A Word On Writing Tools

You like to write, right? Then you want the right tool for the write-job. I’m talking about typing on a keyboard; no pens or pencils, sorry. Some tools are exclusive to Apple devices (Ulysses). Others are ubiquitous (Google Docs). In this write-up, I share some ways I’ve tried writing. And at the end, I throw in links to several writing tools.

Drafts And Notes

When it comes to blogging, I’ve typed my drafts in several places over the years. For simplicity, my habit was writing in the WordPress editor. But because it took time to craft a draft, I wanted to save a “hard” copy somewhere besides the WordPress.com servers. So I searched for an outside tool.

For a long time, I drafted my stuff inside note apps: Apple Notes, Evernote, or OneNote. My main problem there was copy/pasting my text into WordPress. It always led to formatting frustration! Boo, hiss! On top of that, images were not included, which made my “hard copy” documents incomplete. So I abandoned notes apps.

Types Of Typing Tools

Now we get to dedicated tools for typing all the words. The default standard for years was Microsoft Word. It works, but it’s also bloated and resides inside Camp Microsoft, so not for me.

Last year, with my tent staked in Apple Camp, I dove headlong into Ulysses for my iPad and iPhone. It was my first time to use Markdown, but I took to it well. I wrote about Ulysses before, and it’s an excellent app to get your thoughts out of your head!

One of the key features I loved was its ability to take my draft, with images, and publish straight to WordPress! This avoided all the text formatting hassle. But there was a huge problem in general: the iPad had no physical keyboard! The Bluetooth keyboard set-up I used was a kludge.

Then I pulled a ditch and switch. Out with the iPad, in with a laptop – Chromebook! Since this more or less meant camping with Google, I’ve been enjoying Google Docs! Allow me to gush on Docs for a paragraph or three.


I’m sure you’re familiar with this word processor. Like Microsoft Word, Docs has the traditional features you’d expect. Word Count tool, check. Full-screen and distraction-free, check. Keyboard shortcuts for easy text formatting, check. Google Docs is clean and simple, not over-stuffed like Microsoft Word.

A stand-out tool in Docs is the WordPress Add-on! This awesome widget lets you post text and images straight into WordPress as a draft. It even allows you to include Tags and set the post Category. Docs also lets you keep a “hard” copy of your blog post using the save-as-PDF option.

You can also augment Docs with a cool Power User feature: Keep! Google’s own note app, Keep, is a wonderful tool on its own. But it is also included in the side panel of many Google web apps. So while writing inside Docs, you can open Keep notes next to your draft and copy/paste text or add notes to your Doc. The Keep side panel is also handy for quick reference to any web research notes you have. And in the Keep app itself, you can convert any note straight into a Google Doc!

The Write Tools

You might like Docs, you might not. Thankfully, there are many other options. Here are a few to consider. You want the right tool for the write-job. (Special thanks to Nicole Bianchi for the list ideas.)

Scrivener – Writing a novel? This is what you want. It’s on Mac and Windows. If I ever get serious about my own fiction fantasy, I’m gonna need to try this for myself. (But I don’t wanna give up using a Chromebook.)

Reedsy – I’ve not used this one (yet). But from my initial account set up and skimming over the site, I like what I see. Looks like this is a good tool to get serious about writing a book and publishing.

Draft – I have not tried this one, but it is intriguing. The most interesting feature to me is Hemingway Mode!

Hemingway Editor – This handy tool is sweet! I’m still new to it. So far, I love the grading feature. It lasers in on common writing problems. Passive voice, adverbs, and complex sentences get highlighted for easy fixing. It’s like having a personal editor mark up your draft for you!

Grammarly – It’s like a spell checker on steroids. You might already know about this one, but if not, install the web extension in your Chrome browser; give it a try!

Writing A Work In Progress

Is this really only my third blog post for November? Wow. This is tough for me. I knew my blogging would take a dive, but… I committed to my writing days being for my NaNoWriMo2019 attempt. I’m far behind my word count goal, but I’m making steady progress on the days I’m supposed to. And I’m enjoying the story writing process too!

But this tale has taken a twist – I didn’t see this coming! I was expressing to my wife early in the month my excitement for writing the first scene of my Novella. She was intrigued…then later she had the seed of an idea for her own story.

One thing led to another…

About half-way into the month, my wife started writing her story. She just let it flow! It’s like the dam broke. Boo-yah! She has blitzed beyond my own word count right off the field and kept going. She has surpassed my own goal!! I set out for 20,000 words. She is already beyond 25,000 – and that with a late start! She even set up her own profile on the NaNoWriMo site.

I’ve encouraged my wife to write, using my own learning and experience so far. It’s been nice. It’s new, it’s creative, it’s fun…it’s novel! Yes. I prefer my puns intended! (I even almost bought a coffee mug with that exact quote on it from Books-a-Million. Just sayin’.)

So, this week will be challenging for me. There’s this thing called Thanksgiving Day. Some turkey is gonna try to get in the way of my writing that day! What do I do? We’ll see. I’m sure it will all turn out fine. I plan to keep writing my novella. The real challenge will be December because I want to continue but I’ve got to get back up to speed on my regular blogging.

Until then, y’all have a safe and wonderful holiday time this week.

November Is A Novella Month

You know how sometimes you get busy and your routine is thrown off? Yeah, me too. That happened to me this past week. I missed a few blog days! Took a little vacay with the fam, my job got busier, plus there’s been some other stuff going on. Oh, I also started writing a book. No big deal, right? I’m on the way to 20k…or more! This month will be one for the books!

Book in the works

In October, I mentioned that I’d probably be blogging less in November because it’s NaNoWriMo2019! Well, here we are, over a week into the month and this is my first post. But I have been writing. In fact, I #amwriting.

Last year, I wrote that November is a novel month because so many people sort of compete to write 50,000 words in 30 days. If you do that, you’ll have yourself a nice novel. Since I’m on my first attempt ever, and because I have a lot going on otherwise, I set my own goal for 20,000 words. Technically, that means I’ll end up with a novella. Either way, this is a month for writing a book, for authoring a story!

So how’s that workin’ out for me? Actually, I’m pretty stoked so far! I finally sat down at my dedicated time to write (usually that means blog drafting) and started pecking out my first scene on my swank Chromebook’s chiclet keyboard.

My word count is nothing to boast about; what really counts is that I busted out a coherent half-way decent beginning to my novella! In just one scene, I enjoyed learning more about my protagonist, getting to know him as I fleshed out his thoughts and actions, as he interacted with other people around him.

Oh, by the way, my protag drank a whole cup’o’coffee in the first scene. Just sayin’.

Write on

There’s more positive stuff I could say about my first NaNoWriMo writing experience. But I’m typing this in our minivan on the way to our next mini-vacay this month! I’ve got an 18-year wedding anniversary to celebrate. Then I’ll be back in the world of my book that’s underway.

I’ll try to keep up with the blogging too. But know that December will probably also be a novella month. I’m not concerned with how long it takes to finish writing. I’ve started, I’m still going, and I’m enjoying it. I’ll cross the finish line eventually.

My 20,000 NaNoWriMo Goal

Okay, I did something that might be a little bit daunting. I signed up for this year’s NaNoWriMo event in November! It’s official. Also, it is exciting and kind of crazy. But what’s the point of dreams if you never go for’em?

Hello, I’m Wanna B. Author

Escaping into imaginary worlds, connecting with interesting characters caught up in conflict – this is a story. And who doesn’t love a good one? I like reading fiction, but I’ve wanted to write my own for a long time. In fact, I’ve already tried.

A few years ago, my first attempts at writing a story were unfinished and not good. Fail and fail. But at least I really tried. I had a good sci-fi story idea with some semblance of a plot. But my characters were not developed well. The writing was likely poor. Yet I wrote!

Back then, I didn’t know what I was doing. I think I kind of winged it. Pantser maybe. But though there was no writing success to speak of, the little ember of desire to write didn’t go cold. In fact, a second story I began, a fantasy, is still one I’m fond of. I created a map of a world and started my characters on their journey. The plot was somewhat mapped out too. But I guess time and life cut that trip short.

Enter NaNoWriMo. I’d heard about this last year and was intrigued. I blogged about it with admiration of the many brave souls who pushed themselves to churn out 50,000 words in a month. With such an official writing initiative supported by a community of enthusiastic fiction fabricators, I felt compelled to try my hand at being a nascent novelist. But I decided to shelve it in the Book of Dreams.

Things have changed over time. I’ve recently reignited my fiction fondness by reading a bunch of good stories. And that makes me wanna get in on the fun, writing my own make-believe adventure. Where will the characters go? What will happen next? My imagination gets revved up and I try to tap into the creative side of my 3-pound brain.

What could hold me back from chasing a pipe-dream to author a novel? Reality might do it. Fear is also a suspect. I’m – hold on, here it comes – busy. When am I going to have time to write 50,000 words? Life is not going to say, “Hey, go ahead and take November off. The world will wait. Go write your magnum opus.” Maybe I can write a book, but should I?

Well, what the heck? I’m gonna go for it. You gotta start somewhere, right? Let me give it a good shot, and even though it’s likely I won’t finish writing all-the-words, I can at least have a good start on a first draft. The best part is, I’m sure I will learn a lot from the process.

I give credit to the fun, encouraging, brave, and inspiring writing community for my choice to jump in the deep end, sink or swim. There are many aspiring and succeeding authors on Twitter and on blogs that welcome newbies to join the fold. They offer advice, tips, and encouragement. And many of them struggle to write, like real-life normal people wrestle with anything. But they jump life’s hurdles and write.

To make it more feasible, and fun, for me to clear the bar, I simply lowered it. For my first ever NaNoWriMo, my goal is 20,000 words, which would get me a novella instead of a novel. And that would be amazing if I pull it off!

The breakdown of those 20k words is also do-able. I’m focusing my writing time on weekdays, and there are about 20 of those in November. That makes the daily goal just 1,000 words. And I’ll use the weekends for cushion and to catch up when I need to. So I’ve got a goal and a plan.

I’ve also got a story idea, a partial plot, and my protagonist and antagonist started. The table of conflict is set. The main dish served is a Paleontologist who wants to find the origin of humankind, a species who had a special connection with the earth. But what the hero really wants is to find his own origin – his parents – and thereby know who he really is.

It’s kind of simple, but I’ve been trying to make the plot intricate and interesting. Anyways, I get excited when I think about it. My interest is piqued! That’s how I know I’ve got an idea worth chasing, taking risks, and making the NaNoWriMo commitment. And it should be fun! I’ve written down a lot of details already and look forward to typing the story.

Go For The Goal

So that’s it. My 20,000 word NaNoWriMo goal. November will be interesting. And busy!

If you dream about writing a book but haven’t yet made any attempts, maybe just go for it! Consider the time and effort it would take, and try to make things work. Think about story ideas that make your imagination buzz. Once that creativity gets started, your desire to write will grow!

That’s been my experience at least. I just hope when November hits and I sit to write, the words will start to flow. Until then, I’ve got more plotting to do.

Do you aspire to write fiction?

Novel, Novella, Or Novelette?

I’ve been exploring the real world of creating fake worlds – fiction. Like seeking fireflies at night, I dream of writing a book someday. I figure it should be short for starters, to increase my chances of completion (which in itself I’d consider success). But how short should it be?

Word Counts

While rummaging through websites about the writing craft, my eyes gazed at a sparkling headline: The Novella: Stepping stone to success or waste of time? Talk about hive-mind. It’s like the web knew what I was thinking!

The beginning of the lengthy piece is the best explanation I’ve found distinguishing different fiction book lengths, like Large, Medium, Small, and Fun Size!

“A novella typically starts at about 20,000 words and tops out at 50,000, which is the minimum length for a short novel.”

The first thing that came to my mind was NaNoWriMo with its 30-day blitz to 50,000 words. You can author a novella in a month!

Here’s the breakdown of book lengths:

  • Standard Novel – 80,000+ words
  • Short Novel – 50,000 to 80,000 words
  • Novella – 20,000 to 50,000 words
  • Novelette – 7,000 to 20,000 words
  • Short Story – up to 7,000 words

The word counts above are general ranges. But, at long last, it’s nice to know. Only recently did I ever hear the term, “Novelette.” I wondered what that was. There’s so much about the writing world I’m ignorant of. So I keep reading up.

Weighing Words

For me, the measure of word count versus page count makes the prospect of authoring a book more feasible. It sets a target to aim at.

When I write blog posts in Google Docs, for example, I check my word count at the end of my first draft to see how verbose I was. I shoot for an average of 500 to 1,000 words a post. Then my inner editor unleashes word-wrath! I get to be my own Grammar Police.

Words count, so check word counts. Speak little, say much. Be brief, concise, succinct, simple. It’s challenging.

A Story Pipe Dream

Every now and then, my dream of writing fiction shimmies back up from the crevices between the couch cushions of my mind. With my recent resurgence in reading fiction (a new genre too), I’ve also started to think of creating my own worlds of escapism.


Sometimes, my mind will brainstorm story ideas off and on during the day – daydreaming. I usually try to explore “what ifs” and come up with an amazing and unique synopsis that interests me and is sure to make everyone want to buy my future book. So that’s, what, a delusion of grandeur? Or a dream of glory?

Something changed recently though. Instead of just ideas, I started getting scenes in my head. An overall plot started to come together in my little brain, so I just went with it. A setting, a time, and people formed into a little world. And different scenarios played out in my imagination, like watching the story unfold in my mind’s eye.

I began to think of names that fit each person and jotted them down in a note. I pondered some of their individual traits while considering what their character might be. There were family members, friends, co-workers, adults, kids, and love interests. Some died. Some got sick. Many traveled.

Then I decided to practice writing one of the scenes I had imagined. It’s one of the early parts in my story idea. I tried to set the scene, describe actions and feelings, and introduce a character. I’m happy with how it turned out, yet I already want to rewrite it, expand, and edit. It was fun practice. But it also helped me see how challenging the story writing process is. It’s art and science – a craft.

Writing a story is no small undertaking. It’s a big investment of your time and mental energy. I read somewhere that you end up living in your story world by necessity. That makes more sense now since I got a taste of it. To me that feels daunting but also intriguing. Imagine being able to escape into a fabricated universe that you create in your mind. And although it’s fiction, it works, playing out in compelling fashion.

After those story scenes fleshed themselves out in my mind, I shelved them because I decided they weren’t to my liking. Instead, I started to come up with new ideas. I got some external inspiration and worked my creative muscles to pull some different elements together, and a bonafide story idea started to cement itself. I was excited!

There were many details emerging, like the story was starting to come alive in my brain. The usual peppering of questions arose, and answers quickly filled the blanks. I concocted a super-villain with a motive and backstory. This story idea is promising, and I’m glad to pursue it. With crazy luck, who knows, I might be able to develop it enough to take a stab at NaNoWriMo this year!

I didn’t think this current fling of fiction fun would go far. But I am enjoying it and, I think, reaping some knowledge and experience in practicing. I’m exercising my story-telling muscles while seeing if I really have any.

To fuel this literary escapade, I find websites that talk about the writing process and how to create good fiction. Most of all, I keep reading fiction. Whatever inspiration I can find, my hands grasp it like a glass of wine. I drink every last drop.

Most of all, to fuel the fiction fire, I read more fiction. I once read a famous writer who said that to write, you should read. That works for me; who doesn’t like reading?

50,000 Words In 7 Months

Have you ever wondered what it takes to write 50,000 words? It’s kinda baked my noodle. Every November, people try to do it in one month to write a novel! It took me 7 months of blogging this year, January through July, to hit the big 50k.


I’m one of those WordPress bloggers who looks at my blog stats to see how it’s going. I write many words, so I see many numbers. Well, hopefully. But do the metrics truly measure the merit of my missives? I don’t know. But I enjoyed stringing a bunch of ‘m’ words together just now. So there’s that ;).

Near the end of July, I noticed my blog stats for the year so far: total number of posts I’ve written, how many comments and likes, etc. My average number of words per post is 562. Not bad I guess.

Then I saw the total number of words I wrote this year: about 48,500. My eyes blinked. And stared. My brain smoothly churned, turning that number over. Synapses fired off to others, and NaNoWriMo came to the forefront of my mind. That’s the month-long writing blitz aspiring authors buckle-up for each year to punch out a novel. The big goal is 50,000 words.


For me, my big goal in blogging is to stick with it and enjoy it for the long haul. It’s about duration, discipline, and dedication. All it takes is a post here and there, nothing too long or fancy. Simple prose.

As long as I’m blogging: #amwriting. Over time, all those words add up. I just didn’t realize how fast or slow that was happening.

It took 7 months to reach 50,000 words. Now I wonder, could I have written a novel in that time?

Let’s say I started the year with the goal of gaining words instead of losing weight: “this year, I’m gonna write a book!” Had I set that goal and stuck with it, I guess now I could be self-publishing an e-book. But something tells me there’s more to penning fiction than just time on the clock. Many have proven that if you push hard, it only takes about 4 weeks to write a book start to finish.


Given my circumstances, I don’t know if it’s feasible for me to attempt writing a novel in a month, or at all. But as I continue to practice writing in whatever form, I do keep my novella dreams nearby. My eyes look-out for inspiration and motivation to take on a chance to produce a work of fiction. Like I’ve said, someday.

Have you tried writing a book? How many words do you write daily?

Amwriting And Daydreaming

What is #amwriting, you ask? It’s a daydream of mine. It’s one of those someday things. That, “If you could be anything when you grow up..?” idea. Some people fantasize over a romanticized notion of what it is to be a best-selling novelist. I’m one of those people.

Coffee and laundry

There I am. In the warm sunlit attic. No, it’s a bookshelf lined home office. Sitting at a wooden desk with a typewriter. Wait, make that a Lazy-boy recliner and a svelte silver laptop. A paper cup of hot Starbucks…I mean a hand-made ceramic mug of French-press brewed from pulverized coffee beans grown in my back-yard…rests on the side table, wafting its nutty aroma of caffeine enticement.

Okay. So actually. I often write on my iPad while it’s propped on top of our dirty clothes hamper. Not romantic but realistic. It gets the job done.

Writing also happens often by just thumb-typing on my iPhone. Hey, it works.

Novel gazing

Being introspective, I think and write. Writing helps me think. Thinking helps me write. And out comes this blog!

But I often gaze into a hazy future where I see myself writing a novella, a real fake story about awesome things expressing some awesome idea. With plot twists, of course. Fiction at its finest. Because blowing people’s minds like the end of The Sixth Sense is awesome.

Side note: Is there irony in the fact that instead of writing a book, I’m writing about writing a book?

Head scratcher, that one.

Grammar police academy

Besides dreaming of authorship and publishing, I sometimes imagine becoming a grammar teacher in school. Because it’s linked to writing. And you know the saying, “Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach.” I think I’m just interested in getting better at grammar and word-smithing. Seems like it’d make it easier to bend the rules for prose.

My case is not too weird. There are many people who wish to “someday” write a book. I’ve started two short fiction works, one a fantasy and one a sci-fi. But those attempts fizzed out like a flat soda.


A lot of people quit wishing and start writing and see great success, even if they don’t get published. Every year in November, the amwriting community surges with activity, each aspiring author churning out 50,000 words in a single month! It’s inspiring, and “someday” I think I’ll give it a try.

For now, I’m just trying to keep up with blogging.

There is one small way I stopped dreaming. Instead of only admiring “those studious Scrivener and Ulysses aficionados”, I stepped up my writing game earlier this year by becoming a Ulysses app user myself! I highly recommend it.


So what is #amwriting, you wonder? I thought it stood for “amateur writing.” But I guess I was wrong! I found a great explanation on another blog:

“Amwriting is a Twitter hashtag created by Johanna Harness on August 3, 2009. The hashtag is a shortened version of ‘I am writing.’”

Johanna Harness

The blog explains more of what it means – it’s worth reading. For me, I’ve associated #amwriting with people who aspire to write professionally and are dedicated to the task, learning the trade, and practicing the skills. What I like about it is the openness and struggle people share while striving to become better writers. It’s welcoming and encouraging!

If you daydream of writing an awesome bunch of words that everyone wants to read, then go for it:

  • Get good tools like a keyboard or a pencil or a writing app
  • Take time to write. Just write, write, write!
  • Also take time to read, read, and read. Read books about writing. But mostly just read lots of fiction. Read blogs about writing too.
  • Dip your toe in the #amwriting community on Twitter
  • Maybe take some writing workshops

Dreams can come true. They often do in fiction stories at the very least, so get to writing one!

Have you attempted NaNoWriMo?

Good Morning My Muse

Here’s a little update about my writing endeavors. I’m still plugging away at it. No novel in the works, but novella ideas here and there. Mostly I’m focused on blogging. Finding time is usually the roadblock, so I was driven to find a way around.


I want to write regularly, but my schedule is so regularly filled with other things that writing falls by the wayside. That’s funny, because if I’m a blogger, then writing should be the regular thing my time is filled with.

Since it’s a matter of time, it was time to take action and make a change in course. So now I get up earlier in the morning with the express purpose of just drafting stuff. Just 30 extra minutes of quiet focused solitude. And coffee, of course. There’s always coffee.

I get up early. I get my keyboard, my iPad, my coffee. I open Ulysses. By this time, 5 or so minutes after swinging the legs onto the floor and taking on the vertical challenge, my eyes are mostly open and my brain is starting to fire on all the neurons.

Then I start writing. Usually I draft. Sometimes I’m editing. I almost always have at least a few posts started. They’re ideas I’ve jotted down during random moments throughout the day.


You’ve likely heard about the thing called a muse. Like it’s some kind of imaginary magical writing fairy that floats into your subconscious and taps you on the head with a word-wand. Next thing you know, the latest New York Times best seller is flowing through your fingertips.

It’s not quite like that.

I don’t get up early in the morning to let a muse visit me for writing. The early morning is my “muse.” 

The simple solitude and quiet, the time and space for me and my mind to focus, relax, and get into writing mode is all it really takes.

That simply means thinking more deeply than usual. It lets you chase those rabbits all the way to the end of the trail because there’s nothing else in the woods with you, no distractions. So you get to see where the path leads and fully develop a thought, even approaching it from different angles.

For some people, their writing time is at night. Mine happens to be in the morning, while it’s still dark outside before sunrise. So technically that’s also night I guess. The point is I’ve got to take time and make space to write.

Take Time To Have Time

So it’s kinda simple. I don’t have to be Einstein and know how time and space work. I just need to know they work and then use them to write.

This is a good change of pace. Before, I didn’t know when I’d get to write except maybe during the weekend. But now, I know I get to have 30 minutes a morning, 5 days a week, plus likely on weekends.

It’s like the french dude’s one-liner in The Matrix Reloaded about time. If you don’t take time, then you won’t have time.

When do you like to write?

A Daily Writing Habit

A few months back, I found myself in unusual circumstances. I was able to get a lot of writing done. And it led me to schedule many blog posts. I even found my brain more apt to write most of the time – my writing muscles were flexed. Then life kinda happened. Now I’m struggling to find time, make time, to type stuff up.

I need a daily writing habit.

A Writing Tool

I think one reason my mind is writing less is because it’s in learning mode. It wants to take in info and process it all at once. I had heard of a writing tool called Ulysses and decided to finally give it a try. This has me reading a lot of stuff to learn it!

So far, I like Ulysses a lot. Here’s just a few off-hand reasons why:

  • It helps me organize my writing better
  • It gives me better ways to write, making it easier
  • It helps motivate me with writing goals
  • It gives me more and better options to publish

I’ll leave it at that for now. It will take quite some time for me to slowly re-wire my 3 pound brain, adjusting my workflow through Ulysses. Prior to this, I wrote all my notes and private journal entries in the Notes app on iOS. And I wrote all my blog drafts directly in the WordPress app. But anything about the blog was separated out to the Notes app. Now that’s changed.

Guess what? Change is hard. Even when for the better. But I’m sure you know that already.

A Writing Time and Place

Last year, I read a book called, Rest. Here’s the link. In it, I found awesome motivation to implement a daily writing habit. Part of that was to slog it out by picking the same time and place each day to just show up with the mind ready to write Shakespeare. Or dreck not worthy of a Facebook post. The point was to just start writing!

So that’s what I did. And it was great! I often got into the flow of writing. Just letting the words pour forth on the digital page. I was in a nice quiet space, a rare time of solitude before anyone else was out of bed, and I had my first cup of coffee. Sounds like a dream, but it was real. Also amazing, I was able to write over 1,000 words a day on some of those days; hitting 500 words was easier.

Guess what happened not long after that? Life hit me. I got sidelined by anxiety. At the time, I was still not far removed from a period of life in which anxiety or panic attacks were frequent. After that, I just couldn’t or didn’t want to attempt early morning writing again.

Well, I’m back at it again, trying to resume such a daily writing habit. Because I need to. I can’t let life just happen. What I mean is, I can’t hope to find time to write. I might as well buy a lottery ticket if I’m hoping to get lucky. No, I need to take time or make time, at least just a little, so I can practice writing.

Writers Write. Right.

The goal is to cultivate a good habit of writing in order to get better at all forms of it, especially blogging. Yes, I have dreams of someday writing a fiction novel! But blogging is, for present lack of creative juices, my bread and butter.

Writers write. Bloggers blog.

So…I’ve got a good tool, I’m gonna take time, and I’ve got a place to write.

Let’s see how it goes!

Am I missing anything I need to write more or better? What about something like Grammarly?

November Is A Novel Month

We are smack dab in the middle of it. The 30 day stretch where many aspiring novelists commit to the big 50k. It’s like an annual writing marathon. 50,000 words written in a single month! Fingernails will be worn down to the nubs. And maybe, just maybe, a myriad of writers will find they have become authors.

It’s called NaNoWriMo.

National Novel Writing Month

This yearly event is inspiring and motivating. It’s a tool that helps you commit to writing an entire work of fiction. Every last word. And while you write alone, you’re not alone. There’s a community of dedicated and enthusiastic people all sharing the same goal.

But it’s no small commitment; I myself wouldn’t want to attempt it without serious determination and plans to complete all 50,000 words. This year I considered joining NaNoWriMo, but I just didn’t think I was up for it.

Heck, I don’t want to submit to writing a 500 word blog post daily for a month. (Not even if it’s February!) Let’s be realistic here. In 30 days, that’d be a mere 15,000 words, not even half the goal of NaNoWriMo! Yet I write.

It’s satisfying to tap away my fingertips on the keyboard, summoning bits of language into prose worth reading. Despite little success, I enjoy my brain’s propensity for word-smithing. Failed attempts and all.

I’ve tried my hand at writing both fiction and non-fiction. I once completed several chapters of a Sci-Fi novella. And earlier this year, I got up super early each morning for over a month with one intention: writing words. Lots of them.

There comes a state of word-flow where your inner-editor takes a back seat. A handful of paragraphs later you look up; an hour flew by! I often typed over 1,000 words in a session. The accomplishment felt like butter melting thoroughly on a steamy baked potato.

I’ve also read a book about writing (sorry, no spoilers), authored by one of the most prolific fiction novelists of our time, Stephen King. And I’ve kinda geeked out reading blogs and websites all about creative story-telling.

NaNoWriMo is a real chance to take the dream of writing a book and make it into a reality, like a fairy tale coming to life. It compels talented people to go from “once upon a time” to “happily ever after” and fill out all the details in between! Who knows? Maybe they’ll even be published.

Right now, many are typing. One could be your co-worker moonlighting as a novelist. They’re honing their craft, penning scenarios, developing characters, and plotting out climaxes. At this moment, an aspiring author is plugging away to the-ultimate-plot-twist!

I get that. I wish that. And until I gather up the gumption to write 50-grand in words, I will continue to admire those studious Scrivener and Ulysses aficionados.

So are you a fellow-novel-dreamer, brimming with hope to write long-form? Have you read captivating stories and felt yourself pining away with notions of your own bookish adventures bubbling from your imagination? Take a moment to leave a comment.

On Writing Review

In all my years, I’ve never read a Stephen King book. Until this year. I also never believed in telepathy. Until it happened. 
King used his telepathic powers to put info and imagery in my head. It worked too. I smiled a lot, laughed out loud. I also gained insightful knowledge.

Through his rare non-fiction work, he transmitted mini-stories, snippets from his life’s story arc, across time and space. That was about 19 years ago. And on a Friday in 2018, I went to my local library, grabbed his book, and began to receive King’s message:

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

I’m not going to rebroadcast his message though. That would rob you and him from direct telepathic communication. If you engage in it, you won’t be willing or able to stop until you’ve received all of it. King’s book is like a bag of chips. Once you open it and start chomping, you won’t be able to put it down.

Besides entertaining and informing, his memoir was inspiring and encouraging. King should be proud for accomplishing exactly what he wanted.

Of course I’ve heard over the years about King’s success and influence as a modern fiction novelist. But after reading his non-fiction sort of info-novella, I don’t think it’s fair to speak of him as a writer or author. Those terms are too narrow. He is a wonderful storyteller. And a great telepath. At least that’s my impression of the man.

I’d wanted to read this book years ago because my writing needs improvement. I figured if ‘the king’ of writing wrote a book on writing, then it would benefit me. Time will tell, but I believe it’s helping me already.

Besides being a great teller of tales, King is an under-the-eave archaeologist (similar to the closet version, I think). You need to know this because if you want to improve your own writing, you’re gonna have to get your hands dirty. King says so. You’ll need the right tools to dig up your stories to tell; the better you are at unearthing them, the better a telepath you’ll be.

I must say that if you like to read Stephen King’s stories yet couldn’t care less about writing your own, then you still need to get this book and read the first half. It’s full of King’s real-life stories! Just the fact that he knows how to tell them so well is reason enough; you’ll race through them with delight.

The bonus content, you might say, is the second half, which reveals all his secrets! Okay, not quite. But there’s a lot of those shiny little wisdom nuggets in there, couple big ones too. He talks about different kinds of writers and writing in general of course.

King’s crafty memoir is so good, I plan to give it future reads. I returned my copy to the library, but I’ll pay money to keep this little treasure in my house for reference if not also to just enjoy another viewing of King’s highlight reel: how an author was authored.

Do you like to read Stephen King novels?