Writing Tips & Tools Part 1

I haven’t been pleased with my writing lately so this post is sort of a note to myself, but you might find some value in it too.

If you want to be a great writer you need to be able to live and relive your pain. You have to touch it, feel it and roll around in it. That isn’t hyperbole, it is just how it works.

Pain provides opportunity, introspection, description and discussion. I don’t think that you always have to be sad, angry or upset to come up with great writing but it helps, especially when it comes to certain topics.

I am an advocate of simple writing, especially when it comes to blogging and general fiction/nonfiction. Make it easy for people to relate and to understand what you are trying to say. At the same time I am also a proponent of building your vocabulary. It is ok to mix things up occasionally and sometimes it is necessary. Sometimes you may find a less common word or something obscure.

It is part of how I got turned onto defenestrate. I can’t remember where I first heard or read it but it stuck with me. Really it is a great word and a useful tool for helping you to distinguish yourself.

I don’t believe in writer’s block in the sense of being unable to write. I believe that sometimes we get frustrated with the quality of our writing and this leads us to limit or feel limited in our ability to produce content. Exercise and music usually help me get around this but the most important thing to do is to sit down, shut up and write.

And now as promised I have a list of links to old posts that are worth a second look:

  1. Streets of Philadelphia
  2. I Am A Better Father Than You Are
  3. Be A Better Blogger- Writing Tools
  4. Build Connections & Community
  5. My Stairway To Heaven
  6. More than Heaven Will Allow
  7. Becoming a Dad
  8. Dad’s Most Important Job
  9. A Decade of Dad
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Comments

  1. Hi Jack

    Oh, how I hate to hear about the benefits of experiencing pain, but you’re correct – it sobers us up so we can reach down into a deeper, and greater, part of ourselves. But my, I wish there was an easier way . . .

    Great post, Jack!

    • Hi LaRae,

      It is a rough way to learn but it is sometimes nice to think of pain as having a point and a purpose.

      It doesn’t necessarily make it better or easier to go through but perhaps the after effect is more palatable.

  2. Yes indeed, my mood certainly affects the quality of my work. But that mainly affects my blog and my other kind of personal writing.

    However, when I am working for my clients and I know the project has to be submitted on a particular date or time- the moods take a back seat- as I know its work and has to be done 🙂

  3. Do you write only when you feel like writing, or do you write at specific times and at specific places?

    • Both. When I am really “feeling” it I try to make a point to sit down and start typing.

      But I also make a point to go write when I just don’t want to. I don’t always do that, but as a writer we don’t always have the luxury of picking time and place.

      So I figure it can’t hurt to train myself to do it any time and any where.

  4. Every time I come here I am just so motivated to write. You know after you blog post about blogging my own way, I actually managed to write over 5 articles for work! You are an inspiration Jack 🙂

    And I am trying just writing, without structure, without aim… just going on with words. Though it doesn’t make sense most of the time, it makes me feel stronger somehow!

    • Hi Hajra,

      I am honored and glad to be of assistance. I think that writing without structure is an easy way to hone your skills and make writing into a second nature sort of activity.

  5. Thanks for the list.

  6. Great post Jack!

    I couldn’t agree more with what you wrote that the best in us writers, comes when we are really moved to write- as in this case you mentioned pain. Or perhaps the pain, anger, frustration, or things that upset you a great deal – make you write.

    But yes, I would also like to add that writers write in various moods, sometimes when they are very happy, depressed, saddened by something, moved by things- I mean just about anything can make a writer weave out content.

    However, it always does depend upon your mood at the end of the day, which is what makes you write what you do.

    Great audio by the way 🙂 Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Hi Harleena,

      Yes, feelings can really help inspire us to produce content. It is debatable whether that can be a help or hindrance to the quality.

      Do you think your mood affects the quality of your work?

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