Tag Archives: writing

Canada Post wants you to send more mail. You should take them up on it by going to these sites.

First off, here’s is some tips on how you can get started letter writing (and if you celebrate Christmas, now is a good time to start thinking about it): Write here. Write now. | Canada Post

Second, if you need more info, including how to get personalized stamps: Picture Postage

Get your pen out and get going. Thank you! ūüôā

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Some random thoughts on bullet journals


There’s merit to be had in having a bullet journal. It lets you capture the things you have to do and track and quickly capture them. If this appeals to you and you want to learn more, I found this use helpful:¬† Learn – Bullet Journal

That used to be my impression of how they worked, and they looked very minimal.

It seems though that bullet journals have transformed into these amazingly detailed books filled with calligraphy and they started to look like this:

Now there is nothing bad about that, and for some that is an impressive way of capturing information. But as the person who made that wrote, it may not be the best way to be productive, and she switched to a simpler mode of documentation.

I can’t say which is the better way of doing things: it’s a personal preference in my opinion.

I do want to say that there is this person who has come up with a smart way to visually represent the things she has to do. For example, here’s her todo list for decluttering her house. It’s a much better visual representation of what she has to do.

Likewise this is a smart way to plan a big meal:

If I were to do a bullet journal, I think I’d stick with the minimal approach. But even that is a lot of work. Perhaps if I were more artistically inclined I’d go with the more graphic approach.

Like I said, random thoughts.

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Links for self publishing authors

If you’ve ever thought about self publishing but didn’t know where to start, this can help.

  1. How to Self-Publish a Book: the first thing you need to know
  2. How to Format a Book in 6 Powerful Steps ‚ÄĘ Ebook Formatting: how to format it
  3. What Does It Take To Be A ‚ÄúBestselling Author‚ÄĚ? $3 and 5 Minutes. | Observer: how to (cynically) promote it
  4. Russell Smith: Self-published authors may be no worse off than the rest of us – The Globe and Mail: why it’s not a bad idea
  5. Make-Your-Own Cookbook: Dinner: not really about self-publishing as it is about making your own personal cookbook via the NYTimes
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Four links for aspiring writers


Including some good advice from Kurt Vonnegut:

  1. How to Write a Short Story from Start to Finish
  2. Kurt Vonnegut’s 8 Tips on How to Write a Great Story | Brain Pickings
  3. So You Want to be a Writer… – Hugh Howey
  4. ADVICE TO WRITERS
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Do you want to read more women writers but need suggestions? The Hay Festival of Literature and the Arts has your back

How so? Here is a list of one hundred books by great women authors on a wide range of topics, including graphic novels like Persepolis. Hay Festival of Literature and the Arts Р#VOTE100BOOKS. 

Regardless of the voting and which book gets the most, it is safe to say that everything listed is worth seeking out.

It’s unlikely even well read people haven’t read all these. If you find you want to read more women, you’re bound to find things on that list.

How to be a better writer, Op-Ed or otherwise.

This piece on how to be a better Op-Ed writer is also good advice for people writing essays or any other pieces. Anyone wanting to be a better writer would do well to read it.

Advice on writing is often terrible. The advice of Kazuo Ishiguro is not….


And thanks to Emily Temple, who has compiled much of this advice in one article, which is here:¬†¬†Kazuo Ishiguro: ‘Write What You Know’ is the Stupidest Thing I’ve Ever Heard at Literary Hub.

Worth reading, both for fans of the author and for writers looking to improve their craft.

(Image via The Paris Review, which has a good interview with Ishiguro here.)

Blogging: still a good idea


Of all the social media that has come along in the last 10 years, blogging is in some ways the best of them all. It allows for a wide range of expression.  It is not ephemeral. It has a freshness to it, but you can look back in a few years and still read it.

I recommend that everyone blogs. Even in 2017. If you are still skeptical, consider this piece:¬†Seth Godin Explains Why You Should Blog Daily ‚ÄĒ CJ Chilvers

Book writing advice, cookbooks and otherwise

Cookbook
If you have the itch to be an author, then here are some links you may find helpful:

Image from here: http://www.wikihow.com/Write-a-Cookbook.

¬†George Saunders on writing

Yesterday I mentioned Robert Caro and his writing routine. Today, here’s a good piece by George Saunders and what writers really do when they write in The Guardian. Well worth a read.

Two portraits of a great writer: Robert Caro

Robert Caro

I find Caro a fascinating person and this portrait of him in this Paris Review interview is well worth reading: Paris Review – Robert Caro, The Art of Biography No. 5.

It’s worth comparing it to this piece on him in the New York Times that talks about his routine, including how he goes to a separate office in Manhattan just to work and that he wears formal business attire to do so. A rare life writing about another rare life.

A superb interview in the Paris Review of the great Italo Calvino

Can be found here: Paris Review – The Art of Fiction No. 130, Italo Calvino.

Paris Review interviews are generally good, and this one of Calvino is no exception.

An interview with Borges

This 1966  interview, in the Paris Review, is a must read for fan of the writer Jorge Luis Borges.

The Greatness of G√ľnter Grass

Grass died today. To read most of the pieces on him, you’d have a hard time imagining he was a great writer. So read this instead:¬†The Greatness of G√ľnter Grass in The New Yorker. It’s by another great writer, Salman Rushdie. It makes you appreciate the greatness of Grass.

Why Laurie Penny writes may also be good reasons for you to write

In the Overland literary journal, Laurie Penny has a long and interesting essay on why she writes. For anyone who is thinking of writing more and writing publicly, I highly recommend it.

Have reservations about writing? Her piece should persuade you to give them up and get down to the business of putting your thoughts and words out there for others to read.

Do it!

On the shocking decline in the income of writers

The writing business is getting more and more difficult as this Guardian article illustrates and with woeful stories of the income (or lack of it) that well known authors make. The decline is shocking.

Anyone considering writing for a living should read this.

G√ľnter Grass on¬†writing

Spiegel has a good interview with G√ľnter Grass on his upcoming book – which sounds great – and gets his thoughts on a number of other topics. This one, for example, on writing:

Grass: I would like to put a stop to this movement toward reading on computers, but it seems that nobody can do this. Nevertheless, the drawbacks of the electronic process are already apparent during the writing of the manuscript. Most young authors write directly on their computers, and then edit and work in their files. In my case, on the other hand, there are many preliminary steps: a handwritten version, two that I’ve typed myself on my Olivetti typewriter and, finally, several copies of versions that my secretary has input into the computer and printed out, and into which I’ve incorporated many handwritten corrections. These steps are lost when you write directly on the computer.

SPIEGEL: Don’t you feel old-fashioned with your Olivetti?

Grass: No. On the computer, a text always looks somehow finished, even if it’s far from it. That’s tempting. I usually write the first, handwritten version all at once, and when there’s something I don’t like I leave a blank space. I fill these gaps in the Olivetti version, and because of that thoroughness, the text also acquires a certain long-windedness. In the ensuing versions, I try to combine the originality of the first version with the accuracy of the second one. With this slow approach, there’s less of a risk of slickness and arbitrariness creeping in.

The interview is worth a read and can be found here: SPIEGEL Interview with G√ľnter Grass: ‘The Nobel Prize Doesn’t Inhibit Me in My Writing’ – SPIEGEL ONLINE – News – International