Tag Archives: work

Wednesdays Visual Writing Prompt

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Wednesdays Visual Writing Prompt

I am starting to find some really amazing pictures. I love this one, I hope it inspires you. When I’m able to find the artist I will list them with a link to their site. Unfortunately, this one was just randomly out there, but I couldn’t resist it ūüôā

Challenge

Use this prompt to think outside the box, to go somewhere with your writing that you had never dared go before. See what kind of magic you can work with that brilliant mind of yours. You are a storyteller so this will be a breeze.

Maybe you could use this prompt to add a scene to the current book you are writing. Maybe you could start a short story that you can give away for free to subscribers of your blog. A picture like this can spark ideas you may never have considered.

The Rules

There aren’t really many rules, just enough to get your blog some attention and get new people interested in your writing or the current book you have to offer.

  • Write in any genre you like ‚Äď poetry too
  • Tag this post in your post (share this post to your WordPress blog as a new post) so I can find you (it will ping back to this post), then I can check out your work, and promote you on my social sites. Or share your response to the writing challenge¬†in the comments section below.
  • You have until the following Tuesday to complete this writer’s prompt, then I will be posting a new one on the following day, next Wednesday.

If you have any suggestions for future Wednesday Visual Writing Prompts, please let me know in the comments:-)

I look forward to reading your writing.

(if you post past the deadline I will do my best to read your work and share it on my social networks as time permits).

Have Fun!

How To Get Back To Writing Fast

 

By M.R. Goodhew

If you are a writer then you probably feel compelled to write, as if somehow, something in your life has gone missing when you avoid the task of writing.

Calling yourself a writer gives your personality a certain distinguished and eccentric flair. It’s a rewarding thing to wear the title of Writer!

  • You have a creative mind that has the ability to play like movie in the heads of your readers.
  • You have toiled endlessly for what might seem like forever to bring¬†your ideas together.
  • You work at your writing until it drives you to what can surely seem like the lands-end of your mind.
  • You bleed your thoughts and rework them until you are almost certain you have got it right, that it has come¬†alive, that it’s heart is beating.

It is work, it is hard, it is humbling, sometimes humiliating, but the payoff is priceless when those eyes that are not yours begin to witness your creation.

It’s not about the money or the fame, or lack thereof, it’s about the beautiful thing you brought to life within a separate mind. It is a life experience you have delivered, you are a creator.

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How to Get Yourself Back To Writing!

I think the most important thing for a writer to do is carve out a section of time every day that they will commit to writing. If your not writing then your skipping work. Have you not shown up for your business of writing when you should have? There are plenty of things that can get in the way of writing, but the one thing you must do every day as a writer is write, PERIOD.

If you are feeling uninspired or timid at thought of getting started, you can use the following techniques to get some words, any words, down on paper….or into your computer. These ideas work for me when I’m really not wanting or feeling capable of getting the words out. They are my tried and true methods of getting to the business of writing.

Where to Write

Before you even get started writing you need to pick a place that suits you. Be it your most comfortable chair or the front porch, choose a place that you will return to at least once a day to work on your writing. Picking the right spot will aid your writing, but failing to do so will only keep you procrastinating. If your office isn’t built yet, then pick somewhere else to write until it is. The inability to make a decision and take action will only keep you in the same situation your in.

This place should comfortably accommodate all of the tools you use for writing, such as:

  1. You
  2. Laptop
  3. Computer
  4. Pencils
  5. Pens
  6. Paper
  7. Note-cards
  8. Notebook
  9. Journal

Create a Schedule

Make the time to write! Put aside, at the very least, thirty minutes of your time that you will use to focus on honing your writing skills or producing your next book.

You can’t keep making excuses why you cannot write,¬†if your that sort of person, which you don’t have to be. In order to be successful at your craft you must practice it religiously. It is your job to set aside this time each day that you will devote to writing something, anything.

Get out your pencil and your calendar and sit down and think about what would be the best time of day for you to commit to the task of writing, and then reserve it. Usually the best time would be in the morning before you get ready for work, on your lunch break, or before you go to bed. The reasons why these times are typically the best are because they are when you can most likely find some alone time. If you have to start getting up an hour earlier, or going to bed an hour later, then so be it, that is your lot-in-life if you hope to be productive and successful as a writer.

Make it clear to those you live with that this is your private time and you are not to be interrupted. This is an acceptable boundary that should be respected without any problems. They can live without the stereo or TV for thirty minutes to an hour and find something to do that won’t interfere with your writing.

Show Up

Here you are, it’s 4:30¬†in the morning¬†and you’ve managed to get your weary ass out of bed, cobwebs in your eyes, and your writing utensils are at the ready! Good job! Great in fact! Here you are, you’ve accomplished the hardest part, showing up!

Showing up every day is what it takes to improve your style and flow. It only takes 21 days to create a habit, so if you can show up for your writing every day for three weeks, you will have created a successful writing habit.

What to Write

Here can be the tricky part. The first day you begin your writing journey, you can start out by writing down your ideas for what to write about tomorrow. This is an initial key to success that creates a domino effect with your writing schedule. By planning a day ahead, you always ensure that you have something to write about when you show up at your scheduled time to write. When you’re done writing, write down your plan for your next session.

So now you have a plan to plan for the following session but still aren’t sure what to write about. Check out the next section which covers writing inspiration and contains valuable tips on what to write about.

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Finding Inspiration

It can be difficult when you sit down to write to come up with ideas of what to write about or to get inspired to write at all. By pre-planning, like mentioned in the last section, you will always be prepared to write when you show up. No more finding yourself staring at a blank screen and daydreaming.

The following is a list of writing ideas that should be used together, rotating between each idea. Use a combination of all of these tips to keep your writing moving forward in a diversified manner. This will give you the right exercise in areas that will strengthen your writing all the way around.

Writing for Money – Short Stories

There are several magazines that pay $500 plus for your short stories. Here is a good opportunity to take one of your ideas and expand it to 5000 to 30,000 words and sell it to a magazine for some fast cash. Here is a link to 15 magazines that pay great money for your creativity:

So how do you go about writing a short story.

1. First, Write the Basic Story in One Sitting

The first step to writing a short story is to write the  version of the story that you would tell a friend. And when you write it, be sure to write it in one sitting. Just tell the story. Don’t think about it too much, don’t go off to do more research, don’t take a break. Just get the story written down.

2. Next, Find Your Protagonist

The protagonist is the character whose fate matters most to the story.¬†Your protagonist isn‚Äôt necessarily the narrator, nor is she necessarily the ‚Äúgood guy‚ÄĚ in the story. Instead, the protagonist is the person who makes the decisions that drive the story forward.

Your protagonist centers the story, drives the plot, and his or her fate gives the story its meaning. As you move forward in the writing process, it’s important to choose the right protagonist.

3. Write the Perfect First Line

Great first lines have the power to entice your reader enough that it would be unthinkable to set your story down. If you want to hook your reader, it starts with writing the perfect first line.

4. Break the Story Into a Scene List

Every story is composed of a set of scenes which take place in a specific place and time. A scene list keeps track of your scenes, helping you organize your story and add detail and life at each step.

Scene lists do two main things:

  • Provide structure to your story
  • Show¬†you which parts need more work

You don’t have to follow your scene list exactly, but they definitely help you work through your story, especially if your writing over multiple sittings.

5. Research

Waiting until your story is well on its way, you can keep it from getting derailed by the research process, and by this point you’ll also be able to ask very specific questions about your story rather than following tangents wherever they take you.

6. Write/Edit/Write/Edit/Write/Edit

It’s time to get some serious writing done. Now that you know who your protagonist is, have the perfect first line, have created your scene list, and have done your research, it’s time to finally get this story written.

7. Publish!

Your story is not finished until it’s published. You can submit it to magazines, or publish it as an eBook, it’s your choice. But it’s important to grow your library in order to attract readers as well as publishers. Be sure to have your short story beta read by a few people so you can spot any flaws and make last minute changes. Here is where you can go to find beta-readers¬†https://mundusmediaink.com/beta-readers/

Brainstorming

Brainstorming is a terrific way to get some writing done. When you brainstorm, write down your ideas and create a layout with them.

Generating Ideas

Rather than wait for the big idea to hit ‚Äď the theme of your novel, let‚Äôs say, or the plot of your story ‚Äď you start by scratching for a small idea first. The idea could come from anywhere, really.¬† A painting. A random item. Or something that has happened to you.

A short story needs three steps.

1. Introduce the main character and the problem or challenge that they face. The problem or challenge must give your main character some conflict and a goal or it won’t be powerful or interesting enough for a story.

2. Escalate the problem by making you main character struggle.

3. End the story with the main character solving the problem, or coming to a new understanding because of it.

For a novel your steps will be more in depth.

Act 1. – What will be the beginning of your story.

This is the opening of the story¬†condensed into a description that you can expand upon in the first quarter of the book. Each portion listed here should follow a story arch like a short story and many writer’s end their scenes and chapters with a cliffhanger, leaving you wanting to know more.

The first quarter of the book is split up into about three chapters, and then by at least three scenes in each chapter. Think of each of these sections as there own short story that leads to the next section and follow the main story arch with your ideas.

Chapter 1. – Your introduction

Scene 1. – Introduce the main character

Scene 2. – What are they on the brink of doing

Scene 3. – What external situation will require their attention

Chapter 2. – Introduce a problem or conflict.

Scene 1. –¬†What is the goal of your protagonist?

Scene 2. – Introduce some conflict.

Scene 3. – What is preventing your protagonist from resolving the conflict?

Chapter 3. –¬†Escalate the Problem.

Scene 1. –¬†What is your protagonists internal conflict?

Scene 2. –¬†Introduce your antagonist.

Scene 3. –¬†Escalate the problem.

Act 2. РWhat will be the middle of your story.

This is where everything seems to go wrong for your protagonist. This is there time of learning, a time where they reach their lowest low. By the end of the act, the protagonist will have a clear vision of what they must do and the lessons learned to make them successful.

Chapter 4. –¬†Your protagonist has discovered the conflict and begins to go on the defense.

Scene 1. –¬†How will the protagonist approach the conflict defensively?

Scene 2. РWhat incident is occurring concerning the conflict?

Scene 3. –¬†Your protagonist makes their first discovery about the conflict and it rocks their boat.

Chapter 5. – Introduce a problem or conflict.

Scene 1. –¬†What is the goal of your protagonist?

Scene 2. – Introduce some conflict.

Scene 3. – What is preventing your protagonist from resolving the conflict?

Chapter 6. –¬†Escalate the Problem.

Scene 1. –¬†Enter the antagonist. What mischief are they up to?

Scene 2. –¬†How does the protagonist react and defend against the antagonist

Scene 3. –¬†Your protagonist suffers a devastating loss, failure, or lesson.

Act 3. РWhat will be the end of your story?

This is where your protagonist gains some courage and goes on the offense. They may have a plan but they begin to take action to resolve the conflict. This is where your final conflict will occur and then the climax of your story. And then finally the outcome and ending.

Chapter 7. –¬†Your protagonist has discovered the conflict and begins to go on the offense.

Scene 1. –¬†How will the protagonist approach the conflict offensively?

Scene 2. РWhat incident is occurring concerning the conflict?

Scene 3. –¬†Your protagonist makes their next¬†discovery about the conflict and will use it to their advantage. A¬†small victory,.

Chapter 8. –¬†The final battle

Scene 1. –¬†What is the goal of your protagonist?

Scene 2. – Introduce some conflict.

Scene 3. –¬†Escalate the conflict.

Chapter 9. – The climax.

Scene 1. – Here is the battle

Scene 2. –¬†Here is the climax of the story

Scene 3. –¬†Here is the end of the story

Writer’s Prompts

Writer’s prompts are a great way to get some creative writing down on paper. Writer’s prompts can be words, phrases, or visual aids. You should find a weekly prompt or two on your network and follow them to improve your writing skills and to come up with story ideas.

I offer a visual writing prompt every Wednesday that you can link to in the comments with the html address of your published prompt writing. So this is also a great way to network. There is also a tool where you can submit your writing to find out what famous writer you write like just for fun.

Writer’s prompts are inspiring when you participate with them and can make you feel like you are accomplishing a real achievement, which you are. When you respond to a writer’s prompt you are stretching your creativity as well as perfecting your skill as a writer.

Visual Aids

You can use visual aids around your house or find an image online that inspires you to write. Then sit down and map a short story to your idea inspired by your visual aid.

You Tube

By watching YouTube videos on subjects that interest you you may become inspired with a short story idea or an idea for a novel. Remember that your short stories only have to be as long as an article or blog post. You can always expand upon them later.

Blog Posts

Get inspired by your network. Read blog posts and comment on them. This is not just an opportunity to express your voice as a writer, but an opportunity to create a better rapport with the members of your network. Yes, accomplishing two goals in one!

Write your own blog post. You should be posting to your blog at least once a week, regularly in order to grow and keep your network. Do not use your writing session to do research. Unless it’s for the layout of an article that you will be writing down ideas for. Below are examples of how to layout your blog posts.

free templates for creating five different types of blog posts:

  • The How-To Post
  • The List-Based Post
  • The Curated Collection Post
  • The SlideShare Presentation Post
  • The News-jacking Post

How to Write a Blog Post: A Simple Formula to Follow

1. Understand your audience.

Before you start to write, have a clear understanding of your target audience. What do they want to know about? What will resonate with them?

2. Start with a topic and working title.

Before you even write anything, you need to pick a topic for your blog post. The topic can be pretty general to start with.

3. Write an intro (and make it captivating).

First, grab the reader’s attention. If you lose the reader in the first few paragraphs — or even sentences — of the introduction, they will stop reading even before¬†they’ve¬†given your post a fair shake. You can do this in a number of ways: tell a story or a joke, be empathetic, or grip the reader with an interesting fact or statistic.

Then describe the purpose of the post and explain how it will address a problem the reader may be having. This will give the reader a reason to keep reading and give them a connection to how it will help them improve their work/lives.

4. Organize your content.

Sometimes, blog posts can have an overwhelming amount of information for the reader and¬†the writer. The trick is to organize the info so readers are not intimidated by the length or amount of content. The organization can take multiple forms, sections, lists, tips, whatever’s most appropriate. But it must be organized!

To complete this step, all you really need to do is outline your post. That way, before you start writing, you know which points you want to cover, and the best order in which to do it.

5. Write!

The next step — but not the last — is actually writing the content.¬†Now that you have your outline/template, you’re ready to fill in the blanks. Use your outline as a¬†guide and be sure to expand on all of your points as needed. Write about what you already know, and if necessary, do additional research to gather more information, examples, and data to back up your points.

6. Edit/proofread your post, and fix your formatting.

You’re not quite done yet, but you’re close! The editing process is an important part of blogging, don’t overlook it.

7. Insert a call-to-action (CTA) at the end.

At the end of every blog post, you should have a CTA that indicates what you want the reader to do next, subscribe to your blog, download an eBook, register for a webinar or event, read a related article, etc. Typically, you think about the CTA being beneficial for the marketer. Your visitors read your blog post, they click on the CTA, and eventually you generate a lead. But the CTA is also a valuable resource for the person reading your content, use your CTAs to offer more content similar to the subject of the post they just finished reading.

8. Optimize for on-page SEO.

After you finish writing, go back and optimize your post for search.

Don’t obsess over how many keywords¬†to include. If there are opportunities to incorporate keywords you’re targeting, and it won’t impact reader experience, do it. If you can make your URL shorter and more keyword-friendly, go for it. But don’t cram keywords or shoot for some arbitrary keyword density, Google’s smarter than that!

9. Pick a catchy title.

Use good keyword phrases as titles that convince your audience they need to check out your blog post.

10. Publish

Character Sketches

You can use your writing session to do a character sketch of one of your characters.

CHARACTER SKETCH

Scenes

You can use your session to work out a scene from one of the layouts you’ve created above.

 

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Editing

Make time for editing, you can include this in your writing time you have allotted. Editing is by far the most crucial step for the writer. Taking your work and tearing it to shreds and rebuilding it into something more masterful is a skill that practice will reward.

Take the time to do at least three rounds of edits on any piece of writing you will want to share. Be sure not to edit until you have completed the first draft, because getting that first draft down and done is essential to moving forward, and stopping to edit will ruin your flow and can sometimes stop you from ever finishing the piece.

Finally…

If you incorporate the ideas above, you will never run out of things to write.

What do you do to find inspiration?

 

 

Are You a Writer?

by M.R. Goodhew

I recently found myself exploring the idea of what makes a writer a writer, but more importantly what is a writer that doesn’t write?

A friend of mine keeps calling themselves a writer, but they never write a word. I am somewhat offended, because I am a writer.

My aim with this blog post is to inspire the would-be writer to do what they love, simply because they will so enjoy doing it.

But first let’s explore why it is that some of you might not be writing.

Here Is the Conclusion I Came To:

First of all, if you don’t write anything, then you’re not a writer, because a writer writes!

You may once have been a writer, but if you’re not writing, then you’re not producing anything and you’ve quit.

I know it sounds harsh, but that’s the reality of it.

I felt compelled to write this blog post because I know someone who used to be an amazing writer, but now they don’t spend an ounce of their time at the task. They often¬†talk about the business of writing, but are producing nothing. They waste so many hours of precious time that they could be writing just talking about it. It’s absolutely heartbreaking.

If you are like this person then you have a ton of excuses as to the reason you’re not able to write at all right now, and most of them are most likely true and valid. Like the following:

  • You work and then have too many tasks to attend to when you get home.
  • By the time you finish dinner you’re too exhausted to do anything but go to bed.
  • You cannot find a quiet place to focus or just gather your thoughts. Or your significant other will not give you any space to be alone and write.
  • You have a list a mile long of things to do that you are sure you will never have the time to get to all of them, this leaves no time left for something as fanciful as writing. Get real.
  • You aren’t sure how you want to start your book, or how you are going to get back into a book you have already started to write.
  • You don’t have the equipment you need to get started.
  • You can’t realistically devote the time it would take to write your book because there simply aren’t enough hours in the day.¬†
  • You have to spend some time researching some things first.
  • You want to mull over your ideas before you write anything down.
  • You just can’t get into the right frame of mind on demand.

 

It’s certainly not about whether or not you’re good enough to write, because you’ll never be the best at writing that you could be. No one will, there is always room for improvement. But all of your reasons for not writing, whatever they are, are still probably good ones.

Unfortunately they are just excuses, because if you really wanted to do a certain thing, you would make the time to do it. There would be nothing in the world that could stop you, or should, if you have your heart set on being a writer. What you may lack is determination, commitment, dedication, or healthy relationships.  But, there are things that writers do that make them the writers they are, and you can do them too.

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What Makes The Difference

If something is stopping you from becoming the writer you want to be, then change it.

In response to the very valid excuses listed in the section above, I have created a list of alternate realities for writers that write.

  • Almost all¬†writers¬†have day jobs, and they still manage to produce some writing.¬†Why¬†can’t you? Writers make the time to practice what they love, writing.
  • If eating dinner exhausts you then you are eating too much, or too fast, or you need to get your body moving not long after your meal. Just like the fact that you can eat smaller portions more slowly to get full, you can get off your butt to induce the energy it takes to get your mind moving again. It really is that simple. And don’t forget that consuming alcohol and then eating leads to passing out.¬†If you’re a drinker, you might want to think about skipping happy-hour in order to have the energy to devote your time to something you might¬†find more meaningful.
  • Writer’s have a special place they go to write. They insist on the time spent alone in that place in order for them to get any writing done. They go outside, they go to parks, coffee shops, closets, nooks, garages, sheds, bedrooms, spare rooms, bathrooms, wherever they can find, because writing, to them, is that important.
  • It is unacceptable for another person to require your attention 100% of the time. Writer’s need their space and set their boundaries accordingly.
  • There is always time to pursue the passion for writing, because you just finally decide to make the time and you make sacrifices for it, and that’s the way it is if you are a writer.
  • Writer’s write. It is not always what they would like to write that they’re busy at. Writer’s write all the time to hone their skill and keep their creativity flowing. It’s called practice. They write about the weather, they journal about their day, they write poetry, practice with writer’s prompts, they use visual aids, they brainstorm ideas and write those down too. They are busy at the business of writing and therefore always improving their skill.
  • All a writer needs is a pencil, a pen, or something that will make marks and¬†the world can be their canvas. Walls, cement, napkins, paper sacks, wood, whatever will accept the words they need to write will do. A writer writes.
  • A writer loves the act of writing and sacrifices other things in order to do it, often what they sacrifice is sleep.
  • Writer’s make a separate schedule to do their research. They not only research their ideas, they research their craft, to improve their writing skills.¬†
  • Writer’s¬†brainstorm the ideas they are mulling over and write them down. Sometimes splitting them into a layout that serves as their writing template.
  • Writer’s aren’t always in the mood to write and much of what they write is crap. The important thing is that they are exercising¬†their skill and getting better at their craft by showing up to practice it. They will write about whatever comes to mind just to get some words on paper and call it good. Writing is writing, whatever you write about. A writer knows that the book they are writing is just a draft, and probably the first draft, so it will suck anyway. There will be plenty of future sessions spent editing their work, and polishing their previous writing.

 

Know that nothing will change unless you go about the task of making it change. A person can talk about the way things ought to be for miles and get nowhere if no real action is taken.

The non-writer should commit themselves to writing and dedicate time to it on a regular basis if they want to be a writer. The goal is not out of your reach, but the tomorrow your waiting for will never be here, so do yourself the favor of starting today.


Look for my next post which¬†dives into how you can create the time to write, and methods I use¬†to get the words out when I’m having difficulty. You might find the post extremely helpful if you find yourself struggling to write.

Don’t get discouraged, for those of you who aren’t writing yet, you are a writer waiting to happen.

What do you think would help get someone back into the writing habit?

A Minute of Musing for the Creative Mind

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I love this statement. I am so at home immersed in my artwork, hours slip by and I hardly notice the blisters forming on my hands from working so intently. My eyes will let loose streams of tears because in my focus I have refused to blink. Blinking becomes a conscious effort that I have yet to master in this condition. I stand or sit in the same position without falter until I’ve reached a point I’m content with. And I love every minute of it with no thought of complaining.

by Michelle Rene Goodhew