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A discussion to stoke your writing fire.
Posted: 2/19/2010 7:05 AM PST
There are some really good tips there.
I'm going to try some. I already have a writing habit of writing in the morning- after feeding my seven month old daughter.
Writing in silly place might be my sort of thing. lol.
I use to write easily too, back when I was still a school student. I think it was because I wasn't taking my writing seriously.
I wish I could write two pages, half of the time I struggle to reach half a page.
There again though, at least I still write something, even if it is just a paragraph.
Posted: 2/15/2010 9:59 AM PST
THANKS!!!! i am definatly going to try some of these!!!! i am stuck in my novel and very frusterated!!! thanks again!!!!!
Posted: 1/10/2010 9:23 AM PST
Thanks, this is great! I will have to try some of these techniques next time i am blocked.
Posted: 12/27/2009 4:19 AM PST
Wow, I saw so many things I recognized from a time when I was writing easily, but I forgotten what it was that made it that easy to keep going every time.
The switch-your-writing-tools is really helpful. I even print what I type so I can write on it sometimes.
Thnx for sharing this all!
Posted: 11/25/2009 3:09 AM PST
this was really helpful. thank you for taking the time to write this down for us.
Posted: 10/10/2009 1:29 PM PDT
Unfortunately no. He died in 2006. He was 82. He has quite a few books though on writing techniques.
Posted: 10/8/2009 3:56 PM PDT
This is really good advice. Does he have a website?
Posted: 10/8/2009 5:46 AM PDT
Posted: 7/31/2009 1:22 PM PDT
I don't know if any of you have heard of Donald M. Murray, but when it comes to writers block, I find he's the most helpful so here's a few Idea's to kick start your thoughts if you just can't seem to get going.
1. Make Believe you Are Writing a Letter to a Friend-- it works if you can't think of anything to write or if you've already started a piece and don't know where to go from there. If it's the latter, then just start telling your friend about your piece. Eventually, you'll find you've gotten carried away and maybe figured out where to send your characters.
2. Switch Your Writing Tools-- I am primarily a pen and paper girl, but if I can't think of anything or get stuck, I switch to my laptop and start typing about anything and everything. About seven times out of ten I get somewhere. As Murray says, "Tools are a writer's toys, and effective, easy writing is the product of play."
3. Talk About the Piece with Another Writer-- I know now a days everyone’s convinced someone is gonna come along and steal your idea, or maybe you're too afraid they'll hate what they read, but it's other people who are going to make your book something great. You can read your piece a thousand times over and think it's fantastic, but you're too close to. It's your baby. So hand it over to a friend or a teacher and ask them to take a look. A fresh eye could be exactly what you need to spark some new ideas.
4. Make Writing A Habit-- I know a lot of us are too busy living our crazy lives to stop and write every day, but that's a load of crap. As a mother of two very VERY rambunctious toddlers, I still manage to stop and take ten minutes out of my day to scribble. I'm sure if you looked hard enough, you could find the time too. Like when you first wake up and you're eating breakfast, or during passing period or lunch at school. Even if it has to be before you fall into bed at night. Find the time. It'll keep you from getting rusty and you never know, while you're chowing down on greasy pizza in the cafeteria, you might have a brain storm and BAM, you've hit the gas line under that pesky writers block and it just like that you're back in business. (P.S- should you ever hit a gas line, please turn off your gas or call someone who can. We don't really want to blow anything up. That's why it's called a metaphor.)
5. Write Directly to A Reader-- This could be someone you know or someone you made up, but this reader should be absolutely crazy about your work. They should be harassing you day in and out about your next chapter. I'm talking your absolute biggest fan, because too-critical readers + writer's block are like a recipe for disaster. They make you feel crappy, like you have no reason to continue writing because this person hates it. I'm not saying you shouldn't have critical feedbackers, because they are essential as well, but when you have writers block, you should have someone, preferably the stalker, to keep you company and cheer you out of it. Once it's done you can get a restraining order.
6, Get a Picture-- Whether you draw it, find it in a magazine, or go searching on Google, a picture is a thousand words of inspiration. When children start writing, they always draw a picture first. It's exactly what writers do, only most of us usually do it in our heads. We visualize. The picture doesn't even have to be what you're writing about to stimulate the flow of writing.
7. Stop in the Middle of a Sentence-- Murray is a big fan of this. He says, and I've yet to prove or disprove this theory because I have a fear of unfinished sentences, but if you stop, either because you have to go somewhere or have to do something, that when you come back, you can pick up that sentence and be right back into writing. It's like rolling a stone. If you stop it when it's at the bottom of an incline, it's hard to get it going again, but if you stop it half way down all you have to do is give it a little kick and it's rolling all over again. (Dang metaphors...)
8. Write the Easy Parts First-- If you're stuck on a really tedious section, skip it and write the parts you're excited about writing. You can always go back later and fill in the blanks.
9. Put Someone Else's Name on it-- It's a hell of a lot easier to write something that isn't written by you. A lot of writers are self-conscious. So by using a pseudonym (or another name) you take the pressure off yourself and put it on Mr. We Book. He'll get the pressure and you'll be able to write more freely.
10. Be Silly-- "You aren't writing anyways, so you might as well make a fool of yourself." Set completely stupid goals. Ex: Wake up in the morning and agree to finish at least two pages of writing before you can do anything else. So no breakfast, shower, or getting dressed. Don’t answer the phone or the door, until those two pages are full. Or treat yourself. Say if I finish these two pages, I'm going to get myself a giant bowl of strawberry ice cream. Or write somewhere silly. I write in the bathroom, spread out on the floor. Thomas Wolfe wrote on top of an icebox and Ernest Hemingway put his typewriter on a bureau. Nabokov wrote in the bathtub.(My kinda man.) Each writer writes in his or her own way and time. You just need to figure out what's best for you. And as for writer's block, every writer has their own type of explosive. Once you figure out what it is, nothing can stop you.
Hope Murray's been helpful! (Should you make it this far!)