Posts for the Topic writing process

May flowers: some poems that survived the winter

potted flowers by a window

Spring is here. The birds are singing, the snow has melted, and flowers are poking up through the dirt, both where they are expected and where they are not. At the beginning of winter term, I wrote a blog post on freewriting with a focus on my notebook as an agent of the writing process. I’d like to come back to this general topic, but from a slightly different perspective: spring.

Psychologically speaking: your brain on writing

Brain-shaped word cloud saying "Psychologically speaking: your brain on writing"

Remember when you were little and just learning how to write? Just writing your name was a huge accomplishment. Yet with practice, it became much easier. The brain is not a muscle; although, in some ways it develops like one. The more you use it in a specific way, the more able it is to perform the task. So what is the brain actually doing while you write? The following are a number of brain areas that work together to form ideas and get them down on paper.

Frontal Lobe

A stroke of creativity

Katie Ledecky swimming front crawl

Think back to your first swimming lesson, or the first time you went to the pool. Did you jump in with both feet right away? If so, how did that go? Likely, you got in slowly, or if you decided to take the leap, hopefully someone caught you before you got into trouble. Now think of an Olympic swimmer like Katie Ledecky or Penny Oleksiak. How do they get in the water at the start of a race? When the buzzer goes off, there’s no time to use the ladder.

Thesaurus abuse: or a gross misappropriation of lexicon

a crazed man hacking through a door with an axe to attack a cartoon thesaurus

A thesaurus groups together words that are similar in meaning. It exists for those tip-of-the-tongue moments when the right word seems just out of reach: “Gah! I need another word for something that’s pretentious … to be pretentious, to put on airs … Ah! An affectation!”

A pen in the hand: a reflection on freewriting

open notebook

When was the last time you sat down with a pen and paper, and just wrote something? I’m talking about you and your own creativity, no prompt whatsoever. I can guess what you’re thinking. University is busy and finding time is hard. Why use a pen and paper when everything is handed in electronically? Why would someone use writing as a break from more writing? These are valid thoughts, but before you tune out, let me tell you about my notebook, and why pen and paper have become my best friends over the past few years.

NaNoWriMo: a writer's marathon

2018 NaNoWriMo banner

Have you ever wanted to write a novel? If the answer is yes, this blog post is definitely for you. If the answer is no, like myself, then not to worry; you can still benefit from this information.

Writing a novel takes a lot of time and dedication, which can be a big deterrent for many people. However, National Novel Writing Month is a good opportunity to finally get that novel started or, if you don’t want to write a novel, improve your writing.

How to get over writer’s block

Red brick wall

Writer’s block – it happens to everyone. It’s probably the hardest thing to overcome for any writer. In an effort to help others with this situation, I have compiled a list of strategies that I use when I’m having a hard time thinking of what to write.  

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