The Writing Life: Exercise

posted in: Writing Life | 9

Work, caring for a home, kids of any age, setting boundaries to give ourselves time to write—where does exercise fit in? Who has time for that? Writing is a sedentary activity and it’s important to read if we want to write, but that’s also a sedentary activity. The writing life is filled with coffee or tea and a lot of sitting around! But our doctor and spouse and kids aren’t going to accept that excuse for our extra weight, high-blood … Read More »

The Writing Life: A License to Eavesdrop

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We all eavesdrop a little, but for the most part Americans in general are told to mind their own business. As writers, we teach ourselves to block out distraction and my spouse swears that I, for one, can write through most commotion that doesn’t involve gunshots or open fractures. But when not actively writing, I eavesdrop everywhere. Eavesdropping can give you unique or catchy character names (Belson Garcia), occupations you hadn’t considered for the funny little character you don’t have … Read More »

The Writing Life: Research Part I

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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

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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 »

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