Inspiration

>Writing Exercises to Remove Writers Block

>Wendy Bailey is my guest today. A freelance writer and blogger, Wendy contributes to a number of sites, and today shares some ways to defeat writers block.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

There are times when you might need writing exercises to remove writers block. When this happens it can be very upsetting. If the person writes professionally, it can be very devastating. Fortunately there are ways to eliminate this block with a few simple steps.

Writing Exercises

• These help the writer to get the creative flow back into their life.
• It helps to remove the panic that can happen when a person has an emotional crisis.
• These will also ad to your ability to write more creatively and prolifically.

Free Writing
Begin writing on a subject that you love. Write freely and openly. Sometimes this can be very liberating and get the flow of the art going forward. This can be a wonderful way to begin every day. Even on the days that you do not have writers block, this can be a wonderful way to begin the flow of creativity.

Automatic Writing
Pick a subject. Then set a timer. Begin writing and do not stop until the timer goes off. When you do not know what to write, then you simply write that. The point of the thing is to keep going. No matter how hard it is, never stop writing.

Keywords
Take a set of keywords and write a story based on those keywords. Like the previous exercise, set a time limit or length. Do not stop until that length or time period is reached. It is a wonderful way to the creative juices flowing and kick the writers’ block.

Yoga Exercise
Find a secluded place and site quietly. Place your hands on your lap and close your eyes. Take a few cleansing breathes through your nose. Then breathe out. Focus on your breath for a few minutes. Then you can begin to write because you are able to release some of the stress that can happen.

Unscramble
Take words that are scrambled and try to unscramble them. You can get them from many places. Sometimes the newspaper has this sort of thing available. It helps with the concentration factor and focus on the letters. Think of I as going from small to big. You are focusing on something so small and concentrating so hard that it is easy to branch out from there.

Journaling
Good old-fashioned journaling can get the juices flowing for a writer. Just the simple process of writing on a daily basis for expression can help as a writing exercise. It helps get the flow of your pen moving forward so you can write.

Blogging
This has a similar effect as journaling. Take any subject that catches your fancy and run with it. You will be amazed at how easy it will flow. Make it a daily blog. Soon, you will wonder how you lived without blogging.

Switch
The last one is perfect for any freelancer. Take one project and write on it a while. Add to it and mix it up. Soon your creative juices will begin to flow like never before. Then switch to another subject. This becomes a game. Then when you go back to the writing you will find that you are far more creative than ever before.

Writing exercises like these can really help remove the writers’ block that gets in the way. Every writer will experience this from time to time. It is very important to not let that interfere in the creative process. Once you begin some of these exercises, you will find that your blocks come far less.

Share your experiences with us — how do you beat writers block?

Writing Exercises to Remove Writers Block

>Wendy Bailey is my guest today. A freelance writer and blogger, Wendy contributes to a number of sites, and today shares some ways to defeat writers block.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

There are times when you might need writing exercises to remove writers block. When this happens it can be very upsetting. If the person writes professionally, it can be very devastating. Fortunately there are ways to eliminate this block with a few simple steps.

Writing Exercises

• These help the writer to get the creative flow back into their life.
• It helps to remove the panic that can happen when a person has an emotional crisis.
• These will also ad to your ability to write more creatively and prolifically.

Free Writing
Begin writing on a subject that you love. Write freely and openly. Sometimes this can be very liberating and get the flow of the art going forward. This can be a wonderful way to begin every day. Even on the days that you do not have writers block, this can be a wonderful way to begin the flow of creativity.

Automatic Writing
Pick a subject. Then set a timer. Begin writing and do not stop until the timer goes off. When you do not know what to write, then you simply write that. The point of the thing is to keep going. No matter how hard it is, never stop writing.

Keywords
Take a set of keywords and write a story based on those keywords. Like the previous exercise, set a time limit or length. Do not stop until that length or time period is reached. It is a wonderful way to the creative juices flowing and kick the writers’ block.

Yoga Exercise
Find a secluded place and site quietly. Place your hands on your lap and close your eyes. Take a few cleansing breathes through your nose. Then breathe out. Focus on your breath for a few minutes. Then you can begin to write because you are able to release some of the stress that can happen.

Unscramble
Take words that are scrambled and try to unscramble them. You can get them from many places. Sometimes the newspaper has this sort of thing available. It helps with the concentration factor and focus on the letters. Think of I as going from small to big. You are focusing on something so small and concentrating so hard that it is easy to branch out from there.

Journaling
Good old-fashioned journaling can get the juices flowing for a writer. Just the simple process of writing on a daily basis for expression can help as a writing exercise. It helps get the flow of your pen moving forward so you can write.

Blogging
This has a similar effect as journaling. Take any subject that catches your fancy and run with it. You will be amazed at how easy it will flow. Make it a daily blog. Soon, you will wonder how you lived without blogging.

Switch
The last one is perfect for any freelancer. Take one project and write on it a while. Add to it and mix it up. Soon your creative juices will begin to flow like never before. Then switch to another subject. This becomes a game. Then when you go back to the writing you will find that you are far more creative than ever before.

Writing exercises like these can really help remove the writers’ block that gets in the way. Every writer will experience this from time to time. It is very important to not let that interfere in the creative process. Once you begin some of these exercises, you will find that your blocks come far less.

Share your experiences with us — how do you beat writers block?

Writers Are Troublemakers, Too

>My guest today, Erin O’Riordan, currently has a FREE erotica anthology available at Smashwords through 7/31

…And I don’t need a single book to teach me how to read
Who needs stupid books? They are for petty crooks…”

(“Troublemaker,” lyrics by Rivers Cuomo. From Weezer’s self-titled 2008 album)

Okay, so at first glance, Weezer’s pop-rock tune “Troublemaker” hardly seems like inspiration for us writers. No one wants to be called a “petty crook,” and the L.A.-based alternative rock band’s sound isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. (Some of the lyrics, though not the ones I’ll be discussing, are also slightly risque.) The guys of Weezer have come up with some quite original and witty lyrics over the years, though, and on closer inspection, “Troublemaker” has some good lessons for writers after all. Consider some of the lines that follow the “petty crooks” remark:

–“…So turn off the TV, ‘cause that’s what others see.”

Those of us with a TV habit can attest to TV’s writing-time-wasting effect. As artists, we may applaud TV’s ability to allow millions across the globe to share the same bank of stories and images. In other ways, TV’s visual, corporate-sponsored approach to communal storytelling may lessen our collective ability to imagine a plot line for ourselves, without a Hollywood studio’s help. Before you completely dismiss television as a drain on our imaginations, though, consider this: at a book festival in my hometown, prolific—and best-selling—author Linda Lael Miller was asked where she gets her ideas. She cited TV as one of her inspirations, along with country music.

–“…I will learn by studying the lessons in my dreams…”

There truly is a craft to writing. Before we can write that best-seller, we have to learn the nuts and bolts of grammar, punctuation, structure, etc. We begin learning this in school. We read great books and dissect their greatness. We practice, fail, practice some more. Our teachers, tutors, professors, and mentors help us along the way, imparting the knowledge of the craft to us. Books, writers’ conferences, and websites can teach us still more. At some point, though, our writing has to come from somewhere inside of us. Call that “somewhere” what you will: the right hemisphere of the brain, the subconscious, the soul, the muse. Whatever name it goes by, it gives us our best ideas, often when we least expect them. Sometimes they literally come in dreams as we sleep. I’ve had some great ideas just before falling asleep and as I’m waking. Ideas can come at any time, and it’s in our best interest to follow these flashes of inspiration. We can also speak our dreams into reality: the moment we have the courage to name ourselves “writer,” we start to make it true.

–“…Doing things my own way and never giving up…”

Every piece of writing we submit will be expected to follow the publisher’s guidelines. The key word there is “guide.” Writing may be a craft, but it is also an art, and artists have many times been rewarded (professionally or personally) for disregarding the rules and following their intuition. We should do things our own way and write to please ourselves first. Along with that, we have to have persistence. If we’ve studied our craft well, edited judiciously, and written something interesting and worthwhile, our work will be acknowledged, even if that acknowledgment takes longer than we’d like. Never give up.

–“…I can’t work a job, like any other slob, punchin’ in and punchin’ out and suckin’ up to Bob…”

One of the unfortunate truths of the writing profession is an extremely small percentage of us will ever reach the level of success of the top popular authors. Hugo Award-winning science fiction writer Joe Haldeman, at the book festival I mentioned earlier, likened his income to that of “a good used-car salesman.” Most of us will never be able to quit our day jobs. This doesn’t mean working as a full-time writer, spending all day every day doing the thing we love most, isn’t a worthwhile goal. Some days feels as if life has unfairly saddled us with a desire to do nothing else but read and write, then forced us to do some other work to pay the bills. With persistence and a little luck, though, many of us will find ways to carve out a living…even if we always feel like the proverbial “starving artist.”

–“…There isn’t anybody else exactly quite like me…”

Writers each have our own unique voices, just as the singers of rock bands do. By listening to our dreams, doing things our own way, and working at our craft, we will all create our personal styles. If we get our styles just right, our readers will know our voices without even seeing our bylines. You know Hemingway when you read him, don’t you? Or Edgar Allan Poe? Find your voice, and you’ll find yourself an audience.

In pop-rock songs, the words of the chorus are often repeated. In this case, the last line of
“Troublemaker” bears repeating. When you think of your writing career, remember these three final words: “Never giving up.”


Erin O’Riordan lives in the Midwestern United States with her husband, her co-author on a series of crime thrillers. She also writes the Pagan Spirits romance novel series. Her short stories, essays, and film reviews have been published in numerous anthologies, magazines and websites. A trap designed to catch her should contain dark chocolate, espresso drinks and Christian Bale movies.

You can find Erin:
Melange Books
Web
Blog
Twitter
Facebook

>Writers Are Troublemakers, Too

>My guest today, Erin O’Riordan, currently has a FREE erotica anthology available at Smashwords through 7/31

…And I don’t need a single book to teach me how to read
Who needs stupid books? They are for petty crooks…”

(“Troublemaker,” lyrics by Rivers Cuomo. From Weezer’s self-titled 2008 album)

Okay, so at first glance, Weezer’s pop-rock tune “Troublemaker” hardly seems like inspiration for us writers. No one wants to be called a “petty crook,” and the L.A.-based alternative rock band’s sound isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. (Some of the lyrics, though not the ones I’ll be discussing, are also slightly risque.) The guys of Weezer have come up with some quite original and witty lyrics over the years, though, and on closer inspection, “Troublemaker” has some good lessons for writers after all. Consider some of the lines that follow the “petty crooks” remark:

–“…So turn off the TV, ‘cause that’s what others see.”

Those of us with a TV habit can attest to TV’s writing-time-wasting effect. As artists, we may applaud TV’s ability to allow millions across the globe to share the same bank of stories and images. In other ways, TV’s visual, corporate-sponsored approach to communal storytelling may lessen our collective ability to imagine a plot line for ourselves, without a Hollywood studio’s help. Before you completely dismiss television as a drain on our imaginations, though, consider this: at a book festival in my hometown, prolific—and best-selling—author Linda Lael Miller was asked where she gets her ideas. She cited TV as one of her inspirations, along with country music.

–“…I will learn by studying the lessons in my dreams…”

There truly is a craft to writing. Before we can write that best-seller, we have to learn the nuts and bolts of grammar, punctuation, structure, etc. We begin learning this in school. We read great books and dissect their greatness. We practice, fail, practice some more. Our teachers, tutors, professors, and mentors help us along the way, imparting the knowledge of the craft to us. Books, writers’ conferences, and websites can teach us still more. At some point, though, our writing has to come from somewhere inside of us. Call that “somewhere” what you will: the right hemisphere of the brain, the subconscious, the soul, the muse. Whatever name it goes by, it gives us our best ideas, often when we least expect them. Sometimes they literally come in dreams as we sleep. I’ve had some great ideas just before falling asleep and as I’m waking. Ideas can come at any time, and it’s in our best interest to follow these flashes of inspiration. We can also speak our dreams into reality: the moment we have the courage to name ourselves “writer,” we start to make it true.

–“…Doing things my own way and never giving up…”

Every piece of writing we submit will be expected to follow the publisher’s guidelines. The key word there is “guide.” Writing may be a craft, but it is also an art, and artists have many times been rewarded (professionally or personally) for disregarding the rules and following their intuition. We should do things our own way and write to please ourselves first. Along with that, we have to have persistence. If we’ve studied our craft well, edited judiciously, and written something interesting and worthwhile, our work will be acknowledged, even if that acknowledgment takes longer than we’d like. Never give up.

–“…I can’t work a job, like any other slob, punchin’ in and punchin’ out and suckin’ up to Bob…”

One of the unfortunate truths of the writing profession is an extremely small percentage of us will ever reach the level of success of the top popular authors. Hugo Award-winning science fiction writer Joe Haldeman, at the book festival I mentioned earlier, likened his income to that of “a good used-car salesman.” Most of us will never be able to quit our day jobs. This doesn’t mean working as a full-time writer, spending all day every day doing the thing we love most, isn’t a worthwhile goal. Some days feels as if life has unfairly saddled us with a desire to do nothing else but read and write, then forced us to do some other work to pay the bills. With persistence and a little luck, though, many of us will find ways to carve out a living…even if we always feel like the proverbial “starving artist.”

–“…There isn’t anybody else exactly quite like me…”

Writers each have our own unique voices, just as the singers of rock bands do. By listening to our dreams, doing things our own way, and working at our craft, we will all create our personal styles. If we get our styles just right, our readers will know our voices without even seeing our bylines. You know Hemingway when you read him, don’t you? Or Edgar Allan Poe? Find your voice, and you’ll find yourself an audience.

In pop-rock songs, the words of the chorus are often repeated. In this case, the last line of
“Troublemaker” bears repeating. When you think of your writing career, remember these three final words: “Never giving up.”


Erin O’Riordan lives in the Midwestern United States with her husband, her co-author on a series of crime thrillers. She also writes the Pagan Spirits romance novel series. Her short stories, essays, and film reviews have been published in numerous anthologies, magazines and websites. A trap designed to catch her should contain dark chocolate, espresso drinks and Christian Bale movies.

You can find Erin:
Melange Books
Web
Blog
Twitter
Facebook

It’s All in the Perspective

>You’ve heard it a million times–half full or half-empty? Eeyore or Tigger?

I’m working on a transition, spending more time in a Tigger state of mind than in an Eeyore state of mind. It’s tough. Eeyore has been ingrained in me all my life, and he doesn’t like being in a cage while Tigger bounces around outside the bars blowing rasperries at him.

So after forty years of seeing the glass half-empty, I’m trying to take a new perspective and see it has half-full.

I ran across this article with it’s gleaming little gems and wanted to share with other Tigger-challenged writers out there.

From Robyn DeHart:

“Take the dreaded synopsis for example. How many of us have heard it called
such a thing? The word “dreaded” conjures up images of torture and pain,
something that is difficult or impossible to accomplish. Before I even began to write my first synopsis, I expected it to be horrible. Dreaded. And with these expectations, it was rather dreadful. “

“Another example is the “sagging middle”. When I started my first book I looked to that middle with trepidation. I was terrified. I studied cures to fix the certainty of my sagging middle. I can’t really remember the middle in that first book or whether or not it was particularly difficult or saggy, but I’ve written enough now to know that the middle is actually my favorite part.

What’s your favorite (or least favorite as the case may be) “saying” regarding your writing?

Robyn goes on to echo one of my own firm beliefs when she says:

“I’m a firm believer in embracing your own way to write, but I am also a firm believer in growth and education. I think writers who live their lives by “I cant’s”, “I onlys”, or “I nevers” do themselves an injustice. You never know what will or won’t work for you until you try. Try something before you make an opinion about it, and don’t allow another person’s experiences color your own. Keep an open mind – a mind willing and ready to learn. Make your own decisions about things like synopses and middles; the last thing you need is to question your ability because things aren’t like they’re “supposed” to be.”

Thanks for the reminder, Robyn!

>It’s All in the Perspective

>You’ve heard it a million times–half full or half-empty? Eeyore or Tigger?

I’m working on a transition, spending more time in a Tigger state of mind than in an Eeyore state of mind. It’s tough. Eeyore has been ingrained in me all my life, and he doesn’t like being in a cage while Tigger bounces around outside the bars blowing rasperries at him.

So after forty years of seeing the glass half-empty, I’m trying to take a new perspective and see it has half-full.

I ran across this article with it’s gleaming little gems and wanted to share with other Tigger-challenged writers out there.

From Robyn DeHart:

“Take the dreaded synopsis for example. How many of us have heard it called
such a thing? The word “dreaded” conjures up images of torture and pain,
something that is difficult or impossible to accomplish. Before I even began to write my first synopsis, I expected it to be horrible. Dreaded. And with these expectations, it was rather dreadful. “

“Another example is the “sagging middle”. When I started my first book I looked to that middle with trepidation. I was terrified. I studied cures to fix the certainty of my sagging middle. I can’t really remember the middle in that first book or whether or not it was particularly difficult or saggy, but I’ve written enough now to know that the middle is actually my favorite part.

What’s your favorite (or least favorite as the case may be) “saying” regarding your writing?

Robyn goes on to echo one of my own firm beliefs when she says:

“I’m a firm believer in embracing your own way to write, but I am also a firm believer in growth and education. I think writers who live their lives by “I cant’s”, “I onlys”, or “I nevers” do themselves an injustice. You never know what will or won’t work for you until you try. Try something before you make an opinion about it, and don’t allow another person’s experiences color your own. Keep an open mind – a mind willing and ready to learn. Make your own decisions about things like synopses and middles; the last thing you need is to question your ability because things aren’t like they’re “supposed” to be.”

Thanks for the reminder, Robyn!

Inspiration

>I’m revising at the moment…hence the related quotes. (Edie, Linda…I know you’re revising, too. How’s it going? Hope these touch your funny bone. Anyone else revising?)

Books aren’t written — they’re rewritten. Including your own. It is one of the hardest things to accept, especially after the seventh rewrite hasn’t quite done it.
~ Michael Crichton

The beautiful part of writing is that you don’t have to get it right the first time, unlike, say, a brain surgeon.
~ Robert Cormier

Rewriting is like scrubbing the basement floor with a toothbrush.
~ Pete Murphy

>Inspiration

>I’m revising at the moment…hence the related quotes. (Edie, Linda…I know you’re revising, too. How’s it going? Hope these touch your funny bone. Anyone else revising?)

Books aren’t written — they’re rewritten. Including your own. It is one of the hardest things to accept, especially after the seventh rewrite hasn’t quite done it.
~ Michael Crichton

The beautiful part of writing is that you don’t have to get it right the first time, unlike, say, a brain surgeon.
~ Robert Cormier

Rewriting is like scrubbing the basement floor with a toothbrush.
~ Pete Murphy