Tag Archives: writing advice

Fivers for Using Timed Writing Prompts

Holy shit, people. We’re talking about writing prompts today! I am all for writing prompts, and you guessed it, here are five reasons why.

  1. The time element is taken care of. No more worrying about whether or not you’ve written enough words. For reals, people, if you set a timer for ten minutes, and you write for ten minutes, you’ve just hit your first goal. Celebrate and have a beer. Or a cookie. Whatever your preferred method is, do it. Then sit your ass back down and do another prompt.
  2. The writing prompt takes care of your brainstorming, too. Seriously, if the prompt says, “A boy walks into the back yard and finds a dead body.” what is there to think about it? You have your protagonist and the conflict.
  3. With the two elements above (deadline and content) determined, it’s all GO TIME once the timer starts. The two act in conjunction with each other to strip away your need to think about your writing, and therefore prevent you from overthinking and getting bogged down in a paragraph or a bit of dialogue.
  4. Writing prompts are bullshit. And I don’t meant bullshit as in disregard them, but bullshit in the vein of you know they’re not going to be literary gold. You can stop stressing about whether or not these little word nuggets are good or not and just fucking write them down. No one, absolutely no one, is going to be reading them and judging your ability as a writer based on these things.
  5. There’s always a diamond in the rough. So while most of what you write isn’t going to amount to the paper (or computer screen) you’re writing it on, you will find a few that are worthy of pursuing and polishing. The age old adage “The more you write…” applies in spades here. Your prompts will provide you with pages of little nuggets to consider.

Woot! You can’t beat those reasons with a stick. Well, you could, but what’d be the point of that? You can’t go wrong by using writing prompts, especially when the words fight you.

Fivers for Writing Every Day

As you can see by today’s topic, I’m going to tell you why should write each and every day. I don’t want to hear any lip from any you. Not a peep. This is one of those crazy “do as I say, not do as I do” kind of post, where I stretch my muscles and provide an ironclad recipe for success. I stand behind this post and these reasons more than I can convey is this short blog.

And here are your five reasons to write every day…

  1. Routine, routine, routine. What you’re doing here is building a good habits. You’ve heard of those people who feel lousy if they don’t make it to the gym, right? Eventually, that’s how you’ll feel if you miss a day of writing because “you didn’t have the time” or “the new season of Top Chef was on Netflix.” There are few acceptable excuses, and you need to get into the habit of writing every day now.
  2. By writing every day, you’re making steady progress in your current project. Even it’s only 100 words a day, that’s 700 words in seven days. That’s 3,000 words in your (average) month. That’s a half a novel in a year, or two novellas, or so and so many short stories. What it is, friends and neighbors, is forward momentum.
  3. Did I just say momentum? I did, and that’s another thing writing every single day nets you: Momentum. Not just in the word count tally column, but more importantly, story momentum. You don’t forget what you were writing or where your scene was going, you can’t just get out of that character’s frame of mind. You’re able to jump back into the writing with only a minimum of interruption, a small out of rereading the prior day’s work. As a sideline note: NEVER EDIT YOUR FIRST DRAFT.
  4. Has anyone ever uttered the phrase “practice makes perfect” around you? I’m sure they have. If you’ve played sports, or an instrument, or just wanted to pwn some n00b in Halo Multiplayer, you had to practice. Sure, you might have had some natural talent or finger dexterity, but that only gets you so far. Same thing with the writing of the words. Talent is a limited stock proposition, and it takes daily work to hone that talent into a skill that’s marketable and therefore bankable.
  5. Last, and maybe this is kind of cheesy considering I’m telling you write every day, but writing each day allows you to take a vacation once in awhile. Well, as much of a vacation as a writer ever takes, but look at it this way: if you’re making steady words, every single day, then when you get sick or the wife/boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/kids have plans that require you to be away from your keyboard, it’s okay. You can assuage that guilt knowing you can afford the day off because you’ve been busting out the words for the last 168 days straight.

There you have it, folks. My five reasons why  you should be writing every day. Questions, comments, hit me!