Category Archives: Other

Routine

My professor for fiction writing, years ago, told us that the key to writing daily was to get into a routine. Find a specific time of day you want to write and do it, every day.

Except every time I tried, I failed. I continue in some amalgam of a routine, writing usually at night, going into the late hours and hedging into my sleep, more often than not. But I can’t set a rigorous schedule. As you’ll see in the article I link, there are some who agree with me.

But then there are those who don’t. Who speak highly of the routine, of a set schedule of how and when to write and have much to say of the benefits of it.

Either way, I invite you to read the gorgeous piece of The Psychology of Writing and the Cognitive Science of the Perfect Daily Routine by Brainpickings.

-The Novice Wordsmith

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Putting Pen to Paper…

But not Just Any Pen or Any Paper. This is a lovely article that Friend pointed me in the direction of months ago that I meant to share.

It’s the same message that Natalie Goldberg writes about in Writing Down the Bones, within one of the first chapters. To write anywhere, in any format, with any pen or pencil, is to expand how you write in a unique way. It helps build uniqueness, character, experience. To fill notebooks and journals and anything you find in any way, with scribbles or notes, thoughts, or full stories, because you can, because it’s a way to write.

The message isn’t hard for me to take to heart, and I find myself wondering about buying a new journal to fill, giving myself that challenge, but I have a few already that I’ve been trying to do that with…

I will say that it’s incredibly satisfying to finish a journal from front to back. I am, unfortunately, one of those people who stacks journals, but I don’t fill them very often.

Whether you fill it or not, though, and whether it’s a single page or a stack of them bound together, all adds to the experience.

-The Novice Wordsmith

Pick Brains, not Noses

Friends come and go, but profound websites that make you pause and read are forever.

One of my favorite websites these days has became brainpickings.org, which is choc full of all kinds of wisdom and from all over the spectrum of brilliance. From Franz Kafka’s heartbreaking and powerful letter to his narcissistic father, to a rare conversation between Margaret Mead and James Baldwin in a “rap on race,” that spans guilt and psychology and everything in between, this website has a plethora of food for thought to sink your teeth into.

Maria Popova, all on her own, brings to life some smaller, more private, intimate thoughts and details of the lives of the great artists and thinkers of all time. And, in my opinion, she does it so wonderfully.

No, I’m not being paid to talk about this, but I am definitely an advocate for some of the most beautiful things I’ve seen in the past year and change. Learning things about writers who are widely known in one regard, which turns your head in the other direction, or pieces as provocative as the day is long. It’s become something I look forward to, every Sunday morning, something to help me forget the time or wind the long days down. Some things provide wisdom I didn’t know I needed to see so badly.

Really, I felt like sharing. If you’re into that kind of thing, check it out, grab a cup of tea and explore. Some of these pieces are bound to be long, but are well worth it.

-The Novice Wordsmith

“Angels, Demons, and the Writer”– Laurell K. Hamilton

Related to Sunday’s post about having a small voice and getting discouraged, this blog post just came out from Laurell K. Hamilton. Something I needed to see, and wanted to share, for those of us who have demons that like lurking around and telling us it’s pointless.

http://www.laurellkhamilton.org/angels-demons-and-the-writer/ (direct link)

-The Novice Wordsmith

Make a Habit of It

I have this website tracked down on my Websites for Wordsmiths page, but I wanted to shine some light on it in a blog post because why not?

One of the oldest ideas to motivate yourself to get something done is incentive. You do a chore, you reward yourself, it’s a good balance that helps you keep going. Some things are harder to follow that idea with, maybe you aren’t able to track it, you lose sight of it, you give up, and it falls off the way side.

If you are the kind of person who needs something to keep your progress and hold you accountable for getting tasks and chores done, work projects, exercise, etc, Habit RPG might be one of the best things you can invest any time in.

Located here, Habit RPG allows you to enter in whatever you need help with keeping track of or staying on top of, in the form of an RPG (hence the name).  You build your avatar, to look however you want it to, and earn XP (experience points) by checking off habits, dailies and to-dos, as well as money! By level 10, you can pick a class, and buy specific equipment for it.

Equipment is in a category of “rewards”, which you can add to for even more incentive. Want to buy that gorgeous dress you saw while shopping? Put it down in the rewards, and set the amount to reach for you to get it.

If you’re game and incentive minded, it’s an incredible tool. Some personalities and people may not take to it as well as others, but if it works for you, milk it for all it’s worth!

Another site I wanted to touch on was Lit Reactor. I’ve posted a few things from there before, but hadn’t really taken the time to search through the website and see the content.

Litreactor.com is dedicated to writers and writing, fit with online classes, workshops, and the ability to put your own work up and read the work of others, as well as achievements and a community of writers to slink into. No doubt that it is a sort of haven, where you can see articles written by all sorts of authors on basic subjects like grammar, or something more complex, like what you put your hero through.

Litreactor also happens to have smashing suggestions and ways to get your work published, where to reach out and who is looking for authors.

Of course, this is only just a skim off the top of what it all contains, it’s bursting with all sorts of possibilities. I’m kind of wondering why I didn’t get into it sooner…

Either way, both websites are incredible tools, and especially writers. On the old topic of resolutions, Habits can be instrumental in helping you achieve what you’ve put yourself up to. LitReactor can too, if your resolution is to get more involved in the writing community, to find ways of improving your writing, and to get a move on with publishing some of your work.

I hope that you will at least give them both a look!

-The Novice Wordsmith

New Year’s Quiet

I was going to write something long and profound but I couldn’t muster up the desire after I got home from work. It was coming along beautifully, but I may have it wait for Friday or so.

With that, it’s been very quiet around wordpress because of the holidays, so I figured that waiting for the lull to pass might be a better idea. A short prompt/dare will be up on Thursday, as per usual, though, and like I said, I might write something on Friday.

For now, I hope everyone enjoys their new year celebrations! Be safe and happy new year!

-The Novice Wordsmith

Happy Birthday to Friend! <3

I just wanted to add this as an aside yesterday, but I forgot about it. Here it is, though, a day late: a huge, big, awesome, amazing happy birthday to you for everything you’ve put up with from me and how you’ve helped me learn. It’s going on three years that we’ve known each other and since the point I met you, I was learning, I was understanding things differently, seeing them in ways I hadn’t considered.

You’ve done more for me than I could probably think of right now, right away, but if you gave me time, and a jar, I’d probably have it packed to the brim by the time I saw you next.

I know that as you get a year older, you worry about what you’ve done with your life, but I want to implore you not to. You’ve taught me, and so has life, that anything could change in an instant. What we say and do in the face of adversity is what helps us grow and become who we are, and you show me that no matter what your age, there’s still learning to be done.

Thank you, for everything you’ve done, for being here, and being amazing. For encouraging me to write more and to work on this blog and for helping with its upkeep at times by providing posts and your own incredible wisdom that I can never get enough of. For pushing me and telling me I can do more or better. For knowing when to be hard and soft with your words.

Sometimes you may not feel like you’re worth it, but I want to remind you that you are. And it may not be much to slot some time for you on the blog, specifically to say happy birthday and how much I appreciate you, but I thought, for helping me come to this point, that you deserved at least that.

Re-Generator

As a writer, we rely on generators sometimes to help us when we’re stalling out. They help our creative flow and get us thinking, or they fill in where we can’t fill out.

I’ll say that I’ve seen map generators and name generators so far, but I have never seen an appearance generator until today, and I think it is going to be my favorite thing for quite some time.

BAM.

You just have a few things to do in the drop down menus, several specific choices to make, and then voila, it spits out something random for you. It can be as vague or as detailed as you like, including a few physical quirks. From there, be inspired, take or leave what it gives you, but I’m determined to think this is one of the most unique things I’ve seen in a while.

So in case you need it(especially for NaNoWriMo), this is at your disposal now! Have fun!

-The Novice Wordsmith

(Optional) Tools of the Trade: Generators and Floor Plans

One of the things I love to do is come up with different designs, interior and exterior, of my character’s homes. To me, it’s a way to express who they are, and what they like. The size of their home, the amount of rooms, and where it is, all matter, more so depending on what kind of novel you’re writing, if you have more involvement in the building or not.

Sometimes, the action takes place everywhere else, so the house becomes a background thought. It gives you something to focus on when you need a distraction, it becomes filler to help you get a sort of refresh.

E-plans was introduced to me months ago, which is a website that allows you to view thousands of floor plans for a wide variety of houses, ranging in square feet and amount of bedrooms from zero to 5+, including as well: styles!

While E-plans is mostly there for people looking to build a house, the website stands to be a fantastic reference point if you need for any of your writing needs. It can give you a better idea of where your character(s) would live, how spacious (or not) it would be, and even (after you hit search) if they could afford it.

On a much larger spectrum, while talking about maps and new worlds, and how the planet in question is made up, I curbed the desire to draw it out and instead was motivated by my friend’s suggestion to find a world generator.

It’s right here, and it’s amazing. If you’re like me and have no idea what you’re doing, you can rely completely on the random button until you find something you like! On the other hand, feel free to put in random numbers and come up with whatever it spits out, or if you know most of what it asks for, then have fun!

Especially great if you’re not an artist. Or if you’re creatively challenged in that direction, for both the floor plans and the map generator. For whatever your need or desire, have fun! 😉

-The Novice Wordsmith