Five Little Tricks to Keep Writing

Hello everyone!

If you read my last (slightly doom-and-gloom) post, you might know that I’ve been struggling to motivate myself recently — to write, to work, to do most things (except to eat… I’m always ready to eat). Initially I was letting this get me down, but I’ve thought about it, and realised: if your brain doesn’t want to comply, sometimes you just need to let it be. But if it’s being too stubborn, sometimes there are ways to trick it.

Take writing, for example. Sometimes even the things that are supposed to be fun and enjoyable seem like chores. Yet most writers recommend writing everyday if you want to improve.

How can you do this if your brain is telling you to stay in bed until 2 p.m. to stare at the endless void that is the Internet?

Trick yourself into it. Write without letting your brain know you’re writing, in the following ways:

1. Post-it note stories

Forget filling a blank page, how about covering the surface of a post-it note first? I don’t know about you, but the prospect of an empty document or a fresh notebook page can be daunting, especially if I’m feeling empty of ideas. In comparison, a post-it note seems like a much more comfortable step to begin with.

Because it’s nothing official like putting pen to the perfect page of a new notebook, you can doodle, scribble, try whatever your heart desires. Maybe challenge yourself to tell a whole story within the limited space, or see if you can fill the note without saying anything at all. Doodle with your eyes closed and then tell the story around your drawing. If an idea begins to blossom, you can always advance to the next step: the revision card. 

kelly-sikkema-273133*Cue dramatic music* | Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

2. Tales of post-its past

If you’re having trouble even filling out a post-it note, worry not. Try taking a look at notes you’ve written before, whether those are reminders, shopping lists, whatever. Instead of starting from scratch, change one aspect of something you’ve previously written. Maybe your shopping list suddenly has dragon meat; or your reminder mysteriously instructs you to hire a fruit juggler. Take the story from there: what would happen next?

Continue reading “Five Little Tricks to Keep Writing”

Friday Fictioneers: Glass Soldiers

For Friday Fictioneers, writers respond to a prompt with 100 words or less. Thank you to Rochelle for providing the following photo prompt.

Copyright G.L. MacMillan
Copyright G.L. MacMillan

Glass Soldiers

Gerald watched his glass bottles sparkle.

He sat by the window when the sun just began to think about setting. Warmth bathed over him. Sunlight glinted off the bottles, setting them ablaze in vibrant colours.

Adoration for those little soldiers filled his heart. They were lined up in the order they had been used. Just a few drops of venom, and the sweet contents of each beautiful bottle had been tainted.

But ultimately, it was no tragedy. Those bottles had delivered justice.

As the sun dipped below the horizon, Gerald idly wondered if the liquor store was still open.

*

Words: 99

Thank you for reading! Click here to learn more about Friday Fictioneers, and here to read more writing for this week’s prompt.

Writing Prompt: Quote Me

This year, I am trying The Daily Post’s 365 Days of Writing Prompts to ensure I write at least a little bit every day. I will be posting some of the results here. This is the one from today (4th January).

Do you have a favorite quote that you return to again and again? What is it, and why does it move you?

I’m an indecisive person. Whether it’s a choice of ice cream flavour, or an essay question of many, or even an example to demonstrate that I’m indecisive, I generally have a hard time choosing. So, of course I have had difficulties choosing a favourite quote, since I have a few more than one. After spending some time thinking about it, I managed to bring it down to two. Of course, I couldn’t choose between them, because they are both quotes that I find myself thinking of if someone asks for my favourite.

1. “Being fearless isn’t being 100% not fearful. It’s being terrified but you jump anyway.” – Taylor Swift

Although it may seem typical or cliché for a teenage girl to quote Taylor Swift, this quote has genuinely stuck with me since I read it. It has reminded me that being fearless isn’t always about being completely brave or totally free of any fears. Just because someone is scared doesn’t mean they can’t be fearless, if they dare to push themselves despite those fears. I think this is a more human description of being fearless and reminds me that taking a jump, even one that may seem small to everyone else but is terrifying to me, is still an achievement because I managed to push aside my fears to take a chance.

2. “Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”  – Albus Dumbledore / J.K. Rowling

When things go wrong, it is sometimes easy to become lost in the darkness. I sometimes find myself overwhelmed by the amount of assignments, exams and other tasks I have ahead of me, and when the stress level gets too high, I feel like an enormous wave is engulfing me, while the tide whisks me away further from the shore and sharks are circling me, asking me what electrophoresis is. Even though the workload of a twelfth grader may not seem like much to others, it constitutes the majority of my life right now, and it becomes easy for me to get lost in all the work. When things start to go downhill, this quote reminds me that all is not lost. It helps me to gain a more positive outlook, and to remember that happiness is just harder to see in the darkness, and can be found within arm’s reach by just turning on the light.