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. ...
Trying to understand our characters can be difficult. In order to know how they would react in different situations—and maintain the consistency of our narrative—we need to know their personalities inside and out.
Tools like the Myers-Briggs personality test are hugely helpful for gaining insight into our characters. For an even broader look at personality types and how traits can combine to create different characters, check out this infographic from Career Assessments Site. They've broken down the most prominent aspects of the sixteen Myers-Briggs personality types. ...
Writers who are short on time need to be as efficient, effective, and productive as possible.
Writing sessions should be spent writing. That's why they're called "writing sessions". But oftentimes, things feel out of place, making effective writing time during designated writing sessions difficult. It's easy to let procrastination interfere, or to let excuses keep you from meeting your writing goals.
We need to set aside some time, whether it is five minutes or 15 minutes, before our writing sessions so that we can be prepared when we actually sit down to write.
Have you ever sat down to write, but couldn't think of anything to write? Or have you ever sat there with no words coming out because you weren't sure which scene you were going to write? Or maybe you wanted to write a particular scene, but some other scene wanted attention first and you fought with it?
I highly recommend setting aside some time to figure out your plans for your next writing session. That way, when you sit down to write, you can work on that plan and knock out a writing goal.
To help you have a productive writing session, here are some things you should do before you begin to write. ...
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. ...
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. ...