Showing posts with label improve your writing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label improve your writing. Show all posts

Monday, January 17, 2022

Growing Your Writing Practice


By Deborah Lyn Stanley

We’ve been writing and developed certain habits. Maybe this is a good time to improve our practice, or even call it our custom: our personal way of working.

First, let’s list the reasons why we write.
1.    To explain what happened and why it matters,
2.    To hold dear things that would otherwise be lost through the passage of time,
3.    To embrace the writing process for personal discovery, to make sense of things,
4.    To stretch our imagination and write more creatively,
5.    We make connections as we write and see more clearly, because it’s greater than just us.

Second, what stalls our process, or what holds us back?
1.    Expectations of perfection break our stride,
2.    The critic inside cripples with thoughts of  “you’re just not good enough”,
3.    Creativity is a vulnerable place, under attack it breeds anxiety and then we flounder at the keyboard’s blank page

To grow confidence and build a stronger writing life, let’s further develop our everyday custom and practice of working.
1.    Give yourself a special place to write, for just writing: A place of quiet, a place to listen, and a place of inspiration with a view window.
2.    It’s a place that speaks of “well-being” that surrounds you with your favorite books and reference materials.
3.    Include a keepsake that grounds you in the positive, to reflect on the best moments of life.
We need that positive energy to spark our creativity and develop our thoughts.

What changes can you make to your writing space to give you more energy and creativity?


We want to share our work. Only do so to the right person, ideally someone of similar nature, who respects and appreciates you.

It seems a common occurrence with writers to think they are in good company. You share your article or story, and the crusher follows. It happened to me too. I read my essay in a quaint critique group and the leader crushed, distorted and joked as feedback. I quit writing for a few weeks until I realized what was going on, pulled up my bootstraps, bowed out of the association graciously, then continued writing. It seems we need these kinds of experiences to discern what, why and with whom to connect.

Consider joining a group or organization of writers for support, companionship, and ideas, while nurturing your writing. It has to feel right, chemistry matters. Then be specific when you share your work by asking for exactly what you want. Some feedback is on point and strengthens your work; others are just bad advice or resemble a “takeover”. Learn, by experience to judge what is of value to you and what is not.

It’s A Journey We Are On, A Journey Of Discovery,
Practice and Process, Always Learning  

 

Deborah Lyn Stanley is an author of Creative Non-Fiction. She writes articles, essays and stories. She is passionate about caring for the mentally impaired through creative arts.
Visit her My Writer’s Life website at: https://deborahlynwriter.com/   
Visit her caregiver’s website: https://deborahlyncaregiver.com/

Mom & Me: A Story of Dementia and the Power of God’s Love is available:
https://www.amazon.com/Deborah-Lyn-Stanley/
& https://books2read.com/b/valuestories

 

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Friday, December 27, 2019

'Tis the Season to Set Goals

One of the members of my critique group suggested that we have a separate meeting in January at one or our favorite coffee shops, away from our usual critique sessions, for an informal discussion about our goals for 2020. And to arrive with our goals in writing. Throughout the year we can check in with each other, see how we’re doing.

Yay. This method can work the way successful weight-loss programs work: by making ourselves accountable to someone. Why not do this for our writing? As a veteran of years of goal-setting and goal-breaking, I find myself excited and motivated by the prospect of putting my goals in writing and sharing them with my critique partners. This way my projects have an excellent chance of progressing, maybe even being completed.

Here’s what I plan to take to our meeting:
  • A 35x24 white board has sat in our garage gathering dust for years. I rescued it, cleaned it off, bought a brand new set of dry erase markers, found my old eraser, and propped it up in my office. The months are listed on the left, projects on the top; goals filled in now and will be updated throughout the year.
  • My goal plans were born on paper, typed up and ready to post on my goal board for the world to see. For my first book, about to be published, I typed up part of my marketing plan (the more detailed plan is kept in a three-ring binder), and to save space, I labelled its parts in phases. At the meeting I can explain the phases from my typed-up version, and throughout the year, as I go along completing my goals, I can erase them from the board and cross them off on paper.
  • Most of the goals I’ve set are short-term, aiming toward the long-term drop-dead goal.
Take a Step Back to Leap Forward
Another member found a terrific “Best of My Year” set of questions we can ask ourselves about how we did in 2019, which were recently posted on Emma D. Dryden’s blog, and can be found here:

What excited you this year about your art or writing?

What are you grateful for in the progress you’ve made in your art or writing and your goals?

What did you do this year to propel your story forward and/or to propel your career forward?

What did you do to invest in your art or writing?

What did you do to invest in yourself?

Emma’s last words:
Bring it back to you and your creativity.
That's what matters most.
Hard to do, I know, but worth it.
You're worth it.
(And separate from social media if you have to!)

Let's make a date to meet back here in December 2020 on my monthly post date, the 27th, and see how much we've accomplished. If we take the time to set our goals, put them in writing, and follow through with them throughout the year, I predict we will be pleased--maybe even ecstatic--at what we've accomplished!
Introductory image courtesy of: Pinterest
Biggie 2020 goal: Use less paper!
Linda Wilson, a former elementary teacher and ICL graduate, has published over 150 articles for adults and children, and several short stories for children. She has recently become editor of the New Mexico SCBWI chapter newsletter, and is working on several projects for children. Follow Linda on Facebook.

Friday, November 27, 2015

How Reading Can Make You a Better Writer


guldfisken / Foter.com / CC BY
Once again, Hillsdale College is offering another Great Books course, Great Books 102

And it's free!


Here is an opportunity for great writers to learn from great authors. This 11 week, non-credit course covers the Renaissance to Modern fiction. You will read great works from authors such as Shakespeare, Austen, and Twain. It is a great source for writers who are deliberately practicing their craft.


Studies reveal there is a benefit to reading literary fiction. The reader connects with the complexities of characters and their situations.  Inferences are made since more is left to the imagination, resulting in strengthening cognitive skills and empathy.


But you don't have to only read literary fiction. This author suggests reading anything and everything:

Writers need to read. A lot. Magazines. Books. Periodicals. And so on. They need to grasp the art of language, to appreciate the finer points of words. As they read, they should jot down ideas and capture thoughts as they come.
Here are 5 ways reading helps you become a better writer:

1. Broadens vocabulary - Reading books exposes us to an abundance of wonderful words that will hook your reader. Using just the right word will make your writing shine!



2. Inspires - Reading can trigger a memory or idea for your own writing.


3. Increased knowledge  - Reading brings us to other times, places, and experiences. Learn to love learning. It provides greater understanding of the world around you.


4. Motivates - Reading may get you back on track with your own writing. Have you ever read a book and thought, "I could have written that!" Reading can stir your own passion and get you moving.


5. Exposure to various writing styles - What books do you like? How does the author hook you? Are the characters interesting? How so? Study and take notes. Then let your own style take shape.

By all means, enjoy reading. Don't get lost in over analyzing. Just read! Very naturally, you will be learning and growing as a writer.


***

After raising and homeschooling her 8 children and teaching art classes for 10 years, Kathy has found time to pursue freelance writing. She enjoys writing magazine articles and more recently had her story, "One of a Kind", published in The Kids' ArkYou can find her passion to bring encouragement and hope to people of all ages at 
When It Hurts http://kathleenmoulton.com

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Improve Your Writing

They say there is nothing new under the sun. 

When it comes to writing, I say, yes, there is!




Writers are emotionally invested in their writing. Personal experiences help create what we write. We can be protective of our writing to the point of forgetting how we can improve - or that we should improve.

We're never too old to learn or re-learn some things we thought we knew. 

Here are some helpful points to keep us fresh:
  • Be humble. Do we think "been there done that?" I hope not! There is always room for learning and growing. See your life as a never-ending journey of anticipation for improvement. Take a refresher course in grammar rules. Take a course to help you write tighter. Stay humble. Learn from anything and anyone you can.
  • Be curious. Don't get stuck in a rut. Are you a seeker? Scouring the sea shore for shells never gets old. But do we take time to scour fresh ideas to improve ourselves?  Schedule some time each week to learn something new. Peruse the internet for new articles on writing or marketing skills. It might just open up a new door for you.

Every day, every week, every month is a fresh start. There's always room for improvement!

~~~


After raising and homeschooling her 8 children, Kathy has found time to pursue freelance writing. You can find her passion to bring encouragement and hope to people of all ages at When It Hurts -http://kathleenmoulton.com




Every Writer Needs Connections

  By W. Terry Whalin   @terrywhalin Wherever you are in the writing world: brand new or experienced every writer needs publishing connection...