulary understood by a select group of people due to their education or field of work. The best alternative to using jargon is to rephrase the word into a more common phrase. One could also provide the definition of the word within your paper if they find that specific word is necessary to get their point across.

A tip specifically for college papers is to keep the language simple. It is important to use vocabulary properly; intentionally stuffing your paper with large words for the sake of effect is often bad for your grade. Professors do not need to see how many words you can list from a dictionary, they are interested in learning what you have studied.

I would recommend proof-reading your paper after it is complete to search for jargon and unnecessarily difficult vocabulary.

Good luck and enjoy writing!

  • Noah Larson

How to Beat Writer’s Block

Please enjoy this blog post by guest blogger Brooke Stoltzfus!

Writer’s block is something everybody suffers through regardless of who you are. It is an “illness” that no one can escape, but there are definitely remedies for this common plague. As a college student, I have learned what to do when I find myself suffering from writer’s block. Here are 5 quick easy steps for beating writer’s block:

  1. Dedicate a Certain Amount of Time to write
  • Each person may write a different way, but I do not write well when I write a paper over the course of a couple days. I find it most helpful to write my paper in one sitting, depending on how long it is. That is not to say that writing a paper the night before is a smart idea, but getting into a writing mindset and staying there is helpful to me.
  1. Find a Space Dedicated to Work
  • I often find myself not being productive in my room as opposed to a space such as a library. My mind works better when it knows that it’s in a space it associates with work, such as a classroom or library.
  1. Limit the Distractions Around You
  • This seems like a simple one, but it is so important! Putting my phone across the room so I can’t see the notifications is helpful because I am not tempted to respond. Keeping my work area neat also helps so that I am not stressed out by the amount of clutter around me.
  1. Don’t Listen to Music with Words
  • I am one of those people who likes to have background noise, but music with lyrics distract me from what I am writing. My mind wants to sing along to the song instead of putting thoughts down on a page. I often listen to study playlists made by Spotify. The playlists are great background noise, and they eliminate the dead silence in the room.
  1. Be Knowledgeable About Your Subject
  • Knowing the subject you are writing about is important so that you don’t keep writing down the same thought over and over with different wording. The more knowledge you have access to, the more information you can write about.

Each person is different so these tips may not work for everyone. Writer’s block does plague the best of us, so sometimes gaining insight from outside sources is beneficial.

Happy Writing!

Brooke Stoltzfus

Showing character emotions

I came across this excellent blog post today regarding character emotions on Elva Martin’s Carolina Romance blog and thought I’d share it with you! Enjoy!
https://carolinaromancewithelvamartin.blogspot.com/2019/01/guest-post-10-ways-to-show-your.html?spref=fb&fbclid=IwAR3D8PlovG95YXCYuJjETcRxPmFgQod743kLOHYwmtJGBI8itpS87CQMemk

1 Year (Almost) Anniversary for Picking Daisy

It’s hard for me to believe that it’s been almost a year since Picking Daisy was published.

As a way to celebrate I was looking over the Pinterest board (aptly named ‘Picking Daisy’) that I made for the book.  Take a look and see some of the inspiration I used while writing, share the  board, and share the book with all your friends. From the board, you’ll probably notice that John Rzeznik from the Goo Goo Dolls was my inspiration for Robby– the group’s music was a huge part of my writing too. Maybe you can enjoy listening to some Goo Goo Dolls while you read Picking Daisy, or perhaps the board and the music will help you see the book and story in a different, new light.

If you’ve read Picking Daisy and don’t mind sharing an honest review on Amazon or Goodreads, I’d greatly appreciate it.

You can purchase a soft cover copy or the Kindle version at Amazon.

 

Goals

Hard to believe it’s been a month since I added a blog post. Then again, with the chaos of finals, grading, and of course the holidays, maybe it isn’t such a challenge to believe it.

As I try to get back into a ‘normal’ writing schedule, I wonder if you have any goals for this year. Are you hoping to write more, take a stab at a new genre, or just finally finish that novel? Whatever your goals, don’t let them fall by the wayside as so many resolutions do. We start off strong with great intentions and quickly discover our sights were set much too high, with unbelievably unattainable goals.

How can we change this?

My recommendation is to make SMALL changes- one at a time. Instead of trying to ‘write a novel’ or ‘write every day’- why not make it manageable? In other words, schedule an hour of writing on Tuesdays and Thursdays and once that becomes a habit, add Wednesday and Friday in too, until you can eventually have that consistent daily time in your schedule.

Starting off small means you’re still starting, not becoming overwhelmed, and most importantly, it means you’re actually committing to and making writing changes.

Now, what do you plan to do with your writing this year? Get started! Small- and slow!

Happy writing!

Casting your story

Character is the cornerstone of any story. For me, casting my character list is a huge part of the writing and character creation process. To do so effectively means I’ll have more inspiration than I can sometimes handle when I’m writing, but this is a great way to stave off writer’s block.

So, how do you effectively cast your script? I’ll share a few tips:

Online searches

Everything from generalized descriptions like ‘blond female model’ or ‘middle-aged male athlete’ to something more specific like the name of a celebrity, model, sports figure or politician.

These searches can prove to be fruitful and may even inspire new characters or descriptions.

Magazines

It’s worth starting a file for pictures found in magazines, newspapers, or through other sources. You may need this file for inspiration later when you’re writing.

Keeping separate files for male or female leads might be wise, but I honestly just throw them all into one file and deal with them later when I’m ready to actually cast a specific piece.

Movies/ television/ news/ music industry

Any of these can offer great options for casting your characters. Surprisingly, it doesn’t limit my writing when I do this. Even if you’re a big fan of an actor or musician’s work for instance, that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to see them in the role you’re casting them in. It might even mean you are more capable of doing so because you’re familiar with their work and quirks.

And further…

You don’t need to narrow it down to the ‘one’ for each role. I often create a document where I cut and paste different pictures for the moods of each character and the situations in which they might find themselves. While I may imagine one person or picture more than the others when writing, all tend to be valuable to my process.

Think outside the box when it comes to ‘casting’ your story. There’s no need to limit yourself to only searching celebrities or even well-known entities. Any picture can be a help when writing. There isn’t a right/ wrong answer here. Whatever inspires you is what you need to write.

Go for it! Cast your story now!

Happy writing!