Day one as writer

Today is day one of my writer life, in a serious manner. It’s the first day when I have scheduled time for free writing in the morning. I’ve written in bursts before, quite a lot some days, zero most days. That’s not a working way to the elusive book that I might end up writing.

Today is day 28 of writing the morning pages, inspired by the book “The Artist’s Way” which I hope will help me unleash the creative forces within (and without). Those morning pages, I write around 500 words, are a great way to create a writing habit. I say it takes 28 days to create a new habit, that seems accurate in this case since my free writing started today.

Morning Pages

Yesterday I started reading “The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity”. It’s a really interesting book with a 12 week process to find, or rather recover, your creativity. One tool is the morning pages, to write 3 pages in longhand each and every morning. I started with that today, it worked like a charm and was really fun.

From her website Julia Cameron Live:

The Artist’s Way movement began more than two decades ago as author Julia Cameron shared her ideas with a few friends in her living room. Today, The Artist’s Way has helped millions of people around the world discover–and recover– their creativity.

The Book Depository: Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity

The Artist’s Way is the seminal book on the subject of creativity. An international bestseller, millions of readers have found it to be an invaluable guide to living the artist’s life. Still as vital today–or perhaps even more so–than it was when it was first published one decade ago, it is a powerfully provocative and inspiring work.

In a new introduction to the book, Julia Cameron reflects upon the impact of The Artist’s Way and describes the work she has done during the last decade and the new insights into the creative process that she has gained. Updated and expanded, this anniversary edition reframes The Artist’s Way for a new century.

Update May 18, 2014
Writing morning pages is a terrific habit. Content varies from whining to notes around events in life to things falling in place. Whatever I write it’s a great way to either get things and thoughts out of the system or to achieve clarity. Writing in the morning means I start the day with a clearer mind and soul. Today and yesterday was all about clarity, as I wrote thoughts and concepts I have mulled over the last 2-3 weeks fell in place and made sense.

Learn from why Mashable rules the social media

Marko Saric at HowToMakeMyBlog writes about 9 reasons why Mashable rules the social media. It’s a great post since it list and explains nine reasons which gives you a chance to see what might work for you and your blog.

Under reason eight it says:

There is original reporting and there is curation, which is just as hard, saying, “This is what’s out there, this is why it is important.” Both have their places, and it’s not a case of either or.

I like the curation, like to share what I find and try to say why I think it’s important.

WriteMonkey text editor

Through Another Fantastic Full Screen Text Editor I found WriteMonkey. It says:

Zenware for full screen distraction free creative writing. No whistles and bells, just empty screen, you and your words. WriteMonkey is light, fast, and perfectly handy for those who enjoy the simplicity of a typewriter but live in modern times.

I downloaded WriteMonkey and test it. It’s a great software with many features. I like the easy toggle between full screen (for no distractions) and small window to access other stuff. My only complaint so far is the progress or status bar that has very little information.

Read more:
WriteMonkey Text Editor where it says that WriteMonkey is the new king of full-screen distraction free text editing.

Collective Inkwell

Collective Inkwell is an interesting new blog. The About-page says this:

This is the online studio of David Wright (BloggerDad), and Sean Platt (Writer Dad), a place to showcase our work, and also a place to talk with fellow bloggers, writers and artists who are looking to improve their craft.

The Inkwell is committed to inspiration, collaboration, superlative storytelling and what it takes to capture the creativity inside us all. We’re always seeking methods to improve our craft and eager to pass on everything we find in the hope that it will help you to perfect your own. Whether you hire us to help your company or are here to talk shop, we’re glad you stopped by.

Learn more in Welcome to the Inkwell. I have subscribed to their feed and look forward to what’s coming.

Q10 text editor

Maki, @doshdosh, tweeted about Q10 text editor. It’s freeware and Q10 says it is “a simple but powerful text editor designed and built with writers in mind”.

There are several interesting features but what hooked me is this:

Perfectly portable. A single self-contained executable file. That’s all. Easy to use with a pendrive, so you can carry your writing environment with you everywhere.

Update April 11,2009.
I have installed and tested Q10. It is a bit odd (to me) to have a totally blank screen without any visible distractions. I like the typewriter sound when writing, getting an audio feedback is actually great.

Q10 is a plain but powerful text editor. No formating can be done, all you can do is write which is the sole purpose of this software. Q10 creates txt-files, import them into your word processor of choice and do the formatting there.

You can have an information bar that shows current number of words, pages, lines, paragraphs and characters. Quite useful in order to see your writing progress.

In summary – I like Q10 and will use it when I need to focus on my writing.

Read more:
Q10: My New Favorite Text Editor
Q10: Text editor with a difference

How to write well part 2

Based on a comment to How to write well I answered:
My own top writing tip would be to write about what you are passionate about and to let the passion show. When someone combines passion and knowledge almost any topic is worth reading about.

Skellie writes about “How to Write Like a Painter” where she picks a painters way of working and applies it to writing.

Once you have an idea for an article it’s relatively easy to work out what you want to say. It’s the how that trips us up, so often causing writer’s block. We’re trying to paint a masterpiece in the first sweep, when every great masterpiece grows from very humble beginnings.

Anna Goldsmith has a guest post at Copyblogger about Five Easy Steps to Editing Your Own Work. Editing can be boring but is needed to make things as correct as possible.

DailyWritingTips has a post with 34 Writing Tips That Will Make You a Better Writer. It is a useful collection of tips from readers. I like this one:
Learn the rules of good writing… then learn when and how to break them.

Brian Clark at Copyblogger writes about How to Use the “Rule of Three” to Create Engaging Content.

You see the Rule of Three used all the time across diverse areas of life. Why? Because information presented in groups of three sticks in our heads better than other clusters of items.

DailyBlogTips has a guest post by Mike Smith about The Art of the Follow-Through: Every Great Headline Needs an Even Better Opening Paragraph.

You should be using your headline as an attention grabber and something that’s going to sting when hit with it, or in the blogger’s case, it should grasp the reader’s attention. Your introduction paragraph should be a combination of punches that really rock the reader and stop them from moving forward to the next website.

Mike rounds off his post with “The knockout blow: The final paragraph”.

If you write well you want to be seen, Leo Babauta has a post at Copyblogger about Go Big or Go Home: Why Being Bold is Critical to Getting Noticed.

Do you sometimes have a problem with getting started? Check out Ready, Set, Write! at DailyWritingTips.

One of the biggest problems people have with writing is getting started. A blank page (or computer screen) can be intimidating, but prewriting is a great way to overcome that intimidation.

This was originally posted at another (now extinct) blog of mine.

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