What I’ve Learned from Writing for The Write Practice

After about a year of contributing to The Write Practice, today’s post is my last one.

With a new baby due to arrive in the next couple of weeks, I’m wrapping up my time as a regular contributor—and as with any turning point, it feels like a good time to reflect on what I’ve learned.

How to Write about a Time of Anticipation

As I write this, I’m one month away from my due date, the estimated arrival of my husband’s and my first child. At many points in life, we are in a state of looking forward. Anticipation of an event—whether it’s a joyous or devastating one—puts everything in a new perspective. It heightens your awareness, incites excitement or anxiety (or both!), and brings up a lot of emotions.

Whether you’re crafting a fictional story or recounting your own experience, how do you write about a time of anticipation in a realistic, compelling way?

How to Integrate Travel into a Story

I’m not a big traveler. If I want to take a trip, it’s usually to visit family or friends—or to soak up the sun on a beach. Backpack across Europe? Adventure through nature? Not exactly my idea of a vacation. Taking a road trip? Navigating the airport? I usually find it boring, annoying, or downright awful.

But lately, I’ve been thinking about the idea of a journey. Travel is more than just the destination. The process of getting somewhere is often rich with new and memorable experiences. And it has the power to transform us—or in the case of our stories, it’s an opportunity for our characters to reach a turning point, learn, and grow.

What is the Most Satisfying Part of Writing?

Some days, writing is easy. The words flow effortlessly and quickly. You walk away feeling a sense of accomplishment and pride.

Other days, writing is hard. Each sentence takes time, making it onto the page in fits and starts. You do what you can and contemplate deleting it all in the end.

So why do we write? What is the most satisfying part of writing—that part that brings you back to the computer or paper time after time, no matter how challenging the process feels?

Energize Your Writing with this Easy Trick

If your writing seems a little dull, tap into this easy trick—focus on the verbs. Using direct, precise, and active verbs instantly makes your writing stronger.

These verbs move your story forward, create powerful imagery, and convey a confident tone.

Why You Should Write about the Everyday

Some people think writing about everyday occurrences is uninteresting. But I like to believe that the everyday is what connects writers with readers, as human beings who share a common or not-so-common world.

What is it about the everyday—the small details, the routines and rituals—that resonates so deeply?

How to Write a Memorable Beginning and Ending

You know that well-worn, well-loved book that you’ve read many times? Simply turning to the first page and reading the opening line brings you into the story. And when you reach that final page and the very last sentence, the story melts away, leaving you content—or perhaps wanting just a bit more.

An intriguing beginning and a strong ending act as bookends to any good story. So how do you craft memorable first and last lines?

Write About What Scares You

We all experience fear from time to time. But what about those things that truly terrify us, those situations that may not even ever happen? Our fear may not always be rational, but this deep-rooted emotion is a powerful tension to insert into our writing.

Because fear is not something we enjoy feeling, it is also often uncomfortable to write about—which is what makes the end result fascinating.

Here are some things to keep in mind when writing about fear:

How to Find Time to Write

As much as I’m eager for the arrival of spring—with its longer days and warmer temperatures—the jump forward due to Daylight Saving Time this weekend means we lost an hour of time.

These days, every minute seems precious. With so many commitments, activities, and demands on our time, it’s difficult to carve out a small window for doing what we love. (And sometimes when that time pops up, we may not be in the mood to write—because let’s be honest, writing isn’t always easy!).

How can we find time to write? And how do we make the most of that time?

What Poetry Teaches Us about Writing Prose

I took a poetry class to fulfill one of my workshop requirements for my master’s in Writing and Publishing. Although I didn’t have much prior experience with poetry beyond some teenage scribbles, I discovered a new way of playing with language.

And in the process, I also realized writing poetry helped me to write better, stronger prose. Here are four things I learned about poetry that apply to writing prose: