Category: Writer Tips
As I trekked back from a friend’s party, which was just half a mile from where my place was, I started exploring England and began knowing the best ways to beat my writer’s block and to extend my capacity as a writer. There are 3 places that I would suggest for writers to visit:
Chocolates and Southbank Centre
Nobody can actually explain what causes a writer’s block but, everybody’s response is the same – blocked. Fortunately, many experts have found out that a substance called theobromine can make someone happy and relaxed (which I think is the best condition a writer should always feel), and this substance is found in chocolates. Yes, yummy and sweet chocolates which were actually plenty in Southbank Centre in their chocolate festival! I could not resist so I took the chance and guess what? I was blown away by the many varieties of chocolates (I think I could even write a book from those sweeties).
Fun-filled Concerts at Cheshire
Music is the language of the soul as everyone would say but for a passionate writer like me, I would say it frees my mind from the crooked noise of my surroundings. I always love music, especially the classics and the Christmas carols. Given the chance to listen to them all, I went to Tatton Park, Cheshire. There I gave my soul a treat with King Edward Musical Society and their accompaniment. It refreshed my mind and inspired me to write again (yes, should a writer intend to finish a book he or she must be inspired).
Explore and Stretch Out at Cambridgeshire
Part of being a writer is to take readers to memorable places without actually going there. It’s a writer’s intricacy to travel with the readers. Having thought of this, I decided to explore the Cambridgeshire where Straw Bear Festival is usually held. Although I was not able to witness the actual festival because it was not January when I went there, I saw the straw costumes that people would wear during the festival. I discovered new culture and found new friends. By interacting with them I grasped an idea for my next story. Lucky me!
It is not debatable to say that UK has many of the best places to travel on earth. Additionally, it has the best events venue that will help you beat that writer’s block and let new ideas coming through. This is why I took the chance to see unique events venue in the UK with my own eyes. You should too!
In my quest to finally finish the story I was writing on, I decided to go to the countryside so I could find solitude that could be the thing that’s lacking for me to finish my draft. Without hesitation and without thorough planning, I hastily chose to go to North Devon. Prior to leaving home, I was already able to book a reservation for a single-storey thatched holiday cottage in a small village called Chulmleigh. I’d have to say that the tranquil countryside setting gave me a wonderful opportunity to have a relaxing break from the hustle and bustle of the city life.
Then it dawned to me that I should feature this topic so that budding writers like me will know the importance of R&R to fuel their writing and get their creative juice continuously flowing. So, here are five of the many reasons why writers, beginning or expert, should take a break in.
- A change of scenery can bring about interesting story ideas. You’d be surprise on the numerous ideas that will just keep on popping into your head.
- By taking a step back, you are able to create a more enhanced work flow. It allows you to be more productive since you’ll be able to assess and make amends on your work flow.
- When a writer is well-rested, creative juice incessantly flows and the eagerness to work in a project is prevails.
- A vacation helps you in distinguishing and reducing bad habits. It allows you to contemplate on reasons that made you procrastinate (e.g. checking Facebook and email too much).
- Lastly, taking a step back opens your eyes and ponder on the goals that you want to work on and achieve on a bigger picture.
Truly, my trip to the rural waterside setting was the perfect quiet retreat. I was able to finish my draft. In addition, I got the chance to explore the dramatic North Devon area. I was able to wander around. I got the chance to stroll on the sandy beaches and do bird watching along the quiet riverbank. Not to mention, I left the place in awe. The scenery was breathtakingly perfect. I’d have to say I’m glad I took this vacation.
As a book enthusiast, a traveller and a ‘writer’, I have a lot of diversity in my life. Sometimes I’m on the road traveling and most of the times I’m in the bookshop (working). Many people have been asking me about my life, typically presuming that it’s boring and uninteresting. I do not see my life this way. As I always point out, I find solitude when I’m surrounded with books. My fascination with books also helped me discover my interest in writing. I do hope one of these days I can publish a book of my own. Traveling, on the other hand, also helped me extend my capacity as a writer and beat the writer’s block I often experience when I’m strained.
One time, I accompanied my sister Claudette to help her find a family car that offers a good personal car leasing deal. We could have saved time if she researched the company and the car online in advance before we actually went to the place. However, she’s not the tech savvy type so I had to endure the long hours of waiting for her to make up her mind. I hope she doesn’t read this. To cut the story short, while waiting for her, I was able to contemplate on what it really takes to become a good writer.
I realised that when you write a book, it is not directly done in one sitting. It doesn’t work that way. Writing is more than just a flash of inspiration and letting the creative juice flow. It requires good research practises. It can actually take months to come up with an outline or an idea that you repeatedly refine and articulate in your head. There’s definitely a process to it. One step that works for me is to integrate the idea I have in a sentence, in a paragraph, and then in a page. By doing this, it allows me to get more ideas on what I should be writing about and it serves as my guide along the way.
I am also able to visualise to whom I am writing for. It’s never about writing merely for your own self. Writing a book involves planning too. You need to plan for it that it will really take longer for the book to finish than expected. I know mine is still far from being finished but I like how things are going. Each writer has a different set of rules and tricks for him to finish a good book. I don’t expect all the things I shared above will work for you too but I do know that wanting to write is not nearly enough to complete your story. For a writer, writing does not come that easily.
I have been asking tips from a friend of mine, who has already self-published her book, on how to make the most out of a book fair. She shared to me her experience, attending the 2013 London Book Fair for the first time. Below are handy tips which I find helpful that I am sure you’ll find useful too.
- Make sure you find time to scan the conference agenda before attending the event. It pays to be well-appointed. You would not want to end up spending most of your time wandering obliviously trying to determine which exhibition booth or exhibition display stand systems you need to visit first. When she attended the LBF 2013, information was easier to access because attendees were given a free downloadable app for smartphones to aid them in scheduling seminars that they want to attend and checking in booths or display stands that they want to visit.
- Imagine yourself being in the same building with other publishing experts! What will you do? The answer is simple. Grab this perfect opportunity by putting yourself out there. Remember that book fairs like LBF only happen once a year. Go ahead and initiate a tête-à-tête with beginning and expert writers alike. But it is not advisable to paddle into a conversation just to have that person do something for you. Enjoy meeting new acquaintances. Be confident and refrain from showing nervousness. By taking yourself seriously, other people will also take you seriously. Also, refrain from handing over resumes or enquiring about job openings during the event’s duration.
- Attend sessions, seminars, interviews and demos. My friend added that there are better opportunities after the official closing hours of the LBF. While in the fair, she attended one of the seminars and directly gained new friends. Later that evening, she was able to mingle with them in a laidback atmosphere. It also gave her the chance to be introduced to several other editors and authors. It is best to go out there and just be yourself. Be friendly and have a good time.