TL;DR version: I worry that my workday spent dealing with the written word ruins my productivity as a writing hobbyist (or whatever). I know that many of you who have writing goals in your personal lives also have professions that involve a great deal of writing, reading, editing, etc. How do you balance the two? At the end of the workday, how do you motivate yourself to go home and write? Please let me know in the comments below.
Two weeks ago we manage to have a great discussion about our writing fears despite the fact that the post opened with me whining in my usual syntactically off-putting manner: “Sometimes I wonder if part of the reason I don’t write as much as I want to is that at the end of a day spent helping writers create, I don’t have enough left in the tank.”
It’s sort of a busman’s holiday. Except, see, I’m driving the bus, the … the, uh … the word bus, yeah? And then when I’ve reached the end of the … of my route for the day, I … I … have to get back on the word bus, but as a passenger, right? And then sort of go back the way I came. But with someone else driving the word bus now.
Does that makes sense? read more
tl;dr version: The Micro Fiction Contest is a writing prompt with prizes. This week’s: Write a story, in 25 or fewer words, using the word duende, defined below. Leave your story in the comments section to enter. Prizes include a brand-new hardcover copy of Amanda Eyre Ward’s new novel, The Nearness of You.
I don’t know if it’s a result of some New Year’s resolutions or what, but here at WriteByNight we’re suddenly flooded with your writing. It’s as if you’ve all banded together to participate in National Novel-Sending to WriteByNight month.
aka NaNo-Sendo-WriteByNighto. Mo.
By the end of the month I will have handled almost 750,000 of your words in February alone. Three quarters of a million words! Granted, many of them are repeats. You all use the quite a lot, and it feels like I’ve seen literally dozens of uses of and. But still.
And that’s just me. Others of our wonderful staff are hard at work, too.
In other words, y’all are killing it lately. And what’s better: The work you’re sending us is great.
Clearly y’all have been positively overflowing with literary duende. read more
tl;dr version: What I want from this post about common writing fears is for you to share, in the comments below, your biggest writing-related fear and at least one strategy you use to fight/face it. Do it anonymously, if you’d prefer. Because talking about our fears is scary business. And while you’re here, maybe lend some emotional support to a fellow writer, especially if you’re familiar with his/her own brand of fear. Tick “notify” to receive an email when someone replies to your comment.
In therapy earlier this week I told my analyst that sometimes I wonder if part of the reason I don’t write as much as I want to is that at the end of a day spent helping writers create, I don’t have enough left in the tank.
Enough what? would’ve been a fair question for her to ask. Creative juice? Am I allowed only x-amount of hours per day to think about writing? What, a science teacher can’t go home after school lets out and … do science?
My therapist — because she’s good (i.e., annoying) — suggested that my problem has little to do with creative juices and much to do with FEAR. read more
Just before the new year turned, we provided some space for you to write out your 2017 writing goals in the hopes that a little bit of public accountability might help you hit them. Your task was to fill in the blank: “In 2017, I will _______.”
The results ran the gamut. Some of you want to finish books; others want to finish anything. Many of you simply want to write more, or to improve as a writer. Some are on the lookout for a writing community, others talked about being chained alone in a room with nothing but a laptop and soup.
The creativity expressed in this simple exercise shows that you all are capable of anything.
But seeing as how the whole point of doing a public expression of your writing goals was to have some accountability, I think a regular check-in on those goals might prove beneficial. read more
A couple of weeks ago we challenged you to write outside of your comfort zone, however you choose to define that — location, posture, time of day, etc. Most of your responses were about location: public vs. private, outside vs. inside, that kind of thing. Some of you detailed your hesitance to ever write inside of any kind of comfort zone. I can get behind that idea.
And although none of you shared the results of this exercise in the comments section (tsk-tsk), a few of you emailed your experiences to me, and within one of those, I found an idea for this week.
(That hyphen in “tsk-tsk” comes courtesy of Merriam-Webster, whose Twitter account, incidentally, has become a Trump-taunting delight, for those of you who might enjoy such a thing.)
(Oh look, fourth paragraph and I’m nowhere near my point.) read more
Today we offer the first post in a new series, “Creative Flow,” in which writer and creativity coach Sid Kemp will share some tips and tricks for creating and sustaining creative energy. –DD
You probably know the feeling of creative flow, those times when words fly out of our fingers into the keyboard, or ink just pours out of the pen. Words arrive, we write them down and they feel right. It’s great, isn’t it?
Creative flow can feel very different for each of us. My wife writes haiku, tanka, and other short-form poetry. Her flow is to write and post at least one poem a day. I also work with songwriters, Hollywood script writers, business writers, copy writers, bloggers, and fiction writers.
Every one of us feels the flow in a different way.
Some writers can even feel different kinds of flow based on what they’re working on. I write short stories and novels, and I’ve noticed that, for each one, the creative flow feels different. read more
Yesterday was a sunny and gorgeous winter day in New York City, topping out at near 65 degrees. It was so warm that in the afternoon I visited my spring/summer/fall writing spot, a series of benches overlooking Riverside Park, the West Side Highway and the Hudson.
(The writing didn’t go well, but the experience was a pleasure.)
While walking back home I passed a dude lying along the rock ledge pictured at left. I didn’t snap a photo of him, because creepy. But he was horizontal, on his back, his head on the hard wall, holding aloft a notebook in his left hand and writing in it with his right. To his left, a 25-foot drop (pictured below). An aggressive human or gust of wind or a surprise tremor and he’s a goner.
I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a more uncomfortable-looking position in which to write. read more
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