Every now and then, a self-identified writer will say something that makes the rest of us cringe. Writers come from all walks of life. There are no prerequisites to becoming a writer, except passion and dedication, so there aren’t many things that writers have to do in order to write good stories. But there are a few. Here are some statements that are sure to generate eye rolls from a room full of writers.
1. I don’t have time to read.
Stephen King said, “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have time to write.” Are you really going to argue with the king? Seriously, a writer saying they don’t read is like a painter saying they keep their eyes closed all day. If you don’t study your craft, how can you hope to create anything you’re proud of? Of course, there are times when life takes over and it becomes difficult to fit anything except breathing into the day. But writers are readers, too, and most of us will find a way to devour at least a few pages before bed. ...
It’s been said that writer’s block is when your imaginary friends won’t talk to you. Maybe you made them angry. Maybe they’re just too tired to deal with you. Whatever the case, here are a few tips to get your imaginary friends chatting so you can get back to writing.
1. Give them a present.
If your imaginary friends are giving you the cold shoulder, butter them up with a gift. Try a new pen and notebook or a nice laptop case. Bribery always works, and the new swag can make you feel more like writing, too.
For many writers, finding time to put pen to paper is the biggest hurdle. Let’s face it, writing doesn’t bring in the big bucks. That means most writers have day jobs, along with life’s other messy necessities. With only twenty-four hours in the day, how do you find time to write at all?
Heather Sellers said, “Becoming a writer means being creative enough to find the time and the place in your life for writing.” It’s tempting to think that we’ll write when we have more time, when our life suddenly pauses—but that will never happen. Being a writer is about fitting writing into our existing schedule, finding ways to work around the madness.
Here are a few times you may not have thought of to get some writing in. ...
It’s a lean time for writers, as arts funding shrinks on all sides, journalists are laid off in droves, broadcasting budgets are slashed, and book publishing remains in a state of seemingly unceasing upheaval.
It often seems as if the age of living by the pen may be brought to a close by an increasingly rapacious approach to human affairs, interested only in hard numbers and bottom lines. Australian writers Frank Moorhouse and Ben Eltham have recently proposed several schemes to give writers a living wage to support their work.
And so it’s timely to reflect on some of the strange, desperate and occasionally dangerous ways in which writers have historically lived, if not always by their pens, then at least on their wits. Here’s twelve ways in which classics of western literature were written.
The drafting stage is fraught with distracting, terrifying thoughts. Writers navigate mazes of doubts and uncertainty, sure only of the fact that a completed manuscript is waiting somewhere at the finish line. We beat ourselves up, questioning every scene and every sentence. And then there’s the procrastination, followed by a whirlwind writing session after which we collapse onto the couch in a daze.
The drafting process can be rough, but we’re in this together. Here’s some of the stuff writers think while they’re getting their words on paper.
“My inner editor is such a jerk.”
During the drafting phase, we spend a lot of time cursing our inner editor. Here’s how that conversation goes. ...
These five thoughts will destroy your creativity. If you think any of them, stop writing and speak to your doctor—I mean writing partner—straight away.
1. I’m not good enough.
The absolute number one way to destroy your creativity is to believe you’re not good enough. You don’t have the talent to make your stories come to life, and your characters are destined to spend eternity locked inside your mind.
You don’t write because you’re good at it. You write to become good at it. tweet this The only thing we, as writers, need to worry about is improving. Ask yourself if the story you wrote today is better than the one you wrote last week, or month, or year. If so, you’re on the right track. ...