Tag Archives: writing tips

Getting Off: How to Finish a Blog Entry

Between writer’s block and not completing a project, if I was forced to decide between which is worse, I’d go with the latter. Having been in both places all too recently, it is really nice that to have motivation where there was absolutely none before.

But the ability to write is not enough. With any project, there comes a point where things must come to an end, and to experience the satisfaction that comes with finishing. Simply put, I need to get off.

There are countless articles that give advice on how to find the motivation and get the creative juices flowing enough to start a blog entry — I, too, have written about the importance of “just starting” and have personally referred to multiple sources for tips and techniques. However, since this past September, I’ve started over 40 drafts, with no end in sight.

Clearly I have an issue, largely with perceived performance and anxiety. So, as a challenge, and because writing is rewriting, I have decided within the next few months to finish each draft and publish them here. At that point, perhaps I will have acquired the answer to a question wondered for months now: How the hell do I do this? And if not, perhaps I’ll merely have written — a joy compared to writing with no purpose, and no end in sight.

At your own discretion, this is what I will be working with:

Figure out when you do your best work, and make the time and commitment to write every day. Mornings are ideal for me, and five, ten minutes here and there throughout the day adds up to something worth working with. Try to make room for longer sessions, for concentrated practice makes better, but view short sessions as better than not at all, or ever again.

Don’t stop — if on a roll and it feels good, keep going. Go for another five minutes; start another sentence or paragraph. The payoff will be worth it. If distraction becomes a habit, start to view any derailing in thought as a mere segue in disguise. But whatever you do, don’t stop.

There is often no perfect time or place to write. A dedicated room-with-a-view setup up isn’t always guaranteed, so make use of what you’ve got, whether in the elevator or in line at the bank.

And finally, go for it. Lose yourself. Don’t overthink it, or worry about how it sounds. Go by how it feels. Don’t be afraid of things being ugly, awkward, or messy. They can always be cleaned up.

And for the record, I’ve been talking about writing this whole time.

Advertisements

I’m a Size Queen

I was in the stationary and notebook aisle at Target yesterday and decided that I needed yet another notebook to write in. Because I’m usually on the go and prefer the convenience of taking down ideas at a moment’s notice, I figured opting for the 4″ x 6″ ruled and spiraled assignment book would be the easy solution.

But I’ve been down this road. Too many times have I purchased something compact for convenience only to feel claustrophobic and choked out on each page after page. My psychological reflex doesn’t allow me to see the forest for the trees as a result.

Plus, in all honestly, I get bored. Experience has shown me that if something doesn’t work, then go with your gut and try something else. So I moved on to the 7.5″ x 10.5″ college ruled notebook and decided to go with that. My reasoning is that the wider plain of paper that I write on, hopefully the better I will see ideas, characters, and environments take form.

All this to say that I didn’t end up buying either, because I remembered that I’ve plenty of notebooks from college begging to be used. The plan this weekend is to dig them out and make more than friendly with them.

Save a tree, save a life.

Me, Writing for The Past Few Days

I have a three blog drafts lined up to complete and post here, but it has taken a while because they’re not fun topics — which seems to be what people want, right? Entertainment is all about the escape, crafted with the goal of carrying the recipient somewhere that matters. 

I realize that I’m totally working to reason with myself. To be honest, the topics aren’t even that out of the ordinary — but in a sea of beauty/vegan/lifestyle bloggers, they dive into complex territory that even I’m not sure I’m comfortable with. 

Still, as much as I lack the desire to visit and revisit dim places in the name of clarity, it’s imperative in writing, creative or otherwise. Life is just one giant functional, resistance training session that hurts and weighs heavy. But humans were built to acclimate, and there’s a lot of good, even beauty, to be found there. Blessed be the buffer of self-deprecating humor. 

I often tend to express the sentiment that writers need to trust their readers and not make decisions for them. That is very important as both contributor and recipient, so that’s what I’ll work to do. New post soon, I promise.

Thanks for reading.

Writing Tips from Someone Who Doesn’t Know What They’re Doing

Before starting this blog back in June, I had gone through a solid five-year post-college hiatus from writing. As a creative writing major, the last semester at school was taxing to the point where it was no longer enjoyable. Engaging in discussions of history and theory, participating in workshops, and joining in with the university community was a truly unique experience. But the pressure really wore on my drive and imagination. 

After graduation, I lost all nerve to put ideas to paper. It even came to the point that saying that I was a writer felt like a lie.

Thankfully I don’t feel that way anymore. But looking back at it now, I realize that my biggest hang up was getting started. Even today, getting this post started was a challenge, but then I remembered one of my favorite quotes (simple enough and probably overused, but no less true):

“The secret to getting ahead is getting started.” — Mark Twain

Everyone has their own approach to writing, but sometimes it just boils down to the basics. It doesn’t matter how you do it — using an app, typing on a laptop, or jotting a blurb on a napkin — getting something down is the most important step, followed naturally by revision, then editing.

Revision and I weren’t always good friends, but we’ve worked through our differences, especially since I’ve realized it’s always had my best interests at heart. Looking at the word itself, “revision” implies the re-seeing of something, often through the eyes of someone or something else. Paired with editing, back and forth is to be expected, but is well worth the outcome. Drafting, extracting, and reworking not only improves the concept at hand, but can breed multiple ideas from one initial idea, therefore lessening writer’s block. Total win-win.

Making sense out of an idea can be a long and demanding process, but like a sculptor molding a likeness out of clay, forming abstraction into relatable experience is a meritorious undertaking. I definitely have a long way to go, and don’t always know what I’m doing, but will forever stand by getting started as the most important part of the process. 

20 Blog Posts on Rose-Colored Linds! What I’ve Learned So Far

blog2

I am, at my core, a writer. Since I was a child, it has always come relatively easily, what with having a very vivid imagination and the ability to be infatuated with just about anyone (or anything). But like most creative endeavors, full-time adulting eventually took the fun out of it.

It’s been that way for about six years — that is, until the idea for Rose-Colored Linds came about. I truly don’t know what changed, but writing and documenting here for the past month-and-a-half has been really fun. Needless to say, I am looking forward to more.

To mark this milestone of 20 posts, I thought it fitting to share what I’ve learned so far:

1. The best ideas really do come in the shower, or while driving, or out for a walk. I’ve been making a concerted habit to go through my thoughts during such moments of pause. Sometimes it gets a just a little bit weird, but, hey, we’re all mad here, etc.

2. Research is more than a Google search. Listening to new music, going through your Twitter news feed, engaging in water cooler talk — that’s research, too. Writing is inherently a solo activity, but it instantly becomes a social engagement once published. So being somewhat in tune what’s stimulating others will assist in what you add to the discourse.

3. If you want to create content, don’t wait — start now. As in right now. If you think it’s all been done, think again. Sure, there’s a lot of content out there, but there’s always room for more, especially if it comes from a fresh perspective. The interwebs are deep and dark, but plenty of gems kick up to the surface. Let one of them be yours.

4. Visuals go a long way. Everyone has an imagination, but there’s something to be said for a photo or video making a wall of text more digestible. If a picture is worth a thousand words, you’ll probably only have to write 500 or so.

5. Be patient. Stick with your dream. Earlier this year, I had big plans for the patio garden outside my apartment — a hopeful little jungle oasis to be enjoyed during the heat of summer. I bought some seedlings, was gifted a couple tomato plants, and my faithful annual geranium started blooming. It took a while, and didn’t turn out exactly as I’d imagined, but I’ve got a garden that I’m really proud of. Things don’t happen overnight. They may not happen for weeks, or months, or even longer than that — but they will.

To wrap it up, I’ll leave you with this quote by inspirational speaker Sandra Turley: “Seek to be worth knowing rather than well known.”

Thanks for reading – see you in the next post!