Word Aversion


(This is a photo that I took on campus. Stealing is bad. So if it’s mine and not yours, then there’s no reason to take it, right?)

Words!

People who love to read and/or write tend to love words. We love phrasing. We love usage. We love their sounds.

Oooh, how words sound.

I don’t have any words I have problems with, but sometimes I feel like I’m the only one. I can’t tell you how many people I know that have issues with the word “moist.” Recently, I came across an article on Cracked about words that people hate.

http://www.cracked.com/blog/6-words-we-should-ban-because-they-make-me-uncomfortable/

I’ve never disliked any of those words. The way they sound is exactly what makes them awesome. It’s good to be uncomfortable. If everyone lived in a happy little padded cell all the time, then life would be safe and boring. It would have the limited amount of textures that were in there with you, and that would be it.

But we have horror movies, disturbing books, creepy poems. Why? Because we as humankind love to be uncomfortable sometimes.

If every word was completely pleasant and unoffensive, then where would we be? Words have weight and meaning and texture. Life is not a clean sheet of white paper. It has twists and turns and colors and patterns and rhythms.

We need words that take us out of our comfort zone. I love words that make other people uncomfortable. (Of course, I love seeing other people feel awkward sometimes, soooo… I don’t know where that leaves me.) Without words we don’t like, where are we? Some bland place with no flavor or variety.

I’m no synesthete, but I think good writing is delicious. It can make my mouth water. I drink it up like it’s the first taste of liquid I’ve had in days.

I’m not averse to words. I relish them.

Your assignment: Make two lists: one of words you like and one of words you dislike. Try to have at least five words in each list. If you’re having a hard time coming up with words, pick words that feel bland to you, that seem too neutral to elicit any feeling (unless you realize that it creates the exact feeling of monotony that you were searching for, of course). Try to quantify what these words make you feel and why you think that is. Write something that uses all of the words. Can you use the words you don’t like to create an enemy for the words you do like? What common themes do you see among each set and how they end up being used in your writing? Let yourself get carried away with this one–it’s all about feeling.

Word Aversion


(This is a photo that I took on campus. Stealing is bad. So if it’s mine and not yours, then there’s no reason to take it, right?)

Words!

People who love to read and/or write tend to love words. We love phrasing. We love usage. We love their sounds.

Oooh, how words sound.

I don’t have any words I have problems with, but sometimes I feel like I’m the only one. I can’t tell you how many people I know that have issues with the word “moist.” Recently, I came across an article on Cracked about words that people hate.

http://www.cracked.com/blog/6-words-we-should-ban-because-they-make-me-uncomfortable/

I’ve never disliked any of those words. The way they sound is exactly what makes them awesome. It’s good to be uncomfortable. If everyone lived in a happy little padded cell all the time, then life would be safe and boring. It would have the limited amount of textures that were in there with you, and that would be it.

But we have horror movies, disturbing books, creepy poems. Why? Because we as humankind love to be uncomfortable sometimes.

If every word was completely pleasant and unoffensive, then where would we be? Words have weight and meaning and texture. Life is not a clean sheet of white paper. It has twists and turns and colors and patterns and rhythms.

We need words that take us out of our comfort zone. I love words that make other people uncomfortable. (Of course, I love seeing other people feel awkward sometimes, soooo… I don’t know where that leaves me.) Without words we don’t like, where are we? Some bland place with no flavor or variety.

I’m no synesthete, but I think good writing is delicious. It can make my mouth water. I drink it up like it’s the first taste of liquid I’ve had in days.

I’m not averse to words. I relish them.

Your assignment: Make two lists: one of words you like and one of words you dislike. Try to have at least five words in each list. If you’re having a hard time coming up with words, pick words that feel bland to you, that seem too neutral to elicit any feeling (unless you realize that it creates the exact feeling of monotony that you were searching for, of course). Try to quantify what these words make you feel and why you think that is. Write something that uses all of the words. Can you use the words you don’t like to create an enemy for the words you do like? What common themes do you see among each set and how they end up being used in your writing? Let yourself get carried away with this one–it’s all about feeling.

A Case of the Lazies


(Same old song and dance. Don’t steal it. Because I took it. Not the best quality, but I thought this tree on campus was cool on a photo spree, so I took a picture of it.)

Some days, you just don’t wanna do anything. Today was one of those days!

Having a Case of the Lazies is not necessarily a bad thing. It can give you a break from the hectic hectic-ness of your daily life. It can let you cool down on the writing and let yourself step back from it for a bit. It’s easier to judge your own work if you’ve taken a break from it. It can let you have a fresh start in creativity the next time you actually do write.

So don’t beat yourself up over a Case of the Lazies. However, you should definitely do something if you feel it happening a second day in a row. Unless you’ve been working non-stop for a long, long time (like months), you need to jump right back into things.

A Case of the Lazies can slow you down, especially if you let it happen often. So look at your lazy days carefully. It doesn’t matter how you spend them. Just keep in mind that you have to get back to work the next day.

I can’t post about the Lazies all the time, so I can’t get on your butt all the time about it. That means you just have to monitor it yourself. If you see yourself having more and more of these days, then you need to step it up! Tuck your head in and run right into the thick of things–write a whole bunch, so much so that you can’t even imagine why you had a lazy day in the first place because you are so proud of yourself for getting so much done.

Your assignment: Think about the last time you had a Case of the Lazies. How long did it take you to get out of it? What did you do afterward? Did you do a lot of writing, or did you take another day off? How do you normally fix your Lazies? Take 10 minutes to write a short piece of fiction about a character who has way too much to do in his or her life. It can be semi-autobiographical if you really want to do that or if it’ll help you get moving and write. Okay? Now get going!

A Case of the Lazies


(Same old song and dance. Don’t steal it. Because I took it. Not the best quality, but I thought this tree on campus was cool on a photo spree, so I took a picture of it.)

Some days, you just don’t wanna do anything. Today was one of those days!

Having a Case of the Lazies is not necessarily a bad thing. It can give you a break from the hectic hectic-ness of your daily life. It can let you cool down on the writing and let yourself step back from it for a bit. It’s easier to judge your own work if you’ve taken a break from it. It can let you have a fresh start in creativity the next time you actually do write.

So don’t beat yourself up over a Case of the Lazies. However, you should definitely do something if you feel it happening a second day in a row. Unless you’ve been working non-stop for a long, long time (like months), you need to jump right back into things.

A Case of the Lazies can slow you down, especially if you let it happen often. So look at your lazy days carefully. It doesn’t matter how you spend them. Just keep in mind that you have to get back to work the next day.

I can’t post about the Lazies all the time, so I can’t get on your butt all the time about it. That means you just have to monitor it yourself. If you see yourself having more and more of these days, then you need to step it up! Tuck your head in and run right into the thick of things–write a whole bunch, so much so that you can’t even imagine why you had a lazy day in the first place because you are so proud of yourself for getting so much done.

Your assignment: Think about the last time you had a Case of the Lazies. How long did it take you to get out of it? What did you do afterward? Did you do a lot of writing, or did you take another day off? How do you normally fix your Lazies? Take 10 minutes to write a short piece of fiction about a character who has way too much to do in his or her life. It can be semi-autobiographical if you really want to do that or if it’ll help you get moving and write. Okay? Now get going!

Sleep Deprivation!


(Campus photo I took! No stealing. ‘Kay? Thanks.)

Wheeee!! What do you do when you’ve not slept enough? Read funny stuff on the Internet and write!

I’ve been feeling icky today, so this will be a super-short post! 307 words today, and 97 words yesterday. Until my stomach gets to feeling better, I gotta work with what I can.

I’m considering writing a little now because I know I won’t remember it in the morning. XD Have you ever done that?

Anyway, sleep deprivation can sometimes provide you with interesting ideas you would normally tell to shut up and go away. Try writing and see if you can mine a few gems out of your incoherent mess. And who knows? You may end up writing better when you’ve not slept. A lot of famous authors didn’t sleep much. They died young, but you know. Yeah.

So, here’s your assignment: Make a mental list of things you would ordinarily dismiss as things you would never, ever write about. Number them. Try to get at least 10 ideas on your list. Go to a random number generator (http://www.random.org/) and input 1-[insert whatever number your list stops at]. What number did you get? Go to that number on your list and spend at least 10 minutes writing about it. If you liked it more than you thought you would, kudos! Do it again! If not, well, you learned you were right in not wanting to write about it. Try the experiment again with something else. Just because one thing didn’t work doesn’t mean another won’t. Whether you liked it or not, at least you expanded your horizons a little and maybe even learned a little something! 😀

Sleep Deprivation!


(Campus photo I took! No stealing. ‘Kay? Thanks.)

Wheeee!! What do you do when you’ve not slept enough? Read funny stuff on the Internet and write!

I’ve been feeling icky today, so this will be a super-short post! 307 words today, and 97 words yesterday. Until my stomach gets to feeling better, I gotta work with what I can.

I’m considering writing a little now because I know I won’t remember it in the morning. XD Have you ever done that?

Anyway, sleep deprivation can sometimes provide you with interesting ideas you would normally tell to shut up and go away. Try writing and see if you can mine a few gems out of your incoherent mess. And who knows? You may end up writing better when you’ve not slept. A lot of famous authors didn’t sleep much. They died young, but you know. Yeah.

So, here’s your assignment: Make a mental list of things you would ordinarily dismiss as things you would never, ever write about. Number them. Try to get at least 10 ideas on your list. Go to a random number generator (http://www.random.org/) and input 1-[insert whatever number your list stops at]. What number did you get? Go to that number on your list and spend at least 10 minutes writing about it. If you liked it more than you thought you would, kudos! Do it again! If not, well, you learned you were right in not wanting to write about it. Try the experiment again with something else. Just because one thing didn’t work doesn’t mean another won’t. Whether you liked it or not, at least you expanded your horizons a little and maybe even learned a little something! 😀

The I-Am-Useless Disease

image
(Another campus photo. I really can’t explain it. But that doesn’t mean you can steal it. So don’t.)

You’ve probably never heard of it. It’s so obscure that I’m the only one who’s ever heard of it. (PLEASE DON’T GO!!! T___T THIS IS NOT A BLOG WHERE I MAKE HIPSTER JOKES ALL THE TIME.) But I bet you know what it is anyway.

The I-Am-Useless Disease is widespread. It can affect anyone. If you’re a writer, then you’ve probably had a lot of run-ins with this particular illness.

It may come in the form of people telling you you’ll never make any money as a writer. It may come in the form of you telling yourself that. It may come from having a really awful writing day. It may even attack you suddenly, without reason.

Fear not, loyal readers! This disease can be combated. Make yourself feel useful. If you feel useless, then write more. If you’re constantly being productive, then you’re bound to hit gold somewhere.

And even if you don’t hit gold on something, then maybe you’ll learn something from what you’ve written. What are the running themes you see? How do they reflect upon your own life? What’s exactly not special about everything you’ve written lately? What’s good about each thing you’ve written? What’s the best piece? The worst? Why? What makes them that way? What have you learned from your massive amount of productivity? What does it feel like to do that much more writing than normal?

If you aren’t learning from your writing, then you might as well not bother. Writing is introspective. It doesn’t matter if you’re writing about a hairless rabbit in a dark and scary forest that is out to get him (Is he paranoid, or is it really so?)–what you write reflects upon your deepest self. If you see themes of paranoia in your work, where do they come from? Look within yourself. If you don’t find something worth thinking about, then make it so. If your thoughts and inner self aren’t worth thinking about, then who on earth is going to care about your writing? It’ll just be vapid puddles of nonsense. Don’t waste your time or anyone else’s with that crap. (Unless you’re working on satire. If so, then carry on.)

If you feel useless, then don’t sit around feeling sorry for yourself. Figure out why you feel that way and do something about it.

I’m not going to tell you that you’re a special snowflake who has mounds of talent and that even your diaries/LiveJournal posts from middle school should be published as a memoir. If you don’t have anything worth saying, then I don’t want to hear about it. If you don’t have anything worth saying, then why don’t you have something anyone else should hear about? Do something about it.

And if you’re sitting there feeling pretty high and mighty over never feeling useless, then just get over yourself. You’re not as special as you think you are. Writers have to work hard. Even you. If your writing is always effortless, then you’re either lying to yourself about it, or you’re not producing quality work every time. So what if you’ve written a thousand poems that you love? That doesn’t mean all of them are good quality.

Okay, so right now, I only know of a few people who read this blog as of writing this. And they’re nice people that are honest about their writing. And I commend them for that. But you, random person years down the road–I’m addressing you. I don’t know who you are or what/who brought you here. But I’m gonna be as honest as possible with you. I don’t know if you think you’re awful or the greatest thing since ramen. So I’m covering my bases.

But my thing is this: If you are any kind of decent human being, then you’ve probably felt like crap about yourself at some point in your life. This is what I’m talking about. There are a lot of people out there who don’t believe in themselves or their writing ability. If you are one of them, then please listen to me:

You aren’t going to feel any better about anything until you do something about it. Write a lot of stuff. Much of it will probably be awful. Then have people read it. What do they like or not like about it? Do their opinions really matter to you? Whatever you do, don’t accept cop-out responses like, “Oh, it was good.” Dig deep. What was good about it? Was there anything they didn’t like? FIND OUT. Don’t stop until you find your groove, what works for you, what makes you tick. If you’re not willing to put out the effort to do that, then quit writing. Just quit. Anything in life that you love that is wonderful is going to require effort and work. If you don’t wanna work to write, then work on something else. Don’t bother wasting your time writing some crappy poem you’ll never show to anyone.

If you want to be a writer, then write. There is no second option.

If you’d rather not write, then you don’t want to be a writer, do you? Go do something else. Mind you, that doesn’t make you useless. And you shouldn’t get the disease over this. It just means you have other things in your life that you want more. So go do them. Life is far too short to waste your time doing things you don’t particularly enjoy when there are other things you like better. So go do them.

There isn’t anyone in particular I’m addressing. Nobody inspired this post but myself and my own I-Am-Useless Disease. But as I was writing the above paragraph, I was suddenly reminded of this amazing thing I read pretty recently, so here it is:
http://thoughtcatalog.com/2011/the-difference-between-a-writer-and-someone-who-writes/ 

Drink it in. Marinate in it. Drift off in it. Does it speak to you? Why or why not?

Don’t ever stop asking questions. Ask yourself and everybody else why. Don’t stop until you get an answer. (I’m not talking about the childish version that I’m sure most of you are familiar with. I mean really getting to the bottom of something.)

Your assignment:

A. If you have The Disease, then spend some time writing about why you think you have it. Read over your previous writings and ask yourself the same questions was asking you to ask yourself earlier. I hope you follow. Also, ask yourself what you think might help you deal with the problem.

B. If you don’t have The Disease, then spend some time writing about a time when you did. What or who helped you get over it?

C. If you’ve never had The Disease, then imagine that you feel as though you cannot write as well as you once thought and write something from that perspective. Spend some time musing upon those feelings and figure out why you haven’t had them. Either feel grateful for it or get ready to pursue questioning everything and everyone about it. Don’t stop until you get the answers you seek.

The I-Am-Useless Disease

image
(Another campus photo. I really can’t explain it. But that doesn’t mean you can steal it. So don’t.)

You’ve probably never heard of it. It’s so obscure that I’m the only one who’s ever heard of it. (PLEASE DON’T GO!!! T___T THIS IS NOT A BLOG WHERE I MAKE HIPSTER JOKES ALL THE TIME.) But I bet you know what it is anyway.

The I-Am-Useless Disease is widespread. It can affect anyone. If you’re a writer, then you’ve probably had a lot of run-ins with this particular illness.

It may come in the form of people telling you you’ll never make any money as a writer. It may come in the form of you telling yourself that. It may come from having a really awful writing day. It may even attack you suddenly, without reason.

Fear not, loyal readers! This disease can be combated. Make yourself feel useful. If you feel useless, then write more. If you’re constantly being productive, then you’re bound to hit gold somewhere.

And even if you don’t hit gold on something, then maybe you’ll learn something from what you’ve written. What are the running themes you see? How do they reflect upon your own life? What’s exactly not special about everything you’ve written lately? What’s good about each thing you’ve written? What’s the best piece? The worst? Why? What makes them that way? What have you learned from your massive amount of productivity? What does it feel like to do that much more writing than normal?

If you aren’t learning from your writing, then you might as well not bother. Writing is introspective. It doesn’t matter if you’re writing about a hairless rabbit in a dark and scary forest that is out to get him (Is he paranoid, or is it really so?)–what you write reflects upon your deepest self. If you see themes of paranoia in your work, where do they come from? Look within yourself. If you don’t find something worth thinking about, then make it so. If your thoughts and inner self aren’t worth thinking about, then who on earth is going to care about your writing? It’ll just be vapid puddles of nonsense. Don’t waste your time or anyone else’s with that crap. (Unless you’re working on satire. If so, then carry on.)

If you feel useless, then don’t sit around feeling sorry for yourself. Figure out why you feel that way and do something about it.

I’m not going to tell you that you’re a special snowflake who has mounds of talent and that even your diaries/LiveJournal posts from middle school should be published as a memoir. If you don’t have anything worth saying, then I don’t want to hear about it. If you don’t have anything worth saying, then why don’t you have something anyone else should hear about? Do something about it.

And if you’re sitting there feeling pretty high and mighty over never feeling useless, then just get over yourself. You’re not as special as you think you are. Writers have to work hard. Even you. If your writing is always effortless, then you’re either lying to yourself about it, or you’re not producing quality work every time. So what if you’ve written a thousand poems that you love? That doesn’t mean all of them are good quality.

Okay, so right now, I only know of a few people who read this blog as of writing this. And they’re nice people that are honest about their writing. And I commend them for that. But you, random person years down the road–I’m addressing you. I don’t know who you are or what/who brought you here. But I’m gonna be as honest as possible with you. I don’t know if you think you’re awful or the greatest thing since ramen. So I’m covering my bases.

But my thing is this: If you are any kind of decent human being, then you’ve probably felt like crap about yourself at some point in your life. This is what I’m talking about. There are a lot of people out there who don’t believe in themselves or their writing ability. If you are one of them, then please listen to me:

You aren’t going to feel any better about anything until you do something about it. Write a lot of stuff. Much of it will probably be awful. Then have people read it. What do they like or not like about it? Do their opinions really matter to you? Whatever you do, don’t accept cop-out responses like, “Oh, it was good.” Dig deep. What was good about it? Was there anything they didn’t like? FIND OUT. Don’t stop until you find your groove, what works for you, what makes you tick. If you’re not willing to put out the effort to do that, then quit writing. Just quit. Anything in life that you love that is wonderful is going to require effort and work. If you don’t wanna work to write, then work on something else. Don’t bother wasting your time writing some crappy poem you’ll never show to anyone.

If you want to be a writer, then write. There is no second option.

If you’d rather not write, then you don’t want to be a writer, do you? Go do something else. Mind you, that doesn’t make you useless. And you shouldn’t get the disease over this. It just means you have other things in your life that you want more. So go do them. Life is far too short to waste your time doing things you don’t particularly enjoy when there are other things you like better. So go do them.

There isn’t anyone in particular I’m addressing. Nobody inspired this post but myself and my own I-Am-Useless Disease. But as I was writing the above paragraph, I was suddenly reminded of this amazing thing I read pretty recently, so here it is:
http://thoughtcatalog.com/2011/the-difference-between-a-writer-and-someone-who-writes/ 

Drink it in. Marinate in it. Drift off in it. Does it speak to you? Why or why not?

Don’t ever stop asking questions. Ask yourself and everybody else why. Don’t stop until you get an answer. (I’m not talking about the childish version that I’m sure most of you are familiar with. I mean really getting to the bottom of something.)

Your assignment:

A. If you have The Disease, then spend some time writing about why you think you have it. Read over your previous writings and ask yourself the same questions was asking you to ask yourself earlier. I hope you follow. Also, ask yourself what you think might help you deal with the problem.

B. If you don’t have The Disease, then spend some time writing about a time when you did. What or who helped you get over it?

C. If you’ve never had The Disease, then imagine that you feel as though you cannot write as well as you once thought and write something from that perspective. Spend some time musing upon those feelings and figure out why you haven’t had them. Either feel grateful for it or get ready to pursue questioning everything and everyone about it. Don’t stop until you get the answers you seek.

Enthusiasm!


(Tree’s gonna get you. My picture. Not yours. That means no stealing. For serious.)

Woohoo! Let’s get excited about writing!!!

What’s that you say? Life sucks, and there’s no reason to get excited about anything, ever?

Sorry, guys, but here’s the breaking news: It happens. Life happens. And life is not always good to you.

So what do you do? You smile and move on. It doesn’t matter if you’re crying at the moment that you read this–smile. Somebody thinks your smile is beautiful. And somebody thinks you are beautiful–no matter what gender you are.

Get enthusiastic about something! 🙂 I guarantee it’ll make things better. I’d write more today, but I really just need to sleep soon. I’ve got 125 words, about two-thirds of which were typed during the writing of this blog entry. Probably gonna get a few more in before I go. Gonna do better tomorrow. Probably.

Who am I kidding? I’m totally gonna do better tomorrow.

Do I actually believe that? I’m not sure yet. We’ll find out when I wake up. But that’s the power of positive thinking. I’m telling myself that I’ll do better tomorrow because it’s what I’d like to believe will happen.

Your assignment: Write a happy poem. Or a short story or script or whatever. Write about something that always makes you happy, no matter what. It can be a song you love, the sight of the sun rising, the squirrels on your porch, or anything else that makes you overflow with joy or whatever. If it makes you happy, then write something about it.

Enthusiasm!


(Tree’s gonna get you. My picture. Not yours. That means no stealing. For serious.)

Woohoo! Let’s get excited about writing!!!

What’s that you say? Life sucks, and there’s no reason to get excited about anything, ever?

Sorry, guys, but here’s the breaking news: It happens. Life happens. And life is not always good to you.

So what do you do? You smile and move on. It doesn’t matter if you’re crying at the moment that you read this–smile. Somebody thinks your smile is beautiful. And somebody thinks you are beautiful–no matter what gender you are.

Get enthusiastic about something! 🙂 I guarantee it’ll make things better. I’d write more today, but I really just need to sleep soon. I’ve got 125 words, about two-thirds of which were typed during the writing of this blog entry. Probably gonna get a few more in before I go. Gonna do better tomorrow. Probably.

Who am I kidding? I’m totally gonna do better tomorrow.

Do I actually believe that? I’m not sure yet. We’ll find out when I wake up. But that’s the power of positive thinking. I’m telling myself that I’ll do better tomorrow because it’s what I’d like to believe will happen.

Your assignment: Write a happy poem. Or a short story or script or whatever. Write about something that always makes you happy, no matter what. It can be a song you love, the sight of the sun rising, the squirrels on your porch, or anything else that makes you overflow with joy or whatever. If it makes you happy, then write something about it.

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