Tag Archives: Writing

For Writers, Words Happen. But How?

As you write, do your ideas come to you in the form of words or do they come in the form of image, sense, or emotion?  If it’s the latter, how do you translate those sensual experiences into words that convey the experience for readers?

Before Words: How to Think Like A Poet, from the Psychology Today blog Imagine That! explains how for writers such as T.S. Eliot, Robert Frost, and Virginia Woolf, “writing begins in a land without language.”

Read more.

Resources: Psychology Today, The Daily Post
About these ads

Beating Real Life Writing Obstacles

Most writers I know face the same obstacle in reaching their writing goals.

Real Life.

How many times have we made a commitment to our selves and to our writing, only to have to put that commitment aside and tend to dear daughter’s science project, dear husband’s broken down car, or dear boss’s last minute work project.  These aren’t excuses, they’re real life.  And it often becomes too easy to put our writing aside while all the other responsibilities in our lives take precedence.

Jamie Lee Wallace, aka Suddenly Jamie on Live to Write — Write to Live, knows the drill.  She set some writing goals for 2011.  But,” she says, ” these intentions were all summarily slaughtered by the demands of my Real Life.”

She decided not to be done in by the slaughter.  After some serious thinking, she came up with 7 Steps to Better Writing Habits. Here’s what she had to say:

A confession and 7 steps to better writing habitsI’m experiencing a bad case of writing resolutions whiplash. At the start of 2011, I was all revved up and ready to plunge into my writing practice like a pelican diving head first into an ocean seething with slippery, silvery deliciousness. I had plans – Big Plans. “This is the year,” I said, my heart full of confidence and enthusiasm. And then my daughter came down with the flu. And then I came down with the flu. We had a succession of snow day … Read More

Resources: Live to Write – Write to Live, The Daily Post

Inspiration Points for Silent Writers’ Retreat

Every Tuesday at 9 pm, the literary world goes silent.

Hmm, that’s overstating it.  Let me try again.  … Every Tuesday at 9 pm, the literary world observes an hour of silence.

No, no.  Too much.  Here’s what happens … Every Tuesday at 9 pm EST and PST, writers who find it difficult making time to write join together for an hour of silent writing.

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

You can work on your own project or use one of the exercises provided below.

If the time doesn’t suit you, choose another time, just one hour and make a commitment to your writing.  It’s worth it.

For more information, visit the Silent Writers Collective.

Resources: The Daily Post

Monday Motivator: Rudolf Nureyev

Nureyev

Image via Wikipedia

◊ ◊ ◊

Technique
is what you
fall back on
when you
run out of
inspiration.

Rudolf Nureyev
Ballet dancer

◊ ◊ ◊

 

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 share it here.  Click here to see past Monday Motivators.

Resources: Rudolf Nureyev The Daily Post

A Thousand Words: Money

Image courtesy of Stephend9 on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

A Thousand Words is a weekly photo prompt posted every Sunday.  Maybe the images will inspire you to write a short crime drama, a haiku, a blog post.  Maybe you’ll be inspired to call your bookie, 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

Remember Me? from ThirtyCreativeStudio

Remember Me?
by Deborah Deck-Suárez

I was the water on your hands,
the shine of your days,
a lonely companion
for your times without hope.
I was the salt of your sea,
the strength of your arms,
a thought without sense
vanishing within me. … Read More

I’m sharing this poem by Deborah Deck-Suárez at ThirtyCreativeStudio because tonight, when I needed to be (should have been) writing, I was doing the old point and click around the web.  I ended up at Deb’s site and found this poem.  I was so inspired by the beauty of her words, and by the strong sense of connection, then loss, then longing conveyed in those few short lines, that I clicked off the internet and started writing.

Thanks, Deb!

Resources: The Daily Post

“The Count” Confirms Publishing’s Gender Bias

What would you think if I told you that in 2010 magazines like Harper’s, The New Republic, Poetry Magazine, Granta, The New Yorker, and most of the other big names, published more work written by men than by women?

Would it shock you?  Surprise you?  Raise an eyebrow?

What if I told you that those magazines didn’t publish just three or four more articles by men than by women, they published three or four times more.  It calculates like this:

  • The Atlantic published 154 pieces written by men, 53 by women.
  • The New Yorker: 449 by men, 163 by women.
  • The New York Review of Books: 462 by men, 79 by women.

That raises more than eyebrows, it raises questions and VIDA is doing the asking.

VIDA, a literary group formed last year in response to gender inequality in print, has just published The Count.  I might have called it “The Countess,” but that’s probably too cutesy.  The Count is literally that, a count of male to female writers in the country’s most prestigious magazines, and it is proof positive of just how skewed the ratio is.

As a woman writer, the survey could be depressing.  I could throw up my hands and say, “Why bother, there’s no breaking into the old-boy’s club.”  If it was just a survey, it would be depressing, but it’s not just a survey, it’s the beginning of a conversation and VIDA is leading the way.

“Our count is by no means a blame-game,” says Cate Marvin, VIDA co-founder. “It was time to stop speculating that things didn’t seem entirely fair and find out if we did in fact have reason to be concerned.  The conversation only begins with the numbers.”

More data on submissions and books published by gender is needed for a true picture, but what is included in “The Count” makes it clear that there is a startling imbalance and something needs to be done.  Yes, the conversation has started.  As a woman who writes, it’s now my responsibility to be a part of it.

For more details, read the study by VIDA: “Numbers don’t lie. What counts is the bottom line.”

For an analysis of the numbers, read A new tally by VIDA shows how few female writers appear in magazines from slate.com.

Resources: VIDA, The Daily Post

Prompt-a-Palooza for Silent Writers

If you’re a writer finding it difficult to make time for writing, think about joining the Silent Writers Collective tonight for its weekly online silent retreat.  All writers are welcome to join in at 9 EST and PST and commit an hour (more if you want) to their art.

You can work on your own project or use one of the exercises provided below.

For more information, visit the Silent Writers Collective.

Resources: The Daily Post

Monday Motivator: Gertrude Stein

Stein Gertrude 1935

Gertrude Stein via Wikipedia

◊ ◊ ◊

“To write is
to write is
to write is
to write is
to write is
to write is
to write.”

– Gertrude Stein

◊ ◊ ◊

Today’s Monday Motivator is from Gertrude Stein, whose birthday is this week on February 3, 1874.  Much of Ms. Stein’s work, like the quote above, can be mistaken for silly or senseless.  Some critics called her work elitist and arrogant, but Stein played with words the way another artist would play with her medium.

Friend and patron Mabel Dodge Luhan described it like this:

“In Gertrude Stein’s writing every word lives and, apart from concept, it is so exquisitely rhythmical and cadenced that if we read it aloud and receive it as pure sound, it is like a kind of sensuous music.  Just as one may stop, for once, in a way, before a canvas of Picasso, and, letting one’s reason sleep for an instant, may exclaim: ‘It is a fine pattern!’ so, listening to Gertrude Steins’ words and forgetting to try to understand what they mean, one submits to their gradual charm.”

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, I’d love to include it.  Click here to see past Monday Motivators.

Resources: The World of Gertrude Stein, The Daily Post

A Thousand Words: On the Rocks

Image courtesy of  Jason Rogers on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

A Thousand Words is a weekly photo prompt posted every Sunday.  Maybe the images will inspire you to write a short thriller, a haiku, a blog post, a travelogue.  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 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