9 Writing tips, tricks and inspiration

If I’ve learned anything from my time at work since the school semester ended, it’s that whatever you truly want to do, is what you will end up doing. I really love to write. It is a perfect way for me to deal with my emotions and feel like I’m creating something beautiful. You can do so many things with words and I just love the endless possibilities.

During the school year I often tell myself, “If I had the time, I would write all the time. Poetry, short stories, maybe I could even write a book.” And yet, I’m sitting here at work with nothing to do since I don’t have any homework and what have I been doing for the past couple days?

I’ve been stumbling and finding useless things on stumbleupon.com, I’ve been pinning things I’ll never have time to make on pinterest.com, I’ve been stalking random people on facebook.com, and I have been feeling sorry about my weight and looking at pictures of girls who are skinnier than me on tumblr.com. (I’d also like to point out that I have been working on this post for over a week, a little at a time…proving my following point.)

Finally I realized that if I really wanted to be writing right now, that’s what I would be doing. Not wasting my time. I really think that the media has brainwashed me in more ways than one. Not only do I know have an unrealistic goal body type in my head, I also have developed the attention span of a gnat. I can’t force myself to sit down and write, something I used to do ALL the time.

Instead I flit from webpage to webpage spending approximately 30 seconds to one minute on each page. Consider now that I do that while I’m at work from 8-5. Can you even imagine how much random crap I have been looking at. All because my mind is moving too fast to focus on one thing for any given length of time. Maybe it’s time for a media fast.

And yet, here I am, writing a new blog post. I guess my desire to write did get the better of me just this once.

SO…to encourage myself to write more often, I have compiled a list of websites, quotes and short stories, as well as things that I want to write or make blog posts about in the VERY near future. Please, have a look.

writing prompt header

001 Need to write a love letter but sick of using the same old adjectives i.e. “You’re so awesome! I love your awesome smile and your awesome hair and your awesome personality! Thanks for just being so darn awesome!” Well then you need to find some synonyms here.

002 What’s that you say? You’re having a hard time motivating yourself to write because you just love playing with your kitten/cat so much?! Well do I have the website for you. How’s a picture of a kitten for motivation?? Every hundred words you write and BAM! KITTEN! Just try it for yourself here.

003 So you’re more of a list writer than story writer? What do you keep lists of? People you hate? How many times the word ‘like’ is used in your everyday conversations? Things to do? Well get ready to expand your list writing into full productivity mode here.

004 Or maybe you’re good with writing on a regular basis, and you just want to know more about your writing style. Do you happen to write like your favorite author? Find out here.

005 Do you tend to write a lot of clichés? Or maybe you don’t know any good clichés (oxymoron). Research the ones to avoid here.

006 And if you’re having a hard time coming up with a title for your book or story, you can generate a random one here.

007 If you’re having a hard time thinking of what to write about, here are a list of prompts. Some I’ve read in other places, some I’ve come up with on my own. And don’t forget, embellishments just make things more interesting!

  • 25 before 25: 25 things you want to do before you turn 25. (If you are older you could pick a different age like, “35 before 35, 60 before 60, 357 before 357, etc.)
  • Write a meaningful story in one sentence. This one takes a lot of thought and rewrites to make it truly meaningful.
  • Write about a goodbye.
  • Write about your first love and you last love coinciding.
  • Write about a shadow.
  • Write about someone you truly loathe.
  • Your blindness: in what ways are you blind? What are you ignoring about yourself or those around you?
  • Write about a storm.
  • Write about your favorite holiday.
  • Look at this. Write about it. Find other random pictures and do the same.
  • Describe your favorite scent.
  • What/who inspires you?
  • When you think back to your childhood what is the first memory that pops into your head? Write about it.
  • Describe in detail how to do something you love to do.
  • Explain a feeling you have in detail. i.e. anger, love, sadness, empathy, sorrow, happiness, fear, etc.
  • Describe your favorite food. Detail the texture, taste, scent, what it looks like, what it feels like going down, etc.
  • What are you most afraid of? Why?
  • Stream of consciousness. Just start writing.
  • Write about a secret. Your’s or someone else’s.
  • Write about a lie.

008 If you just need some inspiration, I compiled some quotes, stories, books, and poets/poems that I really like:

  • “After a while you learn the subtle difference between holding a hand and chaining a soul, and you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning and company doesn’t mean security, and you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts and presents aren’t promises, and you begin to accept your defeats with your head up and your eyes open, with the grace of an adult, not the grief of a child, and you learn to build all your roads on today because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain for plans. After a while you learn that even sunshine burns if you get too much. So plant your own garden and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers. And you learn that you really can endure… that you really are strong, and you really do have worth.”~Veronica A. Shoffstall
  • Check out the beautiful way that children describe love here.
  • Oscar Wilde had a truly amazing way of saying things, see for yourself. Also by Wilde some of my favorite books, The Picture of Dorian Gray, An Ideal Husband, The Importance of Being Earnest. 
  • I love the author’s description in this story about why you should never date a writer.
  • Theodore Roethke has beautiful poetry. This is one of my favorites.
  • And I can’t forget E.E. Cummings
  • Or Walt Whitman. Have you seen The Dead Poet’s Society?
  • Sylvia Plath. Tragic lives often lead to beautiful words about it.
  • Emily Dickinson.

009 Books that make me think:

  • Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk
  • Invisible Monsters by Chuck Palahniuk
  • Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathon Safran Foer
  • Siddhartha by Herman Hesse
  • Waiting for the Barbarians by J.M. Coetzee
  • The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
  • The Princess Bride by William Goldman
  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
  • Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
  • The Odyssey by Homer
  • As I lay Dying by William Faulkner Bahh! Worst book EVER! Followed closely by Animal Farm…which maybe I don’t have the most reliable opinion of since I read it when I was 11.

Well there you have it. Some great writing resources. I guess stumbleupon can be good for some things considering I found a lot of those websites by stumbling the topic ‘writing’. I’m really excited to write now. And read. Maybe my blog will get more interesting. But that’s doubtful. And for those of you who actually read this far into my endlessly long post, thank you and I’m sorry. And as a thank you, here is a list of relatively useless facts about words. Enjoy.

Word Trivia

“Stewardesses” and “reverberated” are the two longest (and commonly used) words (12 letters each) that can be typed with only the left hand.

“lollipop” is the longest word typed with your right hand.

The only 15 letter word that can be spelled without repeating a letter is uncopyrightable.

No word in the English language rhymes with month, orange, silver, or purple.

“Dreamt” is the only English word that ends in the letters “mt”.

The sentence: “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog” uses every letter of the alphabet.

The words ‘racecar,’ ‘kayak’ and ‘level’ are the same whether they are read left to right or right to left (palindromes).

There are only four words in the English language which end in “dous”: tremendous, horrendous, stupendous, and hazardous.

There are two words in the English language that have all five vowels in order: “abstemious” and “facetious.” (a e i o u)

Typewriter is the longest word that can be made using the letters only on one row of the keyboard.

A “jiffy” is an actual unit of time for 1/100th of a second.

The only city whose name can be spelled completely with vowels is Aiea, Hawaii.