Not writing? Stop the fingerpointing.

MacBook coffee mug and tablet
Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

My last post dealt with blaming others for my not writing.

Hey, whatever gets me generating text…»

But on a more serious note, I ran across Steven Kotler, who has a popular course called Flow for Writers.

So I looked further into the topic and ran across this informative interview. Compare your strategies to his.

https://www.writingroutines.com/steven-kotler/

Highlights:

Do you listen to music when you write, or do you prefer silence, or something else on in the background?

“…70 percent of the time I will listen to music with headphones so it’s right up in my ear. I will usually make one or two playlists for a book and I will listen to the same playlist over and over and over again…if I find a playlist that I kicked into a flow state with really early on in my process and was very successful I will keep using it because it will keep driving that flow.”

When you’re staring at the screen at 4:00 AM, do you just start clicking away? What’s going through your head at that initial moment? 

“Even if the day before was a terrible writing day, I am so fired up to go at it again. I can be an absolutely miserable writer sometimes, but I wake up every day so fired up to do this.”

And finally, to put me to shame with all my finger pointing…

“When I wrote West of Jesus I had spent three years in bed with Lyme disease and I needed to tell that story to open the book, but I thought, ‘I spent three years in bed with Lyme but who cares? Compared to getting cancer or losing a limb, so what?’”

***

What’s your favorite music to carry you through your writing sessions?

What do you do to help you get into ‘flow’?

Twitter Gems–March 31

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I’ve not been visiting my Twitter feeds lately.
It’s a good place to revisit for a little writer/creator wisdom.

But first, a 1:47 YouTube item.
The Power of Words

1. From Jon Winokur @AdviceToWriters

Always the same advice: learn to trust our own judgment, learn inner independence, learn to trust that time will sort the good from the bad– including your own bad.

DORIS LESSING

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2. Also from Jon Winokur @AdviceToWriters

“As long as you’re curious, hard-working and continue developing your craft, you can keep getting better for a lifetime…”

STEVEN BESCHLOSS

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3 . From Maria Popova  @brainpicker

“However meaningless and vain, however dead life appears, the man of faith, of energy, of warmth … steps in and does something.”

VINCENT VAN GOGH, born on this day in 1853, on fear, taking risks, and how making inspired mistakes moves us forward.

 

 

 

 

Writers, raise your voice!

You can't find your voice if you don't use it.

A few valuable posts on author’s voice…

Reclaiming My Writer’s Voice
by Kay Bolden

My favorite lines from the post:

The keyboard and the screen made it far too easy to distance myself from my words. To sink into sales mode or trope mode or campaign mode. When I write by hand, I lead with my body, not my brain.

How I Found My Writing Voice and How You Can Find Yours:
A Metaphor Involving Sandwiches
by Carly Mae

Some favorite lines from this post:

Our writing is not genuine, we don’t feel like ourselves, or it’s stilted and mechanical — feeling more like a “I have to write” versus “I want to write.”

If you feel that way, you might be lacking your voice.

***

The biggest reason your writing feels mechanical and stilted is because it is. It’s not you. So when you read it, it probably sounds fake.

Your audience reads it that way it too.

View at Medium.com

Sharing a writer’s guest post…

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I really liked this post from Cynthia Morris [Rally Your Courage to Write Your Book] on productiveflourishing.com.

Points that resonated:

  • “…we often find a bigger reason for why we’re not writing: lack of confidence.”
  • “I always encourage my clients to write a permission slip.” [=a ‘Yes, you can do this!”]
  • “There are plenty of books in the world. But not your book.

Added value to this post: It really does apply to any ambition to create.

 

Nothing to write about? I don’t think soooooo….

One of my favorite pages from Austin Kleon‘s book Show Your Work ** encourages creators to become ‘documentarians of what you do’.

Whether you share it or not, documenting and recording your process as you go along has its own rewards: You’ll start to see the work you’re doing more clearly and feel like you’re making progress. And when you’re ready to share, you’ll have a surplus of material to choose from.

  1. Research
  2. Reference
  3. Drawings
  4. Plans
  5. Sketches
  6. Interviews
  7. Audio
  8. Photos
  9. Video
  10. Pinboards
  11. Journals
  12. Drafts
  13. Prototypes
  14. Demos
  15. Diagrams
  16. Notes
  17. Inspiration
  18. Scrapbooks
  19. Stories
  20. Collections

**Not an affiliate link. ;-]

Curation Monday

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Interesting thoughts from people much smarter than I am…

#Follow your curiosity and passion. What fascinates you will probably fascinate others. But, even if it doesn’t, you will have devoted your life to what you love…”

Diane Ackerman
http://www.advicetowriters.com/interviews/2012/7/25/diane-ackerman.html

***

Jon Winokur

✔@AdviceToWriters

You must once and for all give up being worried about successes and failures…”
–Anton Chekhov

bit.ly/2JA6bql

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Keep A Diary

Keep a diary, but don’t just list all the things you did during the day. Pick one incident and write it up as a brief vignette. Give it color, include quotes and dialogue, shape it like a story with a beginning, middle and end—as if it were a short story or an episode in a novel. It’s great practice. Do this while figuring out what you want to write a book about. The book may even emerge from within this running diary.

–John Berendt

http://www.advicetowriters.com/home/2018/6/2/keep-a-diary.html

***

Jordan Rosenfeld @Jordanrosenfeld

Don’t let yourself become bored with your writing or practice. Take #risks. #WritersGuide2Persistence #create

Curation Wednesday: Risk-taking and Writing

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http://ingridsundberg.com/2010/04/02/write-with-reckless-abandon/

Back in 2010, Ingrid Sundberg attended a writing conference and posted her notes from a session Four Rules on Risk Taking and Writing by author Libba Bray.

Some of the highlights:

  1. Explore what we don’t know! We write to open up a whole new conversation with ourselves and the world.
  2. Sit at the kitchen table with your characters. See what they would say.
  3. Beware the thought “Should I….” Follow yourself and not what you think others may want you to be doing.
  4. There is no sure thing other than writing the thing you want to write the most.
  5. If it is not scary then there are no stakes. And if there are no stakes then it is not worth writing.

Thanks to Ingrid Sundberg for sharing this.

 

 

 

 

 

Twitter Gems–June 5

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Twitter Gems

  1.   Jordan Rosenfeld  @Jordanrosenfeld

The more you write, the less fraudulent you’ll feel. This is why I call it a writing practice. #WritersGuide2Persistence #writelife

  1.   Jon Winokur  @AdviceToWriters

First-person narrators is the way I know how to write a #book with the greatest power and chance of artistic success.
ANNE RICE
#amwriting #fiction

  1. Jeff Goins  @JeffGoins

“A good novel tells us the truth about its hero; but a bad novel tells us the truth about its author.” —G.K. Chesterton #amwriting #writingquote

 

Saturday Twitter Gems

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Here’s a funny one:

Jon Winokur 
How do you know if your child is a writer? Your obstetrician holds his stethoscope to your abdomen and only hears excuses.
FRAN LEBOWITZ
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A scene feels purposeful when you give the character that stars in it an intention, or a goal to pursue. #makeAscene

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Hemingway’s advice on writing: In any art you’re allowed to steal anything if you can make it better.”