Category Archives: Writing

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Learn how to start a career as a copywriter for less than $25

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Have you ever wondered if your writing hobby could actually become a career? The good news is that there’s a path a whole lot simpler than trying to write and publish a book. May we suggest: copywriter. 

SEE ALSO: These online writing classes can help you finally write that novel

Even if you’ve binged every season of Mad Men and feel like you could do the job easily, you should still make sure you know the lay of the land before you start sending that résumé out to every ad company in a 50-mile radius. Read more…

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Want to write a novel? This mobile-friendly writing app is on sale for less than $20.

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If the next Great American Novel is strewn upon your desk in stacks of papers and Post-It notes marked up with half-legible scribbles, meet your saving grace: Storyist for Mac.

SEE ALSO: Prep for National Novel Writing month with these online writing courses

This word processor is different than the Microsoft Office 2007 that’s been sitting on your laptop for eons in that it’s a mobile-friendly writing platform specifically designed for fiction writers. Within the app, you’ll find framework and stylesheet templates designed to help manage complicated projects like screenplays, though you can also customize your manuscripts to best suit your distinct writing process. Read more…

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J.K. Rowling just tweeted the sweetest reply to a struggling writer

J.K. Rowling may have a reputation as something of a Twitter badass, but she has a softer side too.

SEE ALSO: 27 times J.K. Rowling was the hero we all needed in 2016

On Sunday, a 23-year-old aspiring writer and Harry Potter fan took to Twitter to share a feeling all aspiring writers will know well: frustration.

I want to write like @jk_rowling or @StephenKing but it’s too hard for me. I’m demotivated. I’ll never finish my bookpic.twitter.com/5drO1Ki2Kd

— Roi-Sorcier d’Angmar (@_Uruk_Hai_) November 12, 2017

Despite the fact that Rowling’s feed must be absolutely inundated with tweets, though — not to mention the fact she’s almost certainly busy writing herself — she still found the time to respond. Read more…

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#FOMOWRIMO

November always makes me feel like a failure.

Not only am I incapable of, and not terribly well disposed towards, growing a moustache to make it a charitable #Movember, but then #NANOWRIMO pokes up its clever, superior little head and makes me feel bad about my attempts to write as well.

For the uninitiated, #NANOWRIMO decrees November to be ‘national novel writing month’, challenging those people who have always felt that they’d like to write a novel to write a certain number of words every day in November, aiming to have a novel at least started by the end of the month.

I can make all sorts of excuses about November being a busy month, but really, it’s a whole mixture of things which makes me steer away from #NANOWRIMO just like I gripped my husband’s arm as he steered to avoid hitting a young fox on a lonely country road on the first night of this dark month.

I have always wanted to write. My students know it – to their despair, sometimes, as I put a Word document up on the interactive whiteboard and try to write with them when I set them a task in class. My friends know it, as I sometimes send them links to blog posts and they are always charitable enough to find something nice to say. I know it myself, as I do that thing when something happens in real life, thinking ‘oh that would be great to write about,’ filing away the experience almost at the expense of living in the moment it creates. But there’s something about fiction that I just can’t do. I’ve developed ideas from my own experience or that of others, developed characters from people I know or complete strangers, plotted, subplotted and dreamed… yet when I sit in front of the blank screen or the blank page, it simply doesn’t work. Maybe I just don’t have a good enough imagination; maybe I just don’t have the talent. Either way, the thought of an obligatory month of creative writing for ‘those that can’ just makes me feel even more like a failure, even more than usual.

I always associate November – specifically, the first Monday morning of November – with standing in line in morning Assembly as the Headmaster recited the same poem every year with an expected regularity which I found enormously comforting. It was a poem about November, concluding
‘No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds,
November!’

It was as though the time after Half Term, when all the leaves from the school’s huge chestnut tree had disappeared, was making a statement of being different from the month before with the glorious autumnal colours and occasional warm, sunny afternoons. Things were serious now: working towards the Christmas exams with no fine weather or beauty of nature to distract us. The poem, by Thomas Hood, includes lines like:
‘No dawn – no dusk – no proper time of day…’
and
‘No inkling of the way – no notion’,
and it amazes and impresses me that our Headmaster had the empathy to use a poem which summed up, so frankly and so bleakly, just how difficult his students and teachers might find one of the darkest months of the year. It wasn’t an era when much was known about mental health struggles… yet he seemed to be telling us he ‘got’ it. As always, he seemed to be encouraging us to persevere and do our best, which was what he always seemed to do himself.

I don’t seem to be able to persevere with things like #NANOWRIMO, though, no matter what I do. And it gives me that particularly contemporary malaise, undefined if not completely unheard of in my schooldays: #FOMO, the Fear of Missing Out. Oh how I suffer from #FOMO when I see friends or colleagues on holiday, even when I know I couldn’t enjoy what they’re loving for a whole range of complex reasons. When I see crowded local wine bars full of revellers and know I’m going home to enjoy gluten free toast and a cup of coffee… my enjoyment of the simplicity of my chosen comfort food undimmed, but a small voice niggling that I should be out enjoying myself in a restaurant which I don’t even much like…

I’m going to do my own thing in November. I’m not going to grow a moustache. I’m not going to write a novel. I’m not even going to write a novel about growing a moustache, a moustache perhaps with #FOMO that it’s only a moustache and not a beard. Instead, I’m going to try to enjoy the things I’m doing, and worry less about feeling left out or left behind the exciting adventures of other people’s lives. I’m going to try fearing less about missing out, and appreciate what is actually really happening in my life. I might feel like a failure, with my lack of narrative, but I’m going to persevere and do my best: even if I feel as though I have ‘no inkling of the way‘.

No feeling like a failure, and maybe I’ll write about it, this November. #NOFOMOWRIMO.

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First museum of U.S. writing puts a high-tech spin on all your favorite work

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CHICAGO — The American Writers Museum, which opened its doors to the public Tuesday here in the Windy City, doesn’t look like much from the outside. 

It occupies the second floor of a nondescript office building in the middle of downtown, plain old 180 N. Michigan Ave., and your biggest problem getting here is that you might walk into the Citibank downstairs by mistake. 

But the first rule of literature applies here: Don’t judge a book by its cover. 

Inside is a surprising little gem filled with 13 interactive exhibits that are the opposite of a stodgy old library. The curators of this, the first-ever museum devoted to American writing, have taken pains to appeal to people of all races, genders, and creeds, even if they’re not big readers.  Read more…

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