Writing Tips

Standard

How Do I Write?

How do I get the pen to write words across the page?

First Comes the Idea

  • I carry small notebooks with me.  I have one in my purse and one in the car.  I write any idea down as soon as it occurs to me.  Some times I carry index cards in a pocket for the same reason.
  • Don’t wait for a full blown idea.  Any snippet of information, jot it down.  It may be a funny phrase, or just a cute story someone told you.  A song lyric.  An unusual name.  WRITE IT DOWN.  Don’t worry about how you will use it, yet.
  • Reading quotes gives me ideas for stories.  A quote may remind me of a time in my life when I lived the words in that quote. A quote can give me an idea for a whole story.
  • Listen to music.  Songs inspire me to write.  They give me ideas.  They help me believe I can write.  I write stories in my head as I drive listening to music.

Then I Organize

Post it notes help me think!

  •  As soon as possible I transfer my ideas out of my small notebooks and put each snippet of an idea on a post it note.
  • I arrange these post it notes inside a file folder…just a plain file folder that opens flat.
  • When I sit down to write without an idea, I open up the file folder and pick a post it note with an idea.
  • Often if I am writing an article or story I can work in the ideas off several post it notes.  That’s why I like post it notes better than outlines.  I can just easily move the post its around and group them in different ways.
  • I don’t wait for the perfect opening or a fabulous ending to come to me, before I begin to write.  I usually start to write anywhere in the piece.  I almost always start in the middle.  A great opening or perfect ending will occur to me as I write, not while I’m staring at the wall.
Woman\'s hands on a notebook keyboard close up - typing  stock photo
  • I find that the more I write, the more ideas occur to me.  Writing leads to more writing.
  • Therefore I don’t allow a writer’s block to fester.  I just write.  If it means I have to write in a different genre for a while that’s OK.  If it means I throw out everything I write on a particular day, that’s OK too.  But writing leads to writing.  I just write.
  • Most important…I read.  Most writers learn to become good writers because they are prolific readers.
  • I’m involved in two writer’s groups.  We listen to each other’s work and make suggestions.  We encourage one another and share publishing ideas and experiences.
  • Get a first draft down.  Don’t be too picky. Lots of first drafts sound like sewage.
  •  You can make it sing in your rewrites.  But push forward to get the first draft down.  Then work your magic.

Happy Writing! 

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