The word writer to me has many implications. I like to write, but to me that doesn’t make me a writer. A writer involves something more. The word has a connotation that is beyond me. I haven’t reached that high, and therefore I don’t consider myself one.
So I wouldn’t want to call this advice from a writer. As I’ve mentioned I don’t like that word. Instead I’d like to share some tips that as a person who enjoys writing can share. Many of us out there are closet writers. We write in the silence of our homes and won’t let even ourselves read the words that we’ve typed out. That’s okay. If you’re simply looking for inspiration, well then welcome to the club. Here’s a few tips on how I find the inspiration to just…keep writing.
1) Write, write and write.
This may seem like common sense but I catch myself not following this simple tip. Some “real” writers like to set out time every day. Maybe, like me, you don’t have the time to spend an hour looking at a blank page. Especially when you have assignments and readings stacking up as time goes by. So instead I’ll offer this: make sure you’ve written a page of something each week (not including homework). It doesn’t matter if it’s super cheesy, it doesn’t matter it is full of grammatical errors. The important thing is you’ve written. When you force yourself to write, you’ll catch yourself writing more and more. The more you write the deeper you get into the story you’ve written. One day, you’ll tap into the good stuff and maybe, just maybe you’ll gather up the guts to share your work.
2) Use Technology to your advantage.
The hardest thing for me is writing a serious, or sad scene when I’m awfully happy or vice versa. How can you channel the pain of a character when your best friend just sent you the funniest meme? Well, for me the easiest way to do this is music and YouTube. Sometimes a clip from a sad movie, can put me in the mindset that I need to be in to write a certain scene. Music is my best friend when writing, certain characters become certain bands and that way I can get into that character’s head. Find out what’s good for you and do it. Who cares if you play a song on repeat for over an hour, that’s what headphones are for.
3). Never stop reading.
Like anything, you can’t be good at something unless you learn from the greats. You can’t be a proper musician without having heard the music from the past. You can’t be an actor without having seen the greatest movies or plays. The same goes with writing. How can you write the next big thing if you don’t know what the big thing in literature is now? Learn from the classics, keep reading. You’ll soon realise that the more you read the more you will want to write. Let books, plays, and screenplays take your imagination places you didn’t think it could go, maybe it’ll help you reach a new level where your own ideas can flourish.
4) Make mini goals for yourself.
When I first started writing, I didn’t realise how important this was. Sure everyone is different, so this one may not apply to you. That being said, if you’re having trouble reaching a certain point in your story this may be a good way to outline your work. On a recent project I made my mini goals by making an outline of the story I wanted to tell. Within that I would space out the content. I would tell myself things like Character A cannot confront Character B until Chapter X. Not too far off, so as to not make it impossible. I would therefore challenge myself to come up with either subplots or interesting adventures to get to that point. Sometimes it worked and I got something awesome from it. Sometimes it was complete crap. If its crap there’s always the backspace button and if it’s awesome well then you just wrote something you didn’t think you would.
5) Read your work back out loud.
This one may be difficult, and it may even sound stupid. Sometimes you can read things in your head a million times and it makes sense, but when you read it out loud it just doesn’t work. This to me, is especially effective with dialogue. Would that character really say that that way? Would you? This may mean that you have to find a spot where you are perfectly alone to do this, but to be honest I usually don’t write in a crowded room anyway.
These are all things I do on a daily basis when trying to write. That doesn’t mean that they’ll work for you. When it comes to writing everyone kind of has to find their own system of doing things. Have any more cool tips and tricks to writing? Let us know in the comments!
Photo Credits: entretodasascoisas.com, cailincymraeg.wordpress.com, and greatinspire.com, platformmagazine.org
About the Contributor: Ayelen Barrios Ruiz Pagano is a fourth year Glendon Campus, York University student double majoring in English, and Hispanic Studies. In her spare times she loves
to read, write, watch TV shows, and movies. She is the writer, creator, and sometimes director of the web series Firsts (found on YouTube, channel: thewhyw). She has also published a book with Safkhet Publishing, which you can purchase here: http://www.amazon.ca/dp/B00IG9M4RO. You can find her on tumblr: Ayelenbrp.tumblr.com as well as her Facebook page which you can find by searching her full name.