Tag Archives: tips

My experiment with Morning Pages

morningpagesThis past week, I’ve explored an exercise called Morning Pages. Julia Cameron of The Artist’s Way explains writing three pages, each morning, in longhand, is a great way to clarify your thoughts and remove ‘cloud thinking’ Sort of like quieting the ‘monkey mind’ in Zazen meditation.

I figured I’d give it a try. I got an old notebook, my favorite pen, and first thing when I got up, after coffee, and ready to start my day, I’d write those pages.

This is what I learned:

Three pages is too much. Two was a bit much for me. Writing in longhand is arduous for me. It hurts. My hand cramps. My handwriting is barely legible. The simple act of writing isn’t so simple for me, which is why I prefer to type. I forced myself to do write two pages instead. Even that felt like I was working through molasses. My monkey mind wanted to be free, and struggled the entire time.

Consider the size and type notebook. I used a composition notebook, which meant almost full 8×10 page, so a Moleskin diary provides smaller pages. Spiral notebooks provide a choice in size as well as writing on flat page.

I complained a lot. Because I didn’t enjoy the entire process, my ‘thoughts’ often centered on how I hated my handwriting, or that I had nothing much to write because my brain barely functions when I first get up.

Three pages took a block of time I could be doing something I enjoyed. While I struggled through this exercise, I wasn’t working on the number of things I wanted to get done (and would enjoy more doing).

On the other hand, I want to share my own advice on this process;

Don’t feel you have to do mornings. Select the time before you’re going to get started on writing to help clear the junk in your head. Since I write in the evenings, I’d write/type after dinner and before I started writing.

Keep a list of prompts to get you started. These can include anything from fiction prompts, to prompts that provoke insight into the inner workings of you mind.

Freewriting for 10-15 minutes instead. Freewriting does the same thing Morning Pages promises- to help with clarity. It can also jump start creativity. It focuses more on the nonsensical and unrestricted ideas in your head. In other words, freewriting is supposed to be a brain dump.

Go in with a better attitude. I fully admit I didn’t have the right mindset for it to work. Even if I started complaining/whining, switch to more pro-active thinking, and move on. Unhappy with the strain of thought? Scratch it out and start again. No one will read it.

Have you tried Morning Pages? Do you need to find clarity to sort out thoughts to write? What are your experiences in freewriting? Please comment and let me know your thoughts.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Author, Handy Links and Resources, resources, The Writer's Journey, tip

Word Processing: 10 Cool Keyboard Tricks

635668531364735101

While editing a manuscript, I found a need to make the process faster with the use of hotkey (keyboard shortcuts), wildcards, and some keyboard tricks to get things done.

These work only in MS Word.

Doing this

Does this

Pressing the dash key 3x will create a horizontal line in your document

== =

Pressing the equal key 3x creates a double line in your document

Ctrl   H

Opens the Find/Replace feature.

Ctrl  E

Aligns text and graphics to center

=rand(08,10)

Type this in your document creates random text if you ever need to add random text.

^p^p

^p

Using Find/Replace, put ^p^p in Find and ^p and this removes manual spaces between paragraphs

Ctrl  SHIFT  m

Inserts a comment where you put your cursor in the document.

SHIFT  F7

Pressing these two keys open the built in Thesaurus. You can often find synonyms by RIGHT-CLICKING over a word. You will choices of words to use.

LEFT CLICK

The mouse

Clicking a word twice will highlight the word. Click three times, and you select the entire paragraph.

 

Find these useful? Share with your friends, subscribe, or leave a comment to let me know. If you have any questions or ideas you’d like me to post a blog about, leave me a note.

Leave a comment

Filed under Editing, Program, tip, Tuesday Tip

Link: 10 Tips to Promote Your Book on Social Media

10tips

10 tips to Promote Your Book with Social Media– very cool ideas. I’m starting an ‘idea notebook’ to copy the tips I want to follow, and take notes on what works or not. This way I can share my own experiences later with my readers.

Not every tip works so well, but you often have to take action and take it again for it to work.

Leave a comment

Filed under Handy Links and Resources, Marketing

NaNoWriMo 2015 Prep

The NaoNoWriMo, known as The National Novel Writing Month, was started in 1999 by Creative writer, Chris Baty. (see No Plot? No Problem!).

If you check out the web site, it explains the basic rules of writing fiction of 50,000 in thirty days in any genre, including fanfiction.

Back in 2007, I completed the National Novel Writing Month challenge. I learned a great deal, however, I’m not sure if I’d dedicate that sort of time again. Grueling, time consuming, I found myself not enjoying the writing process at all. It was much like boot camp; forcing you to write through pain, doubt, and everything else.

But others take on the NaNoWriMo almost every year, and I often suggest writers try it at least once for the experience, to see what you learn about yourself. Even if you fail to reach the 50,000 words in 30 days challenge, you still gain insight into yourself.

My tips:

  • Get writing done early in the day. I set my time for this because if things come up, you still have the rest of the day to make up the word count.
  • Get friends and family on board. My first time, I ended up friending someone who ended up teasing me when I fell behind- DO NOT DO THAT. You want a support system, not naysayers or competition. You want encouragement, not someone to cut you down.
  • Have your plot and characters planned out before November 1. In 2011, I tried NaNoWriMo but had nothing planned and quit a week into it. It was too stretched between ideas and plot changes to accomplish much. Have the most basic of conflict>climax>resolution outlined.
  • Don’t beat yourself up if you miss a day. You can make up the word count on a weekend or tacking on writing time throughout the week.
  • Even if you don’t reach the 50,000, the process can still prove valuable as a learning tool, as well giving you a block of writing you can edit later.

Post in comments your own experience with the NaNoWriMo, if you plan to join this year, or questions/comments about it. Winking smile

1 Comment

Filed under Nanowrimo, tip