If you’re someone who writes regularly—even more so if you write for others as well as your own platform—the demands can easily take their toll, right? You find yourself writing to formula, and if you’re not careful the demands of writing can become a deafening cacophony of noise in your head.
Fortunately, a simple writing exercise might be just the thing to need to jumpstart your creativity and help you rediscover your creative voice.
If you’ve been around The Write Practice long, you’ll have noticed we’ve recently talked a lot about which book writing software you should use. While I’m a strong believer in “use whatever works for you,” I’m also a strong believer in Scrivener.
So today, instead of giving you more reasons why I think you should use Scrivener (because there have already been plenty…) I’m going to tell you which tabs/notes you’ll want to create and have open while you’re writing.
Even if you don’t use Scrivener, you’ll want to have these as separate documents or pages on Word or Google Docs (or whichever writing software you use).
You have finished writing the first draft of your story, a version of your whole story from beginning to end. Now it is time to edit, to revise your words to make your story clear and compelling, so the reader will continue reading after the first sentence.
Editing your story might feel like an impossible task, but when you have a strategy to use, you can be confident you can edit your own story and improve your writing.
Whatever you do, do not skip the important step of editing your first draft. According to David Remnick, the editor of The New Yorker, “Revision is all there is.”
While finding a word processing tool you are comfortable with is crucial to writing, there are other types of book writing software that are just as important. Before I wrote my first novel, if you’d told me that an important part of my book writing software arsenal would be a good spreadsheet, I would have said you were crazy.
Now that I’ve published three novels, I realize my plots and worlds would never make sense without them.
This week, nearly four hundred writers submitted their stories to the Spring Writing Contest.
I’ve so enjoyed seeing how these stories have developed. Our contest Facebook group was full of lively conversations, writers collaborating to help each other find the best ideas and tell unique, creative stories. They’ve workshopped their stories and given each other great feedback in Becoming Writer.
These writers worked hard to craft their very best stories, and this week, they took that final, scary step: submitting their writing to the judges. Now, it’s your turn to read the stories—and vote for your favorite!
I’ll start with the bad news.
Much of what you’ve heard about daily routines is more fictional than the stories you’re writing. Everyone seems to have their own “key” to productivity: motivation, willpower, passion, and big goals being the most common.
While these all have the vague ring of truthiness, you’ve probably noticed that, in practice, the results of such methods are inconsistent to nonexistent.
Fortunately, there’s a simple cure.
See if these sound familiar:
A hand passed through my hair.
A foot slid past the puddle.
Her eyes flew across the kitchen.
Each of these shares the same problem: a severed body part stole the lead.
Words in English are tricky things. They merge and morph, even little changes adding layers of new meaning. Don’t believe me? Here’s an area I see lots of people getting tripped up: setup vs. set up. Is it one word or two? And does it even matter?
Actually, it’s both, and yes, it does matter. Let’s take a look at why, shall we?
Did you feel lucky this weekend? It was St. Patrick’s Day after all, which is a great excuse for not writing—just kidding! Such a thing does not exist! The holiday is, however, a great excuse to participate in a themed photo prompt.
Ten years ago, I never would have believed I would be able to finish writing a book.
I always wanted to be a writer, but writing was so difficult for me. In middle school, I struggled with every writing assignment. In high school, my friends always got better grades on their essays than I did. I had such a hard time writing that I majored in it in college. I felt that if four more years of school couldn’t help me, nothing could.
I don’t think I’m alone in this, either. Many of us struggle to write. Today, I’m unpacking what made writing so hard for me as well as the strategies I’ve developed over the years.