Ways to Keep Your Writing Alive

What ways can you keep active, even when you don’t have a specific writing project on the go? As I dodge responsibility left and right, I ponder how to keep viable as a writer. Solution? Write a new blog post!

Writing a blog post is just one tactic though. Even if you don’t have a bigger project on the go (or are stumped with what direction to take the one you are working on at present) what else can you do?

Ways to Keep Writing

Choosing a new place to write is a great idea, but leave trees out of it! Those inane scratches are permanent scars a tree has to carry forevermore. Make your words count!
  • review a book
  • comment on a book review
  • update your social media pages (Think Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc. Add updates, refresh contact info and pictures, rewrite bio, etc)
  • start a new social media account (Haven’t tried Google+? Give it a gander. New to Pinterest? Pin on! Unsure about Snapchat? Get snapping.)
  • brainstorm for ideas for blog posts
  • edit an existing piece of writing (yours or someone else’s)
  • take a writing class
  • send out queries for new article ideas
  • write in a journal
  • write in a different place than you normally do
  • tackle a writing prompt (try writing microfiction, or write something from a photo or written prompt)

The important thing is not always what you write, but that you keep practicing your art. With time, comes comfort and ease in the process. Plus, the more you write, the better your writing will become! So get writing. I just did.

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Short Words

“You can go a long way on short words.” – Joseph J. Romm

Short words. Well then, I’m not sure how far I’ll go. I think it’s safe to safe that I can be a bit verbose at times.

Yes, I do carry on…

But there is something to be said for concise language, compact storytelling and no wasted words to slow the story down. As much as I continually add to my African tale, one of the things that I am doing in the editing of the story is to make it more precise. I am cutting plenty of ‘tell’ and adding in more dialogue to ‘show’ what’s going on. I’m adding more informal words and in that way, cutting the wandering philosophizing that I am wont to do. It is a travel memoir after all, and as such doesn’t need to come off like a dry textbook. Sometimes I feel like the language police are sitting on my shoulder, but the story is becoming more accessible and flowing better.

So instead of procrastinating here any longer, perhaps I will get to the perennial task at hand. To Africa I go, to edit…

* and thanks to A Writer’s Path for the quote and ensuing prompt today.
Be your own best language police

Perseverance

UPDATE:

For those who have been following along with the continuing saga of the writing of my African Adventure, know that I am still at it. A prologue has been re-added to my African tale (I had one, took it out, then completely reworked it), but this time with more details of life before I left Canada. As of last night, my word count sits at 70,646 words and 283 pages. It just keeps growing!

Can I share something with you though? It feels like I might never finish this. I have been writing and editing the story for longer than I was away and it just keeps getting longer. I keep going back to the beginning again and editing from square one. Over and over again! Argh!!

But, every time I go back again the story feels better than the last. The scenes keep on fleshing out and growing bigger. The writing is definitely getting stronger. If I can keep my focus and drive intact, I just might have a pretty decent book once I get to the end of it. And I say “once”, not “if” to keep my momentum going.

One thing I am sure of, I know my memoir will get longer before it’s done.

Thank you to my friends for your advice and insight at this stage. You keep my going and I know you know who you are. If anyone else is interested in beta-reading a section of the tale let me know and I will gladly take your two cents worth too.

For now, I keep editing, and editing, and editing…

Time Enough to Edit

Yeah, I might have a wee problem.

I am a writer. I am a freelance writer, blogger, and ghost blogger. I am also working on a book about my travels through Africa, as well as a memoir about my journey through cancer with my husband.

I guess you could say I have a few irons in the fire. When it comes to blogging, it is a relatively quick and easy thing. Think up a topic, do a little research, dash off a few hundred words, add a picture or two, scan and edit as necessary, then PUBLISH. I realize it is not always as easy as that, but blog articles are generally fairly short. That is the nature of blogging. It is quick to write, quick to read, but hopefully not entirely quick to forget.

Oh, plus add in a little invoicing for the paid blogging that I do.

My other projects aren’t quite the same thing though. When I wrote my African Tale, I got smart. I figured that if I set myself to writing a new chapter each week via my blog, I would eventually write the whole story. And you know what? It worked! It took a while, but I managed to go from Canada, to Africa, and back again. The next step was to edit the story, add some pictures, and blend all the individual chapters together into a cohesive tale. Kind of like blogging in a way I guess.

That is where I am stuck though. I have been stuck here a while. I re-read the original chapters and edit them as I go, fleshing them out as necessary. Since the story was written when my writing styles were still a little green, there is plenty of editing going on. And every time I jump into the story, I find that I add new chapter titles, or new divisions between sections, or I completely rewrite sections. Which takes time. Lots of it apparently.

And I wonder if I will ever be done.

I think it is time to pencil in daily editing to my work schedule or I’ll never see the end of Africa, let alone my other book. And speaking of that book, I have completely started it from the beginning again, but in a different voice! Will I ever get to the next phase? How about query letters, negotiations with editors, and all of that fun?

Editing disorder support group? Hmmm…