Tag Archives: Writing

A Thousand Words: Daddy’s Home!

Image courtesy of  “The US Army (no real name given)” on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

A Thousand Words is a photo prompt posted every Sunday.  Maybe the image will inspire you to write a journal entry, a short story, a poem, or a blog post.  Maybe you’ll just sit back and enjoy the photo.   Whatever your response, I hope  the picture inspires you to some sort of creative zen.

If you write something based on the image, feel free to share a link in the comments section.   Also feel free to use the photo on your blog, just be sure to give proper credit, which I will always include in the post or the caption.

Resources: Creative Commons, Flickr, The Daily Post
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Does Your Writing Day Look Like This?

Elspeth Antonelli from the It’s a Mystery blog put together the hilarious list, 10 Signs of a Typical Writing Day, about the myriad interruptions she faces as a writer.

It’s funny because it’s true.  It’s funny because it’s infuriating. And it’s funny because sometimes if I didn’t laugh about this, I’d cry.

I can find more ways to interrupt a writing day than I can for just about any other kind of day, except maybe bill-paying day.  The question is why?  I don’t dislike writing.  I love it!  I love getting so deeply involved in the process that I forget the concept of time and exist only in the made up world of my story.

Fighting distraction, beating writer’s block, putting aside our fears … these are some of the challenges we face every time we sit down to write, so reading  Elspeth’s post on a typical writing day is not only funny, it’s comforting.

Philip Roth once said:
Joyce Carol Oates says somewhere that when writers ask each other what time they start working and when they finish and how much time they take for lunch, they’re actually trying to find out, ‘Is he as crazy as I am?’ I don’t need that question answered.

Mr. Roth may not need that question answered.  I suppose I don’t need it answered either, but it’s encouraging to know I’m not the only crazy one.

Read more …

Resources: It’s a Mystery, The Daily Post

Beating Writer’s Block and Six New Prompts

The Silent Writers’ online writing retreat is held every Tuesday at 9 pm EST and PST.  The writing prompts below will help you get started if you don’t have a project to work on.  If you do have something you want/need to write, but the words aren’t coming, check out How to Beat Writer’s Block on the aptly named, Writer’s Blog.  The post features tips on dealing with writer’s block that are easy to use, and more importantly, they’re an effective way to get past obstacles that keep us from reaching our writing goals.

Now for tonight’s writing prompts:

  1. From PW.org: Fiction and Poetry prompts
  2. From Writerly Life: A photo prompt, “Untitled”
  3. From Verbal VerbosityThe 100 Words Challenge Prompt
  4. From me: A photo prompt, “New Treats”
  5. From @Selorian on Twitter: #storystarters
  6. From Plinky: Quickie questions to ponder

The Silent Writers online writing retreat is open to all writers who want to commit a minimum of one hour to writing.  If you’re interested in participating, join us tonight at 9 EST and PST on Twitter or Facebook.

For more information, visit the Silent Writers Collective.

Resources: Writer’s BlogThe Daily Post.

Monday Motivator: Frank McCourt

The Monday Motivator is a quote posted each week to encourage, inspire, and motivate writers of all skill levels and across genres.  Let me know if you have a favorite quote you’d like to share.  Click here to see past Monday Motivators.

Resources: Frank McCourt The Daily Post

A Thousand Words: New Treats

Image courtesy of Alison Scarpulla on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

A Thousand Words is a photo prompt posted every Sunday.  Maybe the image will inspire you to write a journal entry, a poem, a blog post.  Maybe it will inspire you to go exploring, or maybe you’ll just sit back and enjoy the photo.   Whatever your response, I hope you enjoy the picture and that it inspires you to some sort of creative zen.

If you write something based on the image, feel free to share a link in the comments section.   Also feel free to use the photo on your blog, just be sure to give proper credit, which I will always include in the post or the caption.

Resources: Creative Commons, Flickr, The Daily Post

Creativity Research Meets the Inner Critic

If your inner critic keeps you from being as creative you’d like, consider the brick.

No, not for bashing the little bastard, but for stimulating original ideas.

Toronto neuroscientist Oshin Vartanian asks research volunteers what they can do with a brick.  As they go from the obvious to the not-so-obvious uses, he studies what happens in their brains.

This article, Neuroscientists try to unlock the origins of creativity, from Toronto’s Globe and Mail, examines how by exploring creativity, researchers have started to look at the relationship between creative success and our ability to silence the inner critic.

We all have an inner critic.  Some of us have more than one.  The voice can be loud and abusive, or quiet, persistent, and nagging.  How we deal (or don’t deal) with that nasty nitpicker affects how successful we are in allowing our creativity to develop and thrive.  Of course, not all inner critics are harmful.  Sometimes they help us set higher goals for ourselves or reach higher levels of excellence.

As researchers continue to study the confounding world of creativity, or what one scientist calls “a big muddled mess,” it’s fascinating to learn about what they’re discovering.

Read more …

Resources:  The Globe and Mail, The Daily Post

Atwood Finds Her Way After Early Career Confusion

When I think about my career path, I often envision the old Bugs Bunny cartoon where Bugs gets knocked out by a girder and sleep walks through a construction site.  Just as he’s about to plummet off the edge of a girder, another one moves into place and he  keeps on walking.

There have been times I tried to plan my professional life, but confusion, too many choices, uncertainty about my aptitude or skills, kept me from anything too definitive.  The truth is, my career  has been a bit of a Looney Tune.  I have moved along, step by step, blissfully unaware of what lies ahead.  Just when I’m about to step off the edge, another girder carries me to safety.

Despite the meanderings, “what I do” has always been somehow connected to words, and I’m happy where I’ve landed.  The ground feels pretty solid right now, even though I know that might be the sleep walker talking.  If so, I know the next girder will lead to something interesting.

I was happy to find this interview with Margaret Atwood.  She talks about confusion over her career choices.  At various times, starting at age 8, she thought about becoming a clothing designer, a home economist, and a biologist.

“Then the writing took over,” she says.

I know the feeling.

Resources:  Homeless Hare by Warner Brothers, The Daily Post

Six Ways to Beat the Block and Get Writing

In preparation of the weekly Silent Writers’ online writing retreat, below is a list of six prompts to help you get started (seven if you consider that PW.org offers two).

Feel free to use any of these, one of your own, or work on an existing project.

    1. From PW.org: Fiction and Poetry prompts
    2. From Writerly Life: A photo prompt, “Naturally Confrontational”
    3. From Verbal VerbosityThe 100 Words Challenge Prompt
    4. From me: A photo prompt, “Running in the Cathedral”
    5. From @Selorian on Twitter: #storystarters
    6. From Plinky: Quickie questions to ponder

      The Silent Writers online writing retreat is open to all writers who want to commit a minimum of one hour to writing.  If you’re interested in participating, join us tonight at 9 EST and PST on Twitter or Facebook.

      For more information, visit the Silent Writers Collective.

      Resources: The Daily Post

      Monday Motivator: Erica Jong gets Subversive

      Do you want me to tell you something really subversive? Love is everything it’s cracked up to be. That’s why people are so cynical about it … It really is worth fighting for, being brave for, risking everything for. And the trouble is, if you don’t risk everything, you risk even more.
      — Erica Jong
      “How to Save Your Own Life”

      ♥  ♥  ♥
      Happy Valentine’s Day

      The Monday Motivator is a quote posted each week to encourage, inspire, and motivate writers of all skill levels and across genres.  If you have a favorite quote to share, let me know and I’ll post it here.  Click here to see past Monday Motivators.

      Resources: Erica Jong, The Daily Post

      A Thousand Words: Running in the Cathedral

      Image courtesy of Vainsang on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

      A Thousand Words is a photo prompt posted every Sunday.  Maybe the images will inspire you to write a journal entry, a poem, a blog post.  Maybe you’ll be inspired to go out for a run, or maybe you’ll just sit back and enjoy the photo.   Whatever your response, I hope you enjoy the picture and that it inspires you to some sort of creative zen.

      If you write something based on the image, feel free to share a link in the comments section.   Also feel free to use the photo on your blog, just be sure to give proper credit, which I will always include in the post or the caption.

      Resources: Creative Commons, Flickr, The Daily Post