Writing, writing tips

Monday Minute: 642 Tiny Things To Write About

642 Tiny Things To Write About is a journal that provides you with fun, inspirational and thought-provoking writing prompts. I got this book as a gift from my brother and his girlfriend during Christmas, and I’ve had a lot of fun with it ever since. It’s one more tool in my writing toolbox that helps spark creativity and motivation.

642 Tiny Things To Write About

Continue reading “Monday Minute: 642 Tiny Things To Write About”

writing quotes

Wednesday Words of Wisdom: Pico Iyer

This week’s Wednesday Words of Wisdom come from Pico Iyer, a British-born essayist and novelist. I came across one of his books, The Art of Stillness and I saw one of the book’s quotes on Pinterest. This quote isn’t particularly based on writing… but for me, it translates to how I try to approach writing and life.  Continue reading “Wednesday Words of Wisdom: Pico Iyer”

writing quotes

Wednesday Words of Wisdom: Isabel Allende

This week’s Wednesday Words of Wisdom come from Chilean-American writer, Isabel Allende. I first heard of Isabel Allende when she was a guest on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. I think she’s a smart, interesting and feisty lady.

Continue reading “Wednesday Words of Wisdom: Isabel Allende”

Writing, writing tips

Monday Minute: Creating Inspiration

This past weekend, I was looking at some literary magazines and found one that I really liked. I even ended up buying an issue of it to read the submissions. After mulling over what I might want to submit to them though, I came up empty. Continue reading “Monday Minute: Creating Inspiration”

writing tips

Do You Ever Revisit Old Writing?

The other day I read an older piece of writing I had written a few years back.

Usually my response in these situations is to laugh and see how much I’ve improved since then. But I read it and felt somewhat satisfied with my writing. Continue reading “Do You Ever Revisit Old Writing?”

NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo: Lessons Learned

It’s the last day of NaNoWriMo and it’s bitter-sweet. I’m sort of sad because I’ll miss all the craziness and excitement of the month, but I’m also sort of relieved too– because I discovered I’m not the best at getting down 1, 000 + words a day. That is quite a lot of pressure! Instead of focusing solely on the quantity (*cough* the word count) I’m going to talk about quality. Specifically, what NaNoWriMo teaches you and instills in you, whether you consider yourself a writer or not.

My second NaNoWriMo experience was challenging, exciting and crazy. It was a great way to spend my November and I’m glad I did it. Along the way though, I came up with some surprising and enlightening reflections. Here is what NaNoWriMo taught me:

Be Brave: Funny enough, I was writing a supernatural/horror story about college-age students encountering ghosts in a haunted mansion on Halloween. I was getting so creeped out that I would often stop writing. In the same way, you and I can apply this to our writing: we get scared of the ghoulish monsters that taunt us and tell us we can’t do it, when we know we can. We just have to brave it out and write, no matter how good or bad it is on paper.

Forget Inspiration: I didn’t realize how futile relying on inspiration was until I read my NaNoWriMo pep talk from author, Malinda Lo. I prefer to write whenever inspiration hits me, but find myself hating the times when I sit down to write and come up with lacklustre words, feeling as if my story sucks. But after taking in Malinda Lo’s words about inspiration, I learned that if you wait for inspiration to write, you’ll never write and inspiration is a rare occurrence.

Have Fun: NaNoWriMo’s staff, especially those tweeting on @NaNoWordSprints, taught me to not take myself so seriously. I love their silly prompts on @NaNoWordSprints and the way they could put together an engaging pep talk. When you’re feeling silly and wacky, it translates to your novel. I was even able to incorporate some humour (or what I hope was good humour) into my horror story. I have a way of taking my writing VERY seriously, but I realized it’s okay to have some fun with your writing too. At the end of the day, shouldn’t writing be fun and enjoyable too?

Trust Time: Like a fine cheese or wine, your writing only gets better with age. If you continue to write year after year, you learn more and more. I’m a better writer now than I was last year, and more in terms of discipline than anything. NaNoWriMo is the perfect way to hone your writing; not only is there the annual November writing month but Camp NaNoWriMo that takes place in April and July, as well as the “Now What?” months of January and February, which are full of tips for revising, editing and publishing. NaNoWriMo proves in a very short period of time that you can improve. If you can improve in a month, just imagine what one year could do!

These are just a few lessons I took away this year. What was your NaNoWriMo writing experience like? I’d love to hear your stories!

P.S. Check out ProlixMe’s great post about NaNoWriMo 🙂