What Tools Do Writer’s Need To Be Successful?

aLibrary of Congress Classification - Reading Room

Sometimes the Shmata Queen asks me how I never run out of things to write about and I respond with “how come you never run out of things to say.”

Just before she comes at me with that big black purse of hers I smile and remind her that sometimes the jester must tease his queen and then I offer to write her poetry.

If I told you she instantly melted and demanded that I take her away I would be lying…it usually takes about ten minutes. ūüėČ

On a serious note I think part of why I always come up with material is because I pay attention to what happens around me and I ask lots of questions. I like knowing how things work, why things are a certain way and everything in between.

And I have a very active imagination, always have.

What Tools Do Writer’s Need To Be Successful?

Every day I think about how to become a better writer and every day I ask many of the same questions you’ll find in¬†¬†Where Should Your Focus As A Writer Be?

If you look at my desk you’ll see a computer, headphones, Stephen King’s On Writing and On Writing Well by William Zinsser. ¬†But you’ll also find countless books and magazines scattered around as well.

My daily routine includes time to write, time to read and exercise. How much of each varies and there is no set time that each activity takes place.

All of these things are part of my writer’s tool kit. They are all part of the giant puzzle that comes with trying to become a better writer.

Words are obviously a critical part of writing too which is part of why I am an advocate for building our vocabularies.

Simple & Easily Understood

A brief comment regarding the importance of vocabularies and how we should use them. My motto for producing content is that should Simple and Easily Understood.

When you dig into the words listed below you’ll see many are unfamiliar because they are not part of the daily vernacular. If the goal is simple and easily understood you might wonder why I would include them and the answer is because language is like a big stew and stews need spice.

These words add color and spice and they help make content more compelling and memorable therefore it makes sense to use them…in small doses.

By no means is this a complete list, it is just one I have constructed over time and added to when I saw fit. If you have others you want to see added feel free to share them in the comments.

  • adjunct– Noun: A thing added to something else as a supplementary rather than an essential part. Adjective: Connected or added to something, typically in an auxiliary way: ‚Äúalternative or¬†adjunct¬†therapies‚ÄĚ
  • augur–¬†:¬†an official diviner of ancient¬†Rome¬†2: one held to foretell events by omens
  • bete noire– a person or thing strongly detested or avoided
  • ecumenical– 1:¬†worldwide or general in extent, influence, or application 2¬†a¬†:¬†of, relating to, or representing the whole of a body of churches
  • fait accompli– a thing accomplished and presumably irreversible
  • inveigle– to win over by wiles¬†:¬†entice¬†2:¬†to acquire by ingenuity or flattery¬†:¬†wangle<inveigled¬†her way into a promotion>
  • lagniappe– a small gift given a customer by a merchant at the time of a purchase;broadly¬†:¬†something given or obtained gratuitously or by way of good measure
  • poltroon– a spiritless coward
  • truckle– to act in a subservient manner
  • vacuous–¬†:¬†emptied of or lacking content 2:¬†marked by lack of ideas or intelligence¬†:stupid,¬†inane¬†<a¬†vacuous¬†mind> <a¬†vacuous¬†movie> 3:¬†devoid of serious occupation
  • vagary– an erratic, unpredictable, or extravagant manifestation, action, or notion.
  • Opsimath– N. a person who becomes a student or learner late in life.
  • Climacteric– n.1¬†:¬†a major turning point or critical stage
  • 2 a¬†:¬†menopause¬†b¬†:¬†a period in the life of a male corresponding to female menopause and usually occurring with less well-defined physiological and psychological changes
  • 3¬†:¬†the marked and sudden rise in the respiratory rate of fruit just prior to full ripening.
  • Prolix-adj.¬†1¬†:¬†unduly prolonged or drawn out¬†:¬†too long
  • 2¬†:¬†marked by or using an excess of words
  • Confluence: n.¬†1¬†:¬†a coming or flowing together, meeting, or gathering at one point¬†
    2 a : the flowing together of two or more streams b : the place of meeting of two streams c : the combined stream formed by conjunction
  • Tendentious-adj. marked by a¬†tendency¬†in favor of a particular point of view.
  • esurient–¬†hungry,¬†greedy
  • Nugatory1¬†:¬†of little or no consequence¬†¬†2¬†:¬†having no force.
  • acatalepsy-Incomprehensibility of things; the doctrine held by the ancient Skeptic philosophers, that human knowledge never amounts to certainty, but only to probability.
  • acephalist– One who acknowledges no head or superior.
  • Raconteur-One who tells stories and anecdotes with skill and wit.
  • Callipygian-adj.Having beautifully proportioned buttocks.
  • Lachrymose-adj.
  • Weeping or inclined to weep; tearful.
  • Causing or tending to cause tears.
  • Perspicacious-adj.¬†Having or showing penetrating mental discernment; clear-sighted.
  • Flibbertigibbet-n.¬†A silly, scatterbrained, or garrulous person.
  • Jejune-adj. Not interesting; dull: ‚Äúand there pour forth jejune words and useless empty phrases‚ÄĚ (Anthony Trollope).
  • Lacking maturity; childish: surprised by their jejune responses to our problems.
  • Lacking in nutrition: a jejune diet
  • Ollendorffian– in the stilted language of foreign phrase-books.
  • gerascophobia¬†-a morbid, irrational fear of, or aversion to, growing old.
  • bathysiderodrophobia¬†-the fear of subways, undergrounds or metros.
  • hormephobia-Fear of shock.
  • cacoethes loquendi-the irresistible urge to speak.
  • cacoethes scribendi-the irresistible urge to write
  • saudade-[Port.] yearning or longing, but more than that‚Ķ
  • Scaturient-L.¬†scaturiens, p. pr. of¬†scaturire¬†gush out, from¬†scatere¬†to bubble, gush.]
  • Gushing forth; full to overflowing; effusive.¬†[R.]
  • Walpurgisnacht1) the eve of May Day on which witches are held to ride to an appointed rendezvous
  • 2) something (as an event or situation) having a nightmarish quality
  • barlafumble[fr. parley, call for truce + ?]¬†Scot. obs.
  • a call for a truce by one who has fallen in fighting or play; a request for a time out
  • defalcate-intr.v., -cat¬∑ed, -cat¬∑ing, -cates. To misuse funds; embezzle.
  • Dactylonomy-n.[Gr. da`ktylos finger + no`mos law, distribution.]
  • The art of numbering or counting by the fingers.
  • recrudesce-intr.v., -desced, -desc¬∑ing, -desc¬∑es.To break out anew or come into renewed activity, as after a period of quiescence.
  • videlicet-vń≠-dńēl‚Äôń≠-sńēt‚Äô, vńę-, wń≠-dńĀ‚Äôlń≠-kńēt‚Äô) pronunciation
  • adv. (Abbr. viz.)
  • That is; namely. Used to introduce examples, lists, or items.
  • temerarious-adj.¬†Presumptuously or recklessly daring
  • Tentiginous-[L.¬†tentigo,¬†-inis, a tension, lecherousness, fr.¬†tendere,¬†tentum, to stretch.]
  • 1.¬†Stiff; stretched; strained.¬†[Obs.]¬†Johnson.¬†2.¬†Lustful, or pertaining to lust.¬†[Obs.]¬†B. Jonson
    Urinator-n.[L., from urinari to plunge under water, to dive.]
  • One who dives under water in search of something, as for pearls; a diver.
  • usufruct-n.The right to use and enjoy the profits and advantages of something belonging to another as long as the property is not damaged or altered in any way.
  • Jackpudding-n.A merry-andrew; a buffoon.
  • Jobbernowl-n.[OE.¬†jobbernoule, fr.¬†jobarde¬†a stupid fellow; cf. E.¬†noll.]
  • A blockhead.
  • nikhedonia-fr.¬†Nike, the Greek goddess of victory +¬†hedon√©, pleasure] the pleasure derived from anticipating success
  • quidnunckery-[fr. L.¬†quid nunc, what now]¬†nonce-word¬†curiosity, love of news or gossip (also quid-nunc-ism)
  • mancinism-the condition of being left-handed
  • macroverbumsciolist– 1) a person who is ignorant of large words
  • 2) a person who pretends to know a word, then secretly refers to a dictionary.
  • mastigophorer-obs.¬†a fellow worthy to be whipped.
  • matutolypea-getting up on the wrong side of the bed.
  • xenodochiophobia¬†-the fear of foreign hospitality (worry about foreign hotels).
  • Xenodochium-n.(a)¬†(Class. Antiq.)¬†A house for the reception of strangers.¬†(b)¬†In the Middle Ages, a room in a monastery for the reception and entertainment of strangers and pilgrims, and for the relief of paupers. [Called also¬†Xenodocheion.]
  • Knobstick-n.¬†1.¬†One who refuses to join, or withdraws from, a trade union.¬†[Cant, Eng.]
  • 2.¬†A stick, cane, or club terminating in a knob; esp., such a stick or club used as a weapon or missile; a knobkerrie.
  • effulgence-i-FUL-juhn(t)s,¬†noun:
  • The state of being bright and radiant; splendor; brilliance.
  • [Webster 1913 Suppl.]
  • divaricate-To diverge at a wide angle; spread apart.
  • Otiant– idle; resting.
  • machicolation–¬†n.¬†apertures in parapet or floor of gallery for firing upon persons below. machicolate,¬†v.t.¬†furnish with these
  • Secern– To discern as separate; discriminate.
  • prothalamion¬†-A song in celebration of a wedding; an epithalamium.
  • a capite ad calcem-From head to heel.
  • ad internecionem–¬†To extermination.
  • Abusus non tollit usum-Wrong use does not preclude proper use.
  • ad captandum vulgus-To attract or to please the rabble.
  • Abligurition–¬†n.[L.¬†abligurito, fr.¬†abligurire¬†to spend in luxurious indulgence;¬†ab¬†+ligurire¬†to be lickerish, dainty, fr.¬†lingere¬†to lick.]
  • Prodigal expense for food.¬†[Obs.]¬†Bailey.
  • Anililagnia– an attraction to older women.
  • Armsaye: the armhole in clothing.
  • Euneirophrenia: peace of mind after a pleasant dream.
  • Suppedaneum: foot support for crucifix victims.
  • Adfenestration: V. The act of entering through a window, usually surreptitiously.
  • Vatic-adj.Of or characteristic of a prophet; oracular.
  • pettifogger–¬†a lawyer whose methods are¬†petty, underhanded, or disreputable¬†:¬†¬†shyster¬†2¬† one given to quibbling over trifles.
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2 Comments

  1. Katherine James March 15, 2014 at 10:16 am

    “Vatic-adj.Of or characteristic of a prophet; oracular”

    This is the Word of the Day for me. Maybe this is where the name ‘Vatican’ developed from?

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