Tag Archives: writing

Who will you be today?

20 Apr

Who will you be today?


I am constrained by an identifier

That took consciousness and effort to announce


I am a writer


I am constrained by an identifier

That took consciousness and effort to separate

From my self doubt


I am not a writer


I am anchored now

I fight for my place here

The more I struggle

The more I sink


I drown

But seek no air


I want to be right

For I am a writer

And you can’t tell me otherwise


I fight to be right

For fear that I am wrong


I fight to be right

And sink further


I fight to fit the mould

But am creating cracks


Let the cracks become tears

And the tears become breaks


Let yourself float


Who will you be today?



I’m writing a novel in a month. I’m an idiot.

28 Oct

I signed up for NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month. What this means is I agreed to attempt to write a novel in a month. I need to write 50,000 words to “win” Nano.

Signing up was easy, and now I am proceeding to the next logical step: freaking myself out.

I’m working on a Superhero story. I thought I had a good chunk done, and realized that I only have 3000 words.

3000/50,000 words = 6% completion.

Then I thought, ok I wrote a thesis. That was a long thesis, if I could do that, I can do this.

I nervously retrieved my thesis from my many unorganized folders.

It was only 11,000 words.

Eleven.Thousand. Words.

11,000/50,000 = 22% of the distance I have to go.

Up until the last sentence, I have written 134 words.

134/50,000 = 0.268%



49999 i got this  not crazy

A Foolproof Guide to Stellar Writing

11 Feb

1. Get nasty and own it

I once asked my friend to help me stage a picture for my LinkedIn profile that screamed “I’m a writer, hire me!” but wasn’t too cliché. She asked me what I look like when I write to help give her an idea of the essence of my writing.

I thought about it. My answer: gross.

I strive for nasty writing. Not “I’m not wearing any underwear” writing, but rather “I’m pretty physically repulsive right now” writing. The kind where you are so into your creativity and brilliance that you don’t care to brush your hair or put on deodorant, and the only time you practice any form of hygiene is when you get up to relieve your bladder of the venti coffee you just drank. Or you need to wash your hands because the sebum from your fingertips is making it hard to accurately type.

I’m a strong believer that showering will wash away creativity and promote social distractions when your friends can bear you enough to talk to you. Inspiration is an elusive creature so it’s important that you hold onto it as long as you can. Who knows when this rogue lover will find you again? Make passionate love to that dirty beast while you can!

That B key doesn't look very sanitary

That B key doesn’t look very sanitary

2. Sleep with a pen and paper nearby

In line with the above advice, it’s important to keep a pen and paper nearby when the beast rouses you awake from the verge of sleep. It’s also a good idea to practice writing in the dark, or if you’re more daring, to practice writing under the glaring light of your iPhone with one eye strained shut in pain.

This method can be tricky when you try to recall a dream that made a lot of sense to you in la-la land but loses it’s Harry Potter-esque fantasy and intrigue when you wake up. For example, I have a sticky note written in blue highlighter that reads “Geisha garden gnomes that hop backyard fences to steal amethyst to save the world.” That’s as far as I got on that pitch.


The unsung hero and likeable protagonist

3. When you get stuck, move

When I find myself lost for words or unable to work out a plot or character inconsistency, I like to take a break that doesn’t involve sitting in front of the boob tube, because let’s face it, once I’m there I’m committed to at least 30% of whatever reality show marathon is on.

Instead, I go for a walk (pen and paper in hand), run up and down the stairs, or even do some ninja* kicks and punches. It gets the blood moving away from the feet and ass (where it has likely pooled due to hours of sitting) and into the brain! A personal favorite counter writer’s-block activity of mine is Hip Hop yoga. Something about listening to street poetry upside down really gets me out of ruts!

*OMG, ninjas would work perfectly in my Geisha Garden Gnome story! I could probably get at least three series out of the GGG franchise (trademark pending).

Downward Snoop Doggy Dog

Downward Snoop Doggy Dog

4. Never revise a rough draft of a section of writing until it’s done

Just go with what comes into your head, and finish off that paragraph or chapter. I’m sure it will be awesome.

5. Have a respected peer edit your revised draft and be prepared to become fully and irrationally invested in your work and respond emotionally and dramatically to all major suggestions

I’m not referring here to the occasional typo or poor word choice, but rather major changes to the core of your work.

Because writing is such a personal and emotional process, it’s important to protect it like a mother duck would protect her duckling: with a big mouth and violence. It is your work, after all. And you are a genius, aren’t you? So aren’t you’re ideas golden? Yes. Yes they are.

It’s important to have that mentality enveloping you so that you stay true to yourself and listen to your gut. Only allocate reason to a small portion of your brain and only let it speak to you when you’re done acting like a prima donna. You owe at least that much to yourself.

This is my favourite part of writing.

Be a diva

Be a diva, Dah-ling