The Writing Life: Research Part I

posted in: Writing Life | 5

Occasionally as writers we run up against the notion that we are simply “making stuff up in our heads and writing it down”. For fiction writers that notion is partially true, but relates, for the most part, only to the progression of our plots. Non-fiction writers also have occasion to be creative— descriptions, changed names, aggregated characters, condensed dialogue— but all based on what is known to have happened. The vast foundation of any type of writing is research. Research … Read More »

Six Productivity Apps Every Writer Should Have

posted in: Writing Life | 7

There’s not a lot of gadgetry and technology that goes with writing. Sure, there are dozens of “simple” word processors out there, that all promise to strip out the unnecessary stuff from a word processing program, leaving you with the bare bones functionality. But beyond that, there’s not a lot of apps that we writers can really benefit from. Not when we can pretty much function with a golf pencil and the back of an envelope to get our work … Read More »

The Writing Life: Idea Generators

posted in: Writing Life | 6

Where do story ideas come from? Characters? Settings? We all live in a rich and textured world that teems with possible stories, but they can seem so elusive once we sit down to write. It seems easy to break a story line when we’re sitting in a conference panel and the speaker takes elements from a dozen different participants, but how do we translate that to our own work at home? The most important step, in my experience, is to … Read More »

The Writing Life: Making Time To Write, Part II

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Now that we’ve all been practicing saying “I am a writer. I need time to write.” to ourselves, say it out loud and then plant yourself in a place that works for you and write. Sounds easy enough, right? But doing so can be hard for a variety of reasons. Let’s brainstorm some solutions to the most common barriers to finding time to write. Often, the best way to get around the endless duties of work and family life is … Read More »

Are You Networking with Other Writers?

posted in: Writing Life | 2

Writing may be a solitary activity, but we need people in our lives who are just like us to keep us going. People who understand us, and will put up with our quirks and weird behavior. That’s where networking and meeting people come in handy. It’s one thing to bump into friends at a conference, but it’s completely different when you’re at a small local event, or bonding with someone over coffee or lunch. I’ve written in the past about … Read More »

Being There: The Writer Takes a Vacation

posted in: Writing Life | 10

First off, the writer should never take a vacation. At least not from writing. Always be writing, even when you’re out there. Over the next few months, writers will join millions of other Americans in sojourning forth on vacation, by road, rail, wing, and sail. Sipping fruity drinks. Snapping pictures. Living it up. Take advantage; trips provide marvelous opportunities for writing because they throw the new and unexpected right in your face. Good writing lives in details, and there’s no … Read More »

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