10 New Year’s Resolutions for Writers

2016
Happy New Year!

I’m not usually big on resolutions

Have you broken your New Year’s resolutions yet? It’s been three days and I’m doing great! Sorry to gloat, but this—as Joe Biden would say—is a big f***ing deal for me. I generally break mine immediately, so most years I don’t bother to make any.

Last week, though, a blood test revealed the need for me to lower my sugar, so I’ve been eating healthy meals, rather than my preferred potatoes, rice, doughnuts, waffles and muffins. Hubby brought a lovely cantaloupe home from Acme today, so I have that to look forward to for breakfast tomorrow.

I usually crave candy in the evening, but last night I covered my ears to that box of Christmas truffles calling to me and washed a handful of blueberries instead. They were remarkably satisfying, some squashy and others firm, but all deliciously sweet. And I sucked them in them one by one, drawing out the pleasure, just as I would have with peanut butter M&Ms (OMG, why did I just remind myself of those?!).

Food is my addiction. I can’t remember the last time I stuck to a meal plan for a single day. But dieting is a day on the beach compared to making writing resolutions. I break out into a cold sweat and come seriously close to a Breyers mint chocolate chip binge.

 

Writing resolutions are slippery creatures

Why is it so hard for writers to write? We want to write. Love to write. Need to write. So why do we find so many excuses to get out of actually cranking out words?  Continue reading 10 New Year’s Resolutions for Writers

Step 2: Editing–Refining Your Masterpiece (Post 3 of 4 on Writing Revision)

My Masterpiece
My Masterpiece

So now you’re a pro at revision (step 1 in the revision process, that is). From my June 22 post, Revising Writing is Like Home Renovation, you know there are three steps in the writing revision process: Revise, Edit, Proofread. On July 20, we examined Step 1: Revise. This week, we tackle Step 2: Editing.

Home Renovation
Writing Revision is Like Home Renovation

I’ve been using the house renovation analogy to illustrate the revision process. Step 1 in the house reno process meant making major structural changes. Step 2 involves doing the interior finishing work. In writing, Step 1: Revise meant assessing content and meaning—making sure you said what you meant to say. Step 2: Edit involves language issues in sentences and paragraphs—making sure you said what you meant to say the way you intended to (and should) say it.

When I edit, I begin by examining individual sentences and then look at how those sentences work together in their paragraphs. Continue reading Step 2: Editing–Refining Your Masterpiece (Post 3 of 4 on Writing Revision)

Where Do You Write? Find the Place that Will Supercharge Your Writing

Woman writing
Write in the place that inspires you.

Where do you write?

Writers don’t spend a lot of time debating this. As a teacher and writing coach, however, I’ve found that venue can be critical to a writer’s success.

Writing is portable, so you can choose where you are most able to concentrate, where you are most comfortable, and where you gain the most inspiration. Sometimes we plop ourselves down in an office, on the bed, or at the kitchen table based on the first or second of these reasons, never giving ample thought to the third.

Imagine if you chose where to write based on how it might supercharge your writing?

Continue reading Where Do You Write? Find the Place that Will Supercharge Your Writing

What Are the Most Beautiful Words in English?

Beautiful Words
Beautiful Words

Scooped!

“The Most Beautiful Words in the English Language.” The article title jumped out at me on LinkedIn. Damn! Dana Dobson had scooped me! I had planned a blog post on just that topic.

Luckily, my fears were unfounded. To Dana, beautiful meant someone recognizing her as a public relations expert: “’Are you THE Emma Boldnoggin?’ he asks. ‘I’ve heard great things about you!’”

So instead of defenestrating me, Dana provided the perfect opening for my post—the old adage, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” (in this case, it’s more likely the ear)—as I ask,

What are the most beautiful words in the English language?
Read on to learn my Top 10.

An unscientific survey of my ebullient Facebook family and friends, as well as people I met out and about, revealed that everyone has the quintessential list on the tip of his or her tongue.

Continue reading What Are the Most Beautiful Words in English?

3 Books on Writing No Writer Can Live Without

On Writing, by Stephen King
On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, by Stephen King

Lots of Fish in the Sea

You’re reading WowPow because, like most writers (me, too!), you’re always looking to better your craft. There are so many resources available today that you could spend your children’s inheritance and your summer vacation sifting through them to find even one that speaks to you. To save your children from penury and make sure you actually wiggle your piggies in the sand, I’m sharing the writing resources I can’t live without. These are real, honest-to-J. K. Rowling, published-by fancy-dancy-publishers books. I’ve read them multiple times and I get new inspiration every time.

These should be on your desk, getting dog-eared and spine-broken. If you’ve already read them, let this be a reminder to read ’em again. 

Continue reading 3 Books on Writing No Writer Can Live Without

Give Your Writing Creative Power with This Magic Number

Dies Irae
Dies Irae (Day of Wrath) Latin Requiem Hymn

What number do these have in common?

  •  mile limit of international law
  • Hector’s body dragged around Troy’s walls
  • geometrical figure regarded as perfect by the ancient Greeks

Did you guess?

Let me make it easier.

  • Cerberus
  • Shakespeare’s witches
  • Billy Goats Gruff
  • Goldilocks’s bears

Got it now?  Continue reading Give Your Writing Creative Power with This Magic Number

What’s the Story?

What's the story?
What’s the story?

Hi, Readers.

Getting this blog out on Thursdays isn’t working for me. Most of you seemed to prefer Sunday night, too. So, I’m returning to publishing late Sunday nights for Monday mornings. Look for my next post this Sunday/Monday.

In the meantime, I’m posting a photo here as a story prompt. Here are some ideas, but don’t limit yourself to them:

What is happening here? What has just taken place? What is about to occur? Create a realistic story, a fantasy, a fairy tale or a horror tale. How did these figures/puppets get here? Are they sentient or simply dolls? Tell a story in which the figures are not what you’d expect. Make them main characters or minor props. What role does the setting play in your story? When and where does the story take place? Make the mood be as it appears in the photo or change it drastically. Add a specific item that changes everything. Who will tell your story?

Have fun with this! I can’t wait to read your work!

Email your story to Susan@CreativePowerWriting.com. I’ll print the most original, interesting stories in a future blog entry.

Photo Credit: Pasquale Vitiello via Magdeleine