Don’t Chuck It!

Writing last week, I felt the need to say the same thing I had in an earlier chapter, but in a different way so as not to sound repetitive. I decided to check my “Too Good To Toss” list.

If you don’t have one of these lists, you need to start one. Inevitably you will write something that you just love, but your editor or critique group will say it doesn’t work in your current writing.

Instead of being heartbroken that the world will not get it to read your carefully-crafted sentences, simply copy them into a file you can easily access for future use.

So, I resurrected a short paragraph I had written for a prior publication (but didn’t use) and slipped it into my current document where it worked perfectly.

So don’t trash phrases, sentences, or even paragraphs that you just hate to let go of; instead repurpose something from your Don’t Toss list!

(I also have lists of story ideas, book titles, etc. You never know when they may be useful.)

Writing Opportunities

I am always looking for new writing avenues, so I Googled 2021 Writing Opportunities and came up with this short list of the most popular and “available” opportunities for authors: Movie and television scripts, grants, magazines (most popular: poetry, relationships, parenting, and personal stories.)

There is a breakdown in each of these categories on www.medium.com. I have no further information on this website except to say that it is fairly new and already has thousands of followers. You may want to check it out. 

**Next week’s blog post will be a list of the Top Twenty of my most-liked blogs from the past six years! I’m due for a walk down memory lane. How about you?

Lists, Lists, Lists

Someone asked me the other day where I write. I quickly answered, “In my home office.” But, that simple question got me thinking about the endless possibilities of places to write that would be relaxing, inspirational, or energizing. And before I knew it, I was generating a list for future reference which I thought I would share, here. Sometimes a simple change of scenery might be just what you need to kick-start your writing day.

I closed my eyes and started my list at home: on a lounge chair in the backyard under a leafy tree; in the comfy reading chair in the bedroom; at the kitchen table with a cup of coffee; on the sofa in my husband’s “Man Cave” (television off and when he’s at work, of course); floating on a raft in the swimming pool.

I expanded my space to include my neighborhood: at the common area we call the “park”; on a bench at the end of the street; at the table in a quaint little gazebo in the middle of our subdivision.

I came up with quite a few more as I enlarged my thoughts to include our entire city:  near the fish pond about a mile from my house; in the sports park (when no games are being played); at one of dozens of coffee houses throughout the city; on a porch swing; in a flower garden; near the sandbox where several children are quietly playing; near a waterfall; in a mall or the corner of a bookstore.

Since I love to travel, I began to think of inspiring places which could easily be compiled into a writing bucket list: sitting near Niagara Falls; overlooking the ocean; in a warm cabin with snow falling outside; on a deserted island; on a sailboat; in the rainforest; at the top of Mount Everest; at the base of the Statue of Liberty; at the President’s desk in the White House; in an art museum; on an airplane; in a hot air balloon; on the porch of the Grand Hotel on Macinac Island.

That list led, conveniently, to when I could write: at sunset; at dawn; during a blizzard; in the middle of the night; after a good meal; on a spring morning.

When’s the best time to write, emotionally?  When I am extremely happy; sad; feeling ‘blue’; lonely; angry; frustrated—any intensely emotional time.

I found that I could keep making—and adding to—list after list. I plan to reread them when my inspiration seems to be depleted. When ideas aren’t coming as fast, and as clear, as I feel they should. Using them to give me that spark—that edge.

So, thanks for the original question. I think I’d better grab that cup of coffee, walk down to the gazebo, and get to work. How about you? Care to try some place new and inspirational?

Have a great day!

Brenda