I’ve never been one for writing prompts or formal creativity exercises. My cure for so-called writers’ block is simply to sit down and write. Like Elizabeth Gilbert says in Big Magic, creativity is a gift not a given. However, everyone’s process is different and many authors swear by them. For the benefit of my followers, I decided to compile a list of creativity exercises to help people get the writing juices flowing. Continue reading “Creativity exercises”
Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic is my writing bible and I re-read it regularly. In it, she references one of my favourite mindfulness books, Mark Manson’s The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck (you can check out some of the others in this post and see a picture of Buster the boxer with the book here). I shared the best lessons from his book below! Continue reading “Lessons from Mark Manson”
In Big Magic, Elizabeth Gilbert explains how inspiration and creativity are divine interventions. She argues that we all have ideas buried inside of us and that it’s simply a matter of finding our strange jewels so we can write the novel, choreograph the dance, or take the amazing picture. Stick with me even if what I’m saying sounds hokey. Continue reading “Finding our strange jewels”
If you’ve ever participated in NaNoWriMo, then you know the importance of word counts. If you’re part of any social media network, you’ll see constant updates about other people’s word counts and this number will be tied to your success for the day.
Before reading Stephen King’s book, On Writing, I never put much stock into the importance of word counts. I preferred to work organically, but I usually hit 1,000 to 5,000 words per day anyway (without what I previously saw as the added, unnecessary stress). Continue reading “The importance of word counts”
When I write stories, they are always about the people. Sure, things happen, but those situations don’t drive the story – the character arcs do. How do you decide whether you should write character versus plot driven books? Well, in On Writing, Stephen King tells us that he believes the best books are character-driven and I agree.
However, everyone has a different writing style and just because you write plot-driven books doesn’t mean you should be creating flat, one-dimensional characters. Twist of Fate has an exciting, page-turning plot, but my focus was on Trevor and Brooklyn‘s psyches, growth and development rather than external events. Continue reading “Character versus plot driven”
I’ve been criticized for “wasting my talent” by writing for entertainment. When people learn I write contemporary romance, the criticism gets harsher. Why would I want to write that when I could be writing the next To Kill a Mockingbird? One of my friends even asked me when I would give up romance and write a real book. But guess what? There is absolutely nothing wrong with writing for entertainment (and romances are real books).
Stephen King tells us writing is seduction in his craft book, On Writing. However, this doesn’t have to be sexual. A good book can seduce you away from your real life and responsibilities (what laundry?) and sweep you into a new world you don’t want to leave.
What was the last page turner you read that had you thinking, “okay, just one more chapter” until you had accidentally sat on the couch for 6 hours and the book was done? That, my friends, proves writing is seduction. The last book that did this to me was this one. Continue reading “Writing is seduction”
Many people don’t start their novel or other creative endeavor because they’re worried about what other people will think. In one of my favourite books, Big Magic, Elizabeth Gilbert talks about the notion of creative entitlement. She reinforces that every person on earth is a creative being with a unique voice. There are no new ideas, only new perspectives and approaches to retelling old ones. Continue reading “Creative entitlement”
Before you get alarmed and click away from this post, when I say “kill your darlings” I don’t mean your family members – James and Buster are both alive and kicking. I’m talking about ruthlessly editing your work to ensure the most polished product is published.
Stephen King is the master and kill your darlings is his most famous craft advice. But what does it mean? Some folks advocate finding your favourite sentence in your manuscript and deleting it, but you don’t have to do that to prove you could if it was warranted. Continue reading “Kill your darlings”
Elizabeth Gilbert wrote a book called Big Magic and it was a life changing read for me. I don’t typically re-read books, but with this one, I go back to it whenever I need a reminder to keep going with my writing. I previously shared other books that made me a better writer because I highly recommend devouring craft books if you want to be an author. One of my favourite quotes from Big Magic explains how to know when your novel is done. Continue reading “How to know when your novel is done”