A truly indissoluble bound: writers and coffee–and what it means for literature

The link between writers and coffee has a long standing tradition. As detailed in Daily Rituals by Mason Currey, many among the most famous and accomplished writers in the world drink coffee, or used to, to fuel their creativity. Søren Kierkegaard, Voltaire, L. Frank Baum, Margaret Atwood, Honoré de Balzac. This is just a handful of names. The list could go on practically forever. Legend has it that Honoré De Balzac drank as much as 50 cups of coffee a day. Instead, Søren Kierkegaard used to pour into his coffee a staggering amount of sugar. This wasn’t exactly the most healthy of the eating habits. But, apparently, that sugar rush sharpened the philosopher’s mind beyond belief. However, when we stop a second and consider how writers have always been particularly susceptible to addictions of one kind or another, this reliance of theirs on coffee looks far from unexpected. After all caffeine offers…

Continue reading

How to be more creative

half an orange - how to be more creative

The best way to be more creative is quite simple. You know, just keep doing new things, keep experimenting, stay open and so on. However, to make sure such approaches are as effective as possible it’s also important that we get to know what works best for us and work hard to engineer our lives accordingly.

Continue reading

How to improve your creativity, and your life too

Native American toitem -

What should you do to hone your creative skills? I don’t know about you. But I’ve a pretty good idea of what is good for me. For sure, a writer should read a lot. That’s quite obvious. And, indeed, there’s no way you can effectively learn how to improve your writing if you never stop and observe what others do and how do it. But though reading is essential, there’s something else just as important. That has to do with your television set. I mean, the best thing you can do with your TV is kill it. Really, go and pull the power cord off the socket in the wall; dump the remote in a vase filled with water; move the whole thing to the henhouse. What? You don’t have a henhouse? Bad. That’s bad. In any case, throw the damn TV away and, in its place, put in a Native American totem instead,…

Continue reading

How to grow your creative writing Ideas

chick coming out of an egg

First of all let’s be clear about one thing. Namely that though on some rare occasions plagiarism does happen, as a rule we’d better not to worry about it. In fact, as Howard Aiken says, don’t worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you’ll have to ram them down people’s throats. You should also keep in mind that creative writing ideas aren’t a problem. They simply come. For example, in my case one moment I’m staring blankly at the screen and a moment later I’m writing. It may seem strange, but that’s how it works after a while. Don’t take just my word for it, and have a look at this passage from Hooked by Les Edgerton: *** Many times, fledgling writers want to know how established authors come up with ideas for stories. (With a bit more experience, they’ll come to realize that ideas are never a problem—that…

Continue reading

Inspiring songs – or a horror writer’s playlist

Birds on a line - Inspiring songs, or a horror writer's playlist - Peter Rey

When I write I usually prefer a quiet place. In this way I have the impression of being more in contact with the ideas floating about in my head. Besides, my mind has way less opportunities to wander about. In fact, though such wandering can be quite fruitful from a creative point of view, if it keeps interrupting my writing session, it ends up having a nefarious effect on my output. To the point that when I reread my work I cannot even understand what I really meant in the first place. Some time ago I wrote a post about how to stop procrastinating and start writing. In that post I outlined the tips I found more effective to manage to sit down at my desk and start my writing sessions without first having to waste whole hours. However, on some occasions it’s not just a matter of wanting to write and doing instead something…

Continue reading

7 horror novels to improve your writing

a crow - 7 horror novels to improve your writing - peter rey

You should learn the rules so you know how to break them properly. It may seem a bit weird to quote the Dalai Lama here in a post about horror novels. But what he says isn’t true only in life in general. It’s also true when it comes to the craft of writing. For example, here is also Elmore Leonard‘s take on the subject: If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it. Or, if proper usage gets in the way, it may have to go. I can’t allow what we learned in English composition to disrupt the sound and rhythm of the narrative. In short, unless you happen to be one of those rare geniuses who write as if inspired directly by some supernatural entity–but, do they actually exist?–your writing will benefit greatly from your knowing the “rules” perfectly. But–there’s always a but, isn’t it?–a writer can have a near perfect command…

Continue reading