Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Become a Diary Writer

As January is quickly approaching now is the time to be thinking about those new year's resolutions, that is if you have not already got the one picked out that you failed to keep last year.

So getting fit, stopping smoking and eating healthy are all good and valid new year's resolutions but have you considered keeping a diary? How many times have you got a diary for Christmas and kept it for all of a month?

If you are already a diary writer, great keep it up, you will have an amazing record of your life. So a publishing deal of your diary entries is probably very unlikely but being able to look back in several years time is irreplaceable.

As a writer keeping a diary is especially good practice, it gets you in the mentality of writing and even when you are having a dry spell at least you can be assured you are writing something.

Sunday, 27 December 2009

Writing as a means of venting

Something that is often mentioned as an important source for writers is using your own experience. This is pretty obvious when you think about it, but, if you're not actively trying to find inspiration for writing, your own useful experiences can easily be forgotten.

Recently I was able to turn a negative and unpleasant experience into a useful writing exercise. So the piece of writing will probably never become anything particularly constructive in this example but not only does it allow me to keep up the mentality of writing regularly it also allowed me to vent how I felt about the experience.

The experience in question was the Christmas Food Shop. I probably had the common experience that most people have involving stress, annoyance and a vow to boycott the supermarket you used as a result. Normally I would rant about this experience for several days afterwards to my unfortunate other half however on this occasion I chose to put down how I felt in words.

As a result I have a piece of something to show for the event, a piece of writing I may use extracts from in the future (you never know) and also a complaint that, should I decided to, I can always forward to the company in question and maybe get some nice vouchers as an apology in return (but that would have effect on the said boycott).

Any experience can be used in your writing and even if it does not create something sellable or even publishable it is an effective method of exorcising the event and your emotions. If it is perhaps a difficult event you want to write about however it is important to mention that you ensure you have the support you need around you as you may find this exercise conjures some difficult emotions.

My ranty vent can be found at http://www.complaintletter.org.uk/christmas-food-shoppin/

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Writing in the Dark Months

I have heard that a lot of writers are much more productive in the winter months possible because they are not as busy out and about soaking up the English 'summer'. I seem to swing both ways (which is typical of me).



I can have periods of ravenous writing where I am not distracted by anything else and I feel that my productivity has never been as good. On the other hand I want to curl up and sleep, my major vice and the one that detracts most from my writing.



The only cure for this I have found is to find something inspirational so you can give yourself a kick up the rear and get back on the wagon.



But what if it is more than just feeling a bit of winter hibernation tendencies? When you are feeling down or even run down it can be incredibly difficult to motivate yourself to write, and in some ways it's unhelpful.


I do find the darker months difficult and as a result I find writing hard to sustain which then gets me more down because I am missing out on something I enjoy but then what is the point in dwelling on this. If I cannot bring myself to write then is it really constructive feeling guilty about it, I write for me when it comes down to it and if I am in no mood to write then it is me it effects.


Sometimes I do get a bit lazy about it and need to give myself a kick up the bum and there are various methods of motivation I could use:

1. Get inspired by another writer
2. Watch an inspirational film, ideally involving a writer
3. Don't start with the daunting black piece of paper, instead doodle on it and collate ideas before beginning so you don't feel you're starting from scratch.
4. If you don't feel you can write what you're working on write something else
5. Do a blog entry
6. Talk to other writers
7. Work out where on the shelf you will be alphabetically when you are a published writer


To be honest I think you just have to do whatever works, unless you are one of those beavering winter writers in which case I envy you but at least I shall be writing more in the summer months. But, whatever you do, never feel guilty.