Sep 18 2019
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How (and how not) to compare yourself to other writers

How (and how not) to compare yourself to other writers

We all do it. We all compare ourselves to the people who are good at what we want to be good at, right? Sometimes such comparisons motivate us. Other times, they erode confidence and can lead to chronic negativity and even self-sabotage. Here are four things you need to know to make the right kinds of comparisons, the ones that will light a fire under you to write more and better:

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Sep 11 2019
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Develop these 3 points of connection for more memorable writing

Develop these 3 points of connection for more memorable writing

Think of your favorite stories, the ones that have stayed with you the longest. Perhaps you first read them as a child or young adult, then passed them onto your children or grandchildren. Or maybe you are revisiting a beloved book year after year, delighting in new observations or different perspectives as you move through different stages of life. Have you ever wondered why those stories are so memorable? Chances are, the authors created characters…

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Sep 04 2019
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Maximize readiness for your next great writing idea

Maximize readiness for your next great writing idea

Sometimes, an amazing idea hits at the worst possible time. Maybe you’re in the parent pickup line at your child’s school and out of nowhere, you realize how to solve a problem your novel’s main character is having. Or you’re up to your elbows in tomato sauce during a late-summer canning spree when a strong image or first line of your next poem bursts into your consciousness. How many of those ideas actually make it…

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Aug 31 2019
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Photo writing prompt, September 2019

Photo writing prompt, September 2019

The harvest is imminent. Let’s talk about food: farming, growing, and cultivating it, the journey from seed to sustenance. Consider growing food on a large and small scale, the environmental impact(s), sustainability efforts, and personal fulfillment. How do nature and industry interact in this photo and in the context of our food supply? Or, what is your favorite late summer fruit or vegetable? What of the vibrancy of colors in these veggies that rivals the…

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Aug 21 2019
Comments Off on Helena Writes #14: On the fleeting summer, and the hush that falls

Helena Writes #14: On the fleeting summer, and the hush that falls

Helena Writes #14: On the fleeting summer, and the hush that falls

Helena Clare Pittman, one of the Center’s most dedicated teachers (Writing for Children and Midwifing a Small-Scale Memoir), has written, painted, and taught her entire life. In a blog series called Helena Writes, she shares a lifetime of wisdom, one pearl at a time. Learn more about Helena through the Center’s Teacher Feature, her reflection on teaching writing, and her artist’s website. In her 14th post, Helena reflects on the transience of summer even as it reminds her to respect…

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Aug 14 2019
1

How to develop your writing voice

How to develop your writing voice

A writing voice is a style or a manner of writing that is authentic to the writer. It’s your voice, how you speak and verbally emote, translated to the page. And your voice is the single most important element of your writing because it is what sets you apart from everyone else. Think about how there are billions of people in the world, and we all have distinct voices. Some of us might sound similar,…

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Aug 07 2019
Comments Off on Why all writers should practice free writing, and how

Why all writers should practice free writing, and how

Why all writers should practice free writing, and how

Free writing is writing quickly without regard for audience, spelling, grammar, or even clarity. The intent is to generate content fast, and then proceed with what’s working best or is most exciting to you. The process is simple, but the benefits can be tremendous because free writing allows you to enter a head space where anything goes. Imagine the potential for creativity if you aren’t worried about who will be reading or where that comma…

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Aug 01 2019
Comments Off on Photo writing prompt, August 2019

Photo writing prompt, August 2019

Photo writing prompt, August 2019

In the northern hemisphere, August nights are for the Perseid meteor showers. Do you remember the first “falling star” you ever saw? Did you make a wish? Who were you with, and from where were you viewing? Do you think of science–of astrophysics, of cosmology, of dying stars, red giants, and white dwarves–or of spirituality and the oneness of the universe, when you see this image? What of the human element, the phone lines and…

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Jul 24 2019
Comments Off on Helena Writes #13: On red, green, and writing for children

Helena Writes #13: On red, green, and writing for children

Helena Writes #13: On red, green, and writing for children

Helena Clare Pittman, one of the Center’s most dedicated teachers (Writing for Children and Midwifing a Small-Scale Memoir), has written, painted, and taught her entire life. In a blog series called Helena Writes, she shares a lifetime of wisdom, one pearl at a time. Learn more about Helena through the Center’s Teacher Feature, her reflection on teaching writing, and her artist’s website. In her 13th post, Helena digs deep into her memory to retrieve the sensory experience of painting with…

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Jul 17 2019
1

Writers, set micro goals for major progress

Writers, set micro goals for major progress

I want to finally write my memoir. I want to finish my novel. I want to learn how to write poetry. I have this great idea for a children’s book… It’s good to have goals. As writers, we often focus on the big picture, but let’s face it: the big picture can sometimes feel too big to achieve. So what if we made smaller goals—not giving up on the bigger ones, but breaking them down…

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