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

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

What Martin Luther King, Jr. Can Teach Us About Creative Power Writing

MLK's "I Have a Dream"
Martin Luther King, Jr. proclaims, “I Have a Dream”

A Dream of Peace

After the recent horrific terrorist attacks, it’s comforting to remember someone who advocated change without assassinating cartoonists or eradicating entire towns. We celebrated Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on Monday. King was electrifying, and as a speaker he drew on his experience as a charismatic preacher. He also pulled from an enormous stock of rhetorical devices to add even more creative power and evoke emotion. His now-famous “I Have a Dream” speech, delivered on August 28, 1963, at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D. C., employed dozens of these, including charged words (last week’s topic!).  Continue reading What Martin Luther King, Jr. Can Teach Us About Creative Power Writing

The Shocking Truth about Charged Words

Danger: Words
Danger: Words
Your mama is so fat… Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious
The “N” word I have a dream…
Death panels I win!
Danger! Sunshine, lollipops and rainbows
Our little girl has cancer Free kittens!
Hijacked jets destroy twin towers Je suis Charlie

Sweet Emotion

What do the words and phrases in the above columns have in common? They are “charged words”—words and phrases that, by their very sounds, definitions, connotations, or denotations, evoke a strong emotion in the reader or listener. Note the variety of emotions represented here—the horror you felt on 9/11, your anger at the racial epithet, your delight as you sang with Mary Poppins, the excitement you’ll feel when you win the lottery (even a dollar!).  Continue reading The Shocking Truth about Charged Words

How to Make a Writing Resolution You’ll Finally Keep

New Year's Eve, Sydney, Australia
New Year’s Eve, Sydney Harbor, Australia

Happy 2015! Have you broken all your New Year’s resolutions yet?

Did you make any writing resolutions? Did you resolve to write more frequently? To send your moldering manuscript to publishers? To join a writer’s group? To take a writing course? To start that blog? Guess where I came up with those ideas? Heh heh.

Only 8% of people keep their New Year’s resolutions, says health and policy writer Dan Diamond. In Forbes, he cites research from the University of Scranton that suggests most of us fail because we make promises that are all-but-impossible to keep, like that of the mother of four who teaches school, but resolves to write for six hours a day.  Continue reading How to Make a Writing Resolution You’ll Finally Keep