20 signs you are a writer

Maybe it’s Neil Gaiman’s statement that particularly resonates with you–“As far as I’m concerned, the entire reason for becoming a writer is not having to get up in the morning.” Or maybe you feel more in line with Dorothy Parker’s take–“If you have any young friends who aspire to become writers, the second greatest favor you can do them is to present them with copies of The Elements of Style. The first greatest, of course, is to shoot them now, while they’re happy.” In any case, shedding light on your desire to become a writer and what you’re actually doing to…

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Healthy minds: how writers can stay healthy and keep writing

Writing can be a deeply rewarding activity. It can also be terribly stressful. Just have a look at these quotes: We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect–Anaïs Nin One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple–Jack Kerouac I am irritated by my own writing. I am like a violinist whose ear is true, but whose fingers refuse to reproduce precisely the sound he hears within–Gustave Flaubert A blank piece of paper is God’s way of telling us how hard it is to be God–Sidney Sheldon As a matter of fact,…

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A writer’s inspiration – Italian postcards

We have all a mountain to climb. Sometimes we get to choose which mountain to challenge. Some other times we aren’t offered such a choice. But of one thing we can be sure. We have all to work our way up, no matter how high or how far the mountain top seems. This is true when we start writing a new novel. This is true when we start a new story with someone we’ve just met. It’s true of happy periods and sad ones. We can only proceed one word after the other. One tentative step at a time. Really,…

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Seeds of creativity – what really are great ideas?

If you believe great ideas come in a sudden flash and offer themselves complete down to the last detail you might be in for a shock. We cannot prevent birds from flying over our heads, but we can keep them from making nests on top of our heads. Similarly, bad thoughts sometimes appear in our mind, but we can choose whether we allow them to live there, to create a nest for themselves, and to breed evil deeds. I read this quote some days ago. I found it in Tolstoy’s Path of Life, but the quote itself is attributed to Martin…

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11 Myths about creative writing and writers

Myths have accompanied us as a species since the dawn of time. Even if it might seem strange, given that evolution hasn’t wiped them off our DNA pool, they must provide us with some kind of benefit. However, this doesn’t mean all myths are always and necessarily useful or constructive. For example, sometimes myths about writing grow out of stereotypes and biases. And tend to radicate with uncanny ease in the minds of people, even if at a closer look many of such myths are in stark contradiction the one with the other. Here I present a list of some…

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How to write a lot every day – myths and facts

Many years ago, when I began to put pen to paper, I wrote using whatever I had at my disposal. Given that I was a happy owner of a Commodore Amiga, and I also was a sort of a geek, the program I chose to write my first stories was a Seka Assembler, an editor developed for programmers, not writers. Seka Assembler was rudimentary, but it was fast and had all the basic functions I needed. I used it to write several short stories and one long SF novel I’m sure I still have tucked away somewhere. It took me…

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Good ideas, bad ideas – How to recognize good and bad ideas

Sometimes it can be difficult to tell the difference between good and bad ideas. But the alternative is to have no ideas at all. Because, especially at the beginning, good and bad ideas are often indistinguishable. Given at least a grain of talent, creativity can be boosted. This is good news. In fact, it’s reassuring to be told we can take a stroll, read a book, or enroll for a creativity course to double the amount of our creative ideas, or to make them more original. But, as it is often the case in real life, things aren’t so straightforward. Otherwise,…

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Psychology and creative writing: overcoming self-doubt

Both in psychology and creative writing self-doubt is an evergreen subject. This is so probably because even if feelings of self-doubt can be harrowing for anyone, in artists self-doubt can grow into a ravenous monster, gnawing so hard and deep into their soul that they end up feeling like they and their works alike are completely worthless. Really, just think of this quote by Kurt Vonnegut: When I write, I feel like an armless, legless man with a crayon in his mouth. Another factor to consider is the link that seems to exist between creativity and mental illness. As a…

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How to find time to read more books – 10 easy tips

No matter how hectic your days can be. With these tips on how to read more books you can go from zero to infinite. Well… almost. I don’t know how many books I read in a year. I don’t keep count. But I do know I love reading. I love reading both fiction and non fiction books. When I was younger and I had at my disposal tons of spare time, reading a book came natural to me. Whenever I felt like, I would just sit down in a quiet corner of the house and start reading. Then, growing up my…

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