How Do I Write…

Who’s old fashioned like me and really likes writing with a pen(cil) and paper? Just me? That’s okay. I know you kids today rely on technology like there’s no tomorrow. Says the 22 year old writing a blog post on her iPad listening to Pandora on her iPhone.

The problem I have with writing that way is it get’s my creative juices flowing a little too well. My brain starts to work faster than my hands. It’s really frustrating to be halfway through a sentence and just suddenly start writing a completely unrelated word. Sometimes I even start one word and it turns into a different word by the end. Then I lose my train of thought.

So, unfortunately, long pieces of writing usually happen through a keyboard. I still use my notebook for excerpts and writing on the go and whatnot. Nothing is more annoying than pulling out your laptop/tablet and getting it all set up just to have time to type a few words before you have to scramble to put it away. And don’t even get me started on the whole mental note concept. Yea, like I’m going to remember 100+ words of a story when I can’t even remember the assignments due today. Besides, when the inspiration hits, sometimes you just gotta write because 100 words can turn into 500 pretty quickly.

But when I do write on my laptop/tablet, I don’t usually have any complaints. I write in Word or Google Docs on my laptop (PC) and Pages and Google Docs on my iPad. Something about writing this way just doesn’t spark my creativity though. I’ll sit in front of a screen for an hour with no clue what to write but once my pen hits the paper, it’s doing something (not always something good, but something is better than nothing). I’ve been considering getting a typewriter though. I think that would be a happy medium, but I’m still questioning whether that’s too hipster. But then again, a hipsters and writers do generally have a lot in common… 

I’ve been toying with the idea of attempting zero/low waste, so producing a bunch of paper doesn’t really fit the bill for that. But if it’s what I have to do, then it’s what I have to do. And that goes for you too. Don’t feel bad for whatever fits you best. If it’s pen and paper like me, start carrying around a notebook and a pen. If it’s typing, then you would probably benefit from a tablet of your choosing. It’s an ivestment of your future, so don’t let anyone shame you into thinking you’ll just be wasting money on something that you’ll only use to play games. I believe in you to be productive. That’s all you need, right? A strangers approval?


How Do I Write…

Motivation for Writing

I’m actually in a Creative Writing Fiction class right now, so I have to write. And It’s wonderful. 

Ashley trivia of the day: My dream job – Writer.

I’m so so soooo bad with words on the spot. I completely admire writers and the ability to just know what you want to say. Not that those two things are necessarily always correlated.

Get back on topic, Ashley

Okay, where do I get my motivation for writing. Actually where I was going in the first sentence I wrote. In class, I’m forced to explore things to write about. I get ideas from other students and from the professor. Last semester, I got an awesome idea for a novel from my professor. This semester, I read the other student’s work and I get ideas on technique and voice. 

I get a lot of writing prompts from Pinterest, too. I got yet another novel idea and a short story idea from prompts on Pinterest. There are endless character bank ideas, dialogue prompts, you name it. Pinterest has everything. 

The biggest source of ideas that I get are actually other writers. Now, this may have a big red “PLAGIARIST” stamp on it, but that’s actually not what I mean. I’m an assistant editor for my university’s literary journal and I read a lot of student work. It’s actually long gone now because I didn’t write it down, but I got an idea based on just one line in a story that I read for the journal. 

If you’re looking for inspiration and ideas for writing, just pick up a book and start reading. Or go on Pinterest and search “writing prompts.” It’s literally that easy. You do some digging until something just sparks in your brain. And then you start writing

Now, I said easy. That’s not really the right word. I meant easy for finding ideas. Writing is not easy. Even for really good writers and word magicians. Edits, additions, cuts, wash, rinse, repeat. It’s a process. 

And where do you get the motivation to actually do that process? Well, I have class and assignment deadlines. But if you’re not in my boat there, there are plenty of ways you can find the motivation to write. I’ve posted about NaNoWriMo before. It’s something to look into if you’re struggling with motivation to just do it. They have NaNoWriMo in November and Camp NaNoWriMo in the summer. Seriously-look into it. Otherwise, you’re just going to have to set personal goals and do your best to stick to them. That may work for some of you, but it just doesn’t for me. At least not when I have other priorities like school. Maybe set up a reward system? I honestly don’t know. I just write when I have the inspiration and/or a due date coming up. 

Okay, byyye.

Motivation for Writing

Writers Block

What do you write when you can’t seem to figure out what to say? As I’ve noted previously, I have issues finishing things. Which makes it really hard figuring out what to write. Finding the ending of a story is basically the equivalent of stating what you want your whole story to be about. For me, this is extremely difficult because I don’t usually have a message I want to engrain into the story when I start. No moral or ethical underlying translation of the surface story. Which is the best part of the story, am I right? I don’t have this particular issue in any of the other things I do. I don’t find the need to put a subliminal message in my art (intentionally). Or in the clothes I wear. The color of my hair. Nothing.

But writing is hard. I have issues with words which is why I like writing. I speak as if English isn’t my first language – even though it is. I forget words and I fumble over my sentences. I long to be a gracious wordsmith, so I write. If I can’t figure out how to say it out loud, I’ll put it on a page…

If I could figure out what it was I wanted to say… That’s the thing about writers block. It’s terrifying and defeating. But all it takes is one spark of inspiration to lunge your sword into the belly of the beast and let the words flow out of the wound. 

I’m currently looking for that perfect inspiration. I keep getting beautifully inspired for settings or characters, just no plot or storyline that I can see. It just takes time, so if you’re going through the same thing as I am…

I urge you to just be patient and actively observant. You never know what will spark your mind to start writing.

And on a side note: If you have a spark of inspiration, stop what you’re doing and write it down. Text or email it to yourself. DO NOT LET THIS OPPORTUNITY PASS YOU BY! I can not tell you how many times I’ve thought to myself that I will remember it in the morning but the idea dissipates before daybreak. It’s infuriating. 

Okay, I think that’s all for today. Byyye.

Writers Block