Inspiration Guide

While still feeling a little uninspired, but continuing to write through it anyway (because I believe thats the best way to deal with what is often called ‘writers block’), I found this great article that keeps you going, with good writing practises, and with ‘tongue in cheek’ too.

I’ve copy and pasted the whole article here and the link-

http://www.mcsweeneys.net/articles/the-ultimate-guide-to-writing-better-than-you-normally-do

THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO WRITING BETTER THAN YOU NORMALLY DO.

BY COLIN NISSAN

– – – –

WRITE EVERY DAY

Writing is a muscle. Smaller than a hamstring and slightly bigger than a bicep, and it needs to be exercised to become stronger. Think of your words as reps, your paragraphs as sets, your pages as daily workouts. Think of your laptop as a machine like the one at the gym where you open and close your inner thighs in front of everyone, exposing both your insecurities and your genitals. Because that is what writing is all about.

DON’T PROCRASTINATE

Procrastination is an alluring siren taunting you to Google the country where Balki from Perfect Strangers was from, and to arrange sticky notes on your dog in the shape of hilarious dog shorts. A wicked temptress beckoning you to watch your children, and take showers. Well, it’s time to look procrastination in the eye and tell that seafaring wench, “Sorry not today, today I write.”

FIGHT THROUGH WRITER’S BLOCK

The blank white page. El Diablo Blanco. El Pollo Loco. Whatever you choose to call it, staring into the abyss in search of an idea can be terrifying. But ask yourself this; was Picasso intimidated by the blank canvas? Was Mozart intimidated by the blank sheet music? Was Edison intimidated by the blank lightbulb? If you’re still blocked up, ask yourself more questions, like; Why did I quit my job at TJ Maxx to write full-time? Can/should I eat this entire box of Apple Jacks? Is The Price is Right on at 10 or 11?

LEARN FROM THE MASTERS

Mark Twain once said, “Show, don’t tell.” This is an incredibly important lesson for writers to remember; never get such a giant head that you feel entitled to throw around obscure phrases like “Show, don’t tell.” Thanks for nothing, Mr. Cryptic.

FIND YOUR MUSE

Finding a really good muse these days isn’t easy, so plan on going through quite a few before landing on a winner. Beware of muses who promise unrealistic timelines for your projects or who wear wizard clothes. When honing in on a promising new muse, also be on the lookout for other writers attempting to swoop in and muse-block you. Just be patient in your search, because the right muse/human relationship can last a lifetime.

HONE YOUR CRAFT

There are two things more difficult than writing. The first is editing, the second is expert level Sudoku where there’s literally two goddamned squares filled in. While editing is a grueling process, if you really work hard at it, in the end you may find that your piece has fewer words than it did before. Which, is great. Perhaps George Bernard Shaw said it best when upon sending a letter to a close friend, he wrote, “I’m sorry this letter is so long, I didn’t have time to make it shorter.” No quote better illustrates the point that writers are very busy.

ASK FOR FEEDBACK

It’s so easy to hide in your little bubble, typing your little words with your little fingers on your little laptop from the comfort of your tiny chair in your miniature little house. I’m taking this tone to illustrate the importance of developing a thick skin. Remember, the only kind of criticism that doesn’t make you a better writer is dishonest criticism. That, and someone telling you that you have weird shoulders.

READ, READ, READ

It’s no secret that great writers are great readers, and that if you can’t read, your writing will often suffer. Similarly, if you can read but have to move your lips to get through the longer words, you’ll still be a pretty bad writer. Also, if you pronounce “espresso” like “expresso.”

STUDY THE RULES, THEN BREAK THEM

Part of finding your own voice as a writer is finding your own grammar. Don’t spend your career lost in a sea of copycats when you can establish your own set of rules. If everyone’s putting periods at the end of their sentences, put yours in the middle of words. Will it be incredibly difficult to read? Yes it will. Will it set you on the path to becoming a literary pioneer? Tough to say, but you’re kind of out of options at this point.

KEEP IT TOGETHER

A writer’s brain is full of little gifts, like a piñata at a birthday party. It’s also full of demons, like a piñata at a birthday party in a mental hospital. The truth is, it’s demons that keep a tortured writer’s spirit alive, not Tootsie Rolls. Sure they’ll give you a tiny burst of energy, but they won’t do squat for your writing. So treat your demons with the respect they deserve, and with enough prescriptions to keep you wearing pants.

What do you think? I’d love to hear.

Thanks for reading :))

Advertisements

About juliehyndman

Writing, poetry, art and life in general
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Inspiration Guide

  1. EllaDee says:

    Great article. Great tips. Thank you for sharing. I liked STUDY THE RULES, THEN BREAK THEM most. Before I began blogging I was scared of not knowing the grammar rules, breaking the ones I knew, spelling mistakes & typos. I still try to avoid them but I write/type so much now that I’ve relaxed and just enjoy, and don’t have a cow when a typo slips through or I think my post would benefit from some not proper grammatical formatting.

    • allpoetryandcreativewriting says:

      Dale, I found that really hard to get past as well, then I went oh hell, who cares, we all make mistakes, (and i’m sure there is plenty in mine!!!) and if fact I think the blogs with mistakes are more real, it’s something about the human in all of us that we connect with in other blogs. So now I just blog away, as well, warts and all.
      I’m working on a story to send to that competiton you sent me the details for- ‘Ian’s Story’, I did put it on the blog but will need more work for a competition.
      How is your week?

      • EllaDee says:

        I’m glas that competition suited you, & Ian’s Story. Busy week, and Friday is no different. Not much in the way of post writing, although Ihave one I’ve been doing in fits & starts. The other bloggers I follow keep me in touch with the world (literally), so all is well. Busy weekend coming up as well… we can only do what we do 🙂

  2. I like these writing tips. Straight to the point and so true. My favourite is Don’t Procrastinate! It’s hard not to check all your emails and facebook and read a few blogs before settling down to write though!

    • allpoetryandcreativewriting says:

      Yeah, me too. Its as if I have to clear the mind of other clutter (like ‘who has left me a message on Facebook) before I can start, and thats ok too!! How is your writing going this week??

  3. I have been very busy over the last couple of weeks staying up late trying to perfect my children’s picture book (the one about Little Caterpillar) for a competition. It was due on 16th July so now that that has been emailed off I’m
    working on improving my poem for the Ipswich Poetry Comp. Oh yeah, I also wrote a children’s poem (for 5-8 year olds) for the 9th Kathleen Julia Bates Writing For Children Comp. It was so great to receive a score sheet and feedback from Di Bates so now I know how to improve for next time! What have you been working on?

    • allpoetryandcreativewriting says:

      Wow, you’ve been very busy!!! I wish you well in the competitions with your ‘babies’, you deserve it, all that hard work!!!
      I’ve been strguggling to find the time to ‘creative’ write! Nothing new has come along for a while now (I run my own Remedial Massage business, and have been really flat out in the last few months/weeks, which is good for the billing paying routine, but have been very tired and none of this is conducive to writing) but am working on making myself sit and write; I think I’m about to have a big break through and words will come flooding out of my pen!!!
      Sending a story off to a competition today and will make a pile of other comps to send things to, which will give me a deadline- this seems to help focus my energy.
      Happy Writing!!

Please Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s