1. Being a good writer means being a good reader. Visit your school library, township library, local book store/s, or borrow books from friends.
2. Read stories and articles in children’s magazines. Read an e-story.
3. Pick a writing topic you’re familiar with or one that gets you so excited you could burst! Decide if it will be fiction or non-fiction. Keep an idea list.
-Write about a sport you love.
-Write a story about your pet.
-Write a mystery.
-Write a biography about someone you admire.
4. Think about what ifs.
What if the main person in my story could hear other people’s thoughts?
What if a werewolf came into my classroom.
What if the clock turned back and my teacher was now my age?
What if I was the Principal of the school?
5. Think up story problems and keep a list.
-Ask yourself how your characters in your story can get into trouble.
-You might need more than one problem.
-Problems make your story more interesting.
-Think about how the problem could get solved and who you want to solve it.
6. Make an outline for your story.
-Make notes about how you want to begin and introduce your characters and setting.
-Make notes about your story problem/s.
-Make notes about how the problem can get solved.
-Make notes about possible endings to the story.
7. Start your story with a couple of terrible sentences.
-The hardest part is getting started. This practice moves your brain right into the story without getting too hung up on the quality of those sentences at first.
-Take your terrible sentences and polish them till they shine. Revise, revise, and revise some more.
-Have other people read your story and get their opinions. Read your story out loud. Do you trip up on any words? Does it make sense to your listener/s?
-Put your story away for awhile and then take it out again. It will look and sound very different.
Use all your senses to describe things and draw your reader in.
Use great description. This will also draw your reader in.
Make sure you have a solid beginning, middle, and satisfying ending.
Ever feel anxious, unsettled, or just off? Here is a powerful grounding practice using your written words. Close your eyes for a few moments. Describe on paper in detail:
Five things you see.
Four things you feel.
Three things you hear.
Two things you smell.
One thing you taste.
When finished, take ten slow deep breaths. Read what you wrote. Re-evaluate how you feel.
Hunger Games, Game of Thrones. Are they literary representations of life? Allegories. Do they go deeper than what we read or experience in the book, film, or show? Do they represent how people have become connected or disconnected from each other? What value is placed on life?
From the very top down, are we all divided? Or are we all one. Where does this sit within you?
The time in between is the best time. It is a time to take in every moment, every gesture, every sight, sound, smell, and taste. It’s holiday time, it’s always. The time is now. Savor it. Pause and draw your awareness to the moment. Fully in it. Breathe in the life force. Live life now. Make your “dash” count.
Simplicity is an art form. It is under appreciated. How often do we find ourselves impressed with speech, works of architecture, works of art, or even concepts that are so complicated – in their essence – that we keep looking at them and thinking about them? While there is a place for this, try looking at something simple. Something that allows you to view it with ease and clarity. There is beauty in this. The mind can take it in and process it without over thinking. Opinions, emotions, and perceptions can take form with more immediacy. Simplicity is accessible. Simplicity transcends differences in age, gender, background and so on. Simplicity is powerful. What do you do to bring about simplicity?
From “A Thought for Each Day” The Golden Present by Swami Satchidananda, the amazing Yoga Master who opened Woodstock in 1969 setting the stage for peace:
When anything comes to you, first ask yourself, “Will I be maintaining my peace by getting this, or will my peace be disturbed?” Ask that for everything. People you would like to be with, possessions you would like to acquire. It doesn’t matter what you want to do; strike that against the touchstone of peace. “Will this rob me of my peace?” If the answer is “Yes, you must choose peace or the other thing,” you should always choose peace. If the answer is, “My peace will not be disturbed by it,” okay, you can have that and still have your peace. That should be our aim.
Wise words. Think about the next time you’re ready to hit send on a controversial email, whether it is in business or your personal life. Is it biased, is it political, is it religious? Any of these may be okay. But take it a step further by asking yourself if this will disturb your peace in some way. If the answer is yes, save it as a draft and think on it a bit more. If it is something on social media, save your post or reply for a later time or day. Set a reminder in your phone.
Life is choices. It’s helpful to choose wisely for your serenity!
My mom quoted this saying often and there is substance in it. Throughout our lives we acquire things. Fancy kitchen gadgets, shoes, electronic devices, clothes, perfumes/colognes, cute things, practical things….you get the picture. We think we need them and that they make some aspect of life easier. But do they really? All of them? There was a time when we left our homes without a phone and the world didn’t come to an end. There was also a time when there were only a few bottled water choices, a few coffee choices, limited TV channels to watch and no trophies for sports competitions we didn’t win. There was a time when there were only board/card games to play until Atari became the rage. Do these changes define us? Have these things made us better humans? Do we communicate better with technology or has it removed something in the way we interact with others? Has more made us less?
Note: The 30.3+ million IT and computer systems in the world account for approximately 2% of global greenhouse gas emissions making them a formidable opponent in managing climate change. This is expected to double in 5 years according to the Worldwatch Institute.
Read more about my book, The Capitol, and my “Writer’s Journey.” Just click below on the My Interview link. Enjoy!