Posted in Writing, Writing Tips

How to EXPONENTIALLY Improve Your Writing!

Good day, friend. Would you like to learn how to exponentially improve your writing? Have you been feeling dry lately, as if even the few words you manage to squeeze out are just subpar? Do you need an extra boost to get that good spurt of text you know lies somewhere within you?

Then we have good news for you: there is a pill you can take to do just that!

With few side effects that definitely don’t include death or dying (unless you use it in the absolute incorrect manner), science has worked hard by bringing its most brilliant scientists together to make a scientifically-proven method that will guarantee your writing can improve exponentially. Yes, you, and yes, the effects are almost immediate. Buy your magical pill today for only $200!

Yes, I am having too much fun with this.

Hi. This social recluse has been wandering less on the net and more in the streets. Surprising, to be sure. And while wandering through the vast experiences this rich world has to offer, I have found one thing that really is amazing for anything to improve. If you haven’t discovered it for yourself yet, I suggest you interact with more humans to try it out, because scary as it may be for some of us, it really does help you to improve much more than if you never tried it.

How do you improve your writing aside from practice and critique? Simple, really.

Competition.

Before some of you panic and close the tab, I’ll correct myself. It’s not necessarily so much competition that helps you, but the comparison of your own writing as opposed to one of your peers.

Therefore, comparison.

I know many of us tend to shy away from the word ‘comparison’ as we often prefer to do it when no one else is looking. However, the act of comparing, while typically viewed in a more negative light, also has its pros, and those tend to be overlooked by the vastly introverted community of writers across the globe. Writing can often be seen as a solo activity, but to be honest, rarely is something humans do better when they do it by themselves than when they do it with others, however big or small the input by others may seem on the surface. Therefore, let me share the three biggest ways competition will help you with your writing.

Motivation.

I’m a big fan of stories, as you may have gathered from my hobby of writing, so I’ll be using a lot of examples from my life. When it comes to motivation, we writers often (hopefully) don’t struggle all that much; writing is, after all, largely self-driven by people who feel they have something to tell the world. However, there are also times when the well feels dry, and the story on your tongue suddenly seems less necessary. I have felt this while re-working an old story, but working with one friend in particular has helped to continuously fan the flame of passion to push on through the dry moments for the potential it has in the end.

Even simply seeing someone else be passionate about their own story and characters can reignite the first love you had for your own tale, and that can give you the extra push you need to get over that particular hump of writer’s block you seem to be stuck on.

Challenge.

My brother and I often have petty competitions over the smallest things like random video games. When he started playing one game and earned his high score, I played intentionally to beat him (and did a pretty thorough job of it). Yesterday he unfortunately went on to almost double my high score, but the moral of the story is that the two of us pushed each other to do our best when we otherwise probably would have not spent that many hours on the game just to rub it in the other’s face.

While you hopefully won’t go around doing your best just so you can say you’re better than another writer you know, having someone more accessible to challenge yourself with really can push you to write the best that you can. I’ve seen this similarly in my own writing class and my sister’s photography class where we shared our pieces during the lecture; especially as everyone begins to improve, others’ growth can help to push you on your way to giving every piece of writing every bit of love that you’ve got. It makes you think more carefully about what you put onto paper.

Instruction.

Last but not least, writing with others can also teach you more about writing. It not only gives you a glimpse into other peoples’ thoughts, but also may give you ideas for style, voice, characterization, etc. that you likely would not have thought up on your own. And while you’re learning from the things other writers do well, you’re also learning from what they don’t do well, and that can teach you to avoid it in your own writing. It may even teach you more about the basics of punctuation and spelling when you see something you disagree with in another writer’s piece.

 

This, friends, is the magical pill that will take your writing from zero to hero. Use it wisely, and never go around paying $200 for the physical pill, because that actually might have side effects other than invested time and socialization-caused exhaustion. Now go; I send thee into the real world to find your writing buddies.


If you’re having trouble finding a physical writing buddy, you may want to consider trying an online platform. You may want to try WordPress for writing blogs, or Wattpad for a large gathering of writers.

Posted in Writing, Writing Tips

One Big Thing Writers Aren’t Told to Look Out For

There’s something many people probably won’t tell you when you’re starting out writing. It’s not generally something I’ve seen anyone talk about — I don’t know that I’ve ever heard someone say this — but as time has passed, especially more recently as I’ve battled with the apathy of life, I’ve begun to realise something every writer should look out for. It’s not plot, or characters, or setting, though those are naturally important too; it’s something actually somewhat outside the realm of writing itself, but it still probably affects the writing the most. Yet writers rarely seem to be looking out for it, so when it has problems, we rarely know what to do with it, since we didn’t really think to look out for it in the first place.

Out of everything they can be told to look out for, writers are rarely told by other writers to look out for themselves.

Seems simple enough. I feed myself, I get a few hours of sleep every night, I exercise my fingers, you’re probably saying; but before you begin listing off every way you are taking care of yourself, I would like to list some ways you probably aren’t. While most normal people can probably agree they could eat healthier, get some more exercise, or spend a little less time on their devices, there are a few habits writers in particular have that may do more damage to them and ultimately their writing that should be addressed.

I’d like to specifically address those that tend to relate particularly to writing, since that’s probably what most of us tend to care more about anyway; so before you begin your list of how you are caring for yourself, I will launch off into mine.

Writing something every day.

This is a tip I’ve heard very commonly. For new and experienced writers alike, honing the craft is unquestionably necessary, and the only way to do that is through consistent practise; however, writing too excessively is also a thing, just as doing anything else excessively can harm more than help you. There will be some days where you will be too exhausted to write, or where you will have come to the bottom of your writing well and need inspiration instead. As such, there are some days where you will just need to take a break from writing — really. If you feel the need to continue doing something related to your piece, consider reading for inspiration, brainstorming for more ideas, or bouncing ideas off of other people while you wait for yourself to recharge.

Knowing your characters.

People will tell you one of the most important ways to write is by knowing your characters. Rarely do people tell you how important it is to first know yourself. It may sound funny and obvious, but the truth is that you’re never going to be as inside someone else’s mind as you’re going to be in your own. While all of your characters hopefully won’t think exactly the same way you do, your own thoughts are the first base from which you should stem your characters, because that’s the most raw, real, human stuff you’re going to get. By knowing and understanding your own needs, desires, dislikes, quirks, habits, etc., you learn how to better equip your own characters for whatever situations they may face, and how they might react to it the way you would (or wouldn’t).

Though latching onto your own thinking habits can be tricky, it becomes simple once you begin journaling your thoughts every now and then. Even just consciously thinking about why you do things may give you more insight into why your characters might do things — while giving you more insight into yourself, as well.

Focusing on your writing.

Naturally you want to focus on your writing: your story, how it might be going, what could be improved. Oftentimes, though, it becomes easy to focus all your attention on your writing, neglecting other important aspects of life like relationships, health, and sleep. As most of us probably know by now, writing (fiction) is more often a side job than something we will be able to invest all our time in as a career; as such, we need to make sure we can put the writing aside when necessary, whether that be at work to focus on the job, at home or with friends to focus on the people around you, or at night to get sufficient rest instead of worrying or writing all night. This isn’t to say I discourage late-night inspiration writing — sometimes it’s necessary to get words out before they’re lost forever (or just trample your brain) — but you shouldn’t spend an entire week living off two hours every night chugging caffeine, either.

Using every experience to write.

Nothing is wrong with writing based off your experiences. But particularly for things like mental health, some people may tell you the ‘mentally ill are the best writers’ and point to some of the big names in history. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take care of something that’s wrong just so that you can continue writing about it. While going through an experience yourself is unquestionably valuable, that doesn’t mean you should prolong anything that may potentially end up being harmful, particularly mental health, however ‘harmless’ it may seem to you at first. While you want to learn from your own experiences, you should never put yourself at risk just for that one scene. A shallow or cut scene is better than no scene at all if it means you stay safe.

 

In a nutshell, while writing is fun, important, and sometimes necessary, it should never be more important to you than your own health and your own life. Even if you don’t like the idea of simply caring for yourself, your writing ultimately depends on you: your ability to write as determined by your mental state. However much you might like to deny it, your mental state does affect your writing; and so in order to take care of your writing, you should first take care of yourself.

Just remember: eat well, rest well, write well.

Posted in Writing, Writing Tips

Making Shy and/or Jerky Characters Cooperate

Have you ever had a character that never seems to want to come out on the page regardless of how well-planned you thought everything was?

Welcome to my life. Thank you so much, Seth, for being just the butt I remember you to be when I made you a year and a half ago.

It’s a not-so-funny phenomenon, working with shy and/or antisocial characters, realising their non-extraverted tendencies happen to inconveniently translate to writer’s blocks. Of course, when they’re alone it’s not usually a problem; it’s only when they have to interact with others that they suddenly become surprisingly yet obstinately uncooperative. Scenes can be hard to write, characterization might suddenly not seem to exist, or everything can feel like you took the pen and scrawled desperately across the page. (Which you very well may have done.)

In short, introverted or jerky characters can make a writer’s life incredibly painful, which is why I thought it’d be helpful to go over some tips on how to work with them. How do we go about loving on these difficult characters and giving them the page-time they deserve? It can seem impossible since we’re working with people who aren’t actually people, but in the end, how big is the difference?

When it comes to difficult characters, first and foremost, don’t force it. You may like to think you’re the Almighty Author with all the power in the universe, but to an extent, you too are at the mercy of the boundaries you create within your world, whether it be the universe, the law, pure logic, or… your character. While you have the power to create anything you like, everything you bring into existence brings in its own limits — a planet might have a strong gravity, a spell might flicker out after a certain amount of time, a character might really, really hate initiating conversations. Even though you created the character, you have to follow the rules you set for them when you established their personality; you can’t force them to do anything and everything you fancy on a whim.

Which leads me to a great rabbit trail: the title of this post is wrong. (Clickbait!) Yes, of course you want your difficult character to work with you in order to finish the story, but no, you do not want to make your character do anything. Regardless of how much we may like to overlook this fact, characters are (or should be) real humans with their own personalities, backgrounds, habits, worldviews and, based off the framework you created for them, they will or will not do certain things. Just as you can’t force anyone on the street to do anything, neither can you force a character to do something they would never do.

On that note, it’s clear we need something more than brute force to help us in our dilemma. The most logical solution? Give your characters a good reason to socialize. If Seth doesn’t want to socialize, he sure as heck ain’t gonna socialize. That is… unfortunately just the way I created him. And that’s why, if I ever want to write any kind of social interaction between him and another human being, I need to give him motivation to talk to people. In this case, my character is an information- and self-gain-driven person; therefore, in order to motivate him to not be a recluse, he has to gain something from the people around him, whether it be information, reputation, or the relationship required to manipulate them to his every little need. (Almost, Seth. Almost.)

That’s not to say that every difficult character has to have some ulterior motive for talking to someone — everyone needs some kind of social interaction, even the most introverted of introverts. That does not, however, warrant them to go against their nature if they generally dislike talking to strangers. Maybe instead there’s just something they find confusing or interesting about the new person in town; maybe they happen to always shop at a place where they have to interact with the same cashier until they become friends; maybe they always have to apologize to the same neighbor every time their dog bombs the yard. Be creative; it is creative writing, after all.

If you still have no idea how to deal with your problem character(s) at this point, then return to the problem-solver of most character-related issues: observe the people around you. Try to become more aware of yourself and your own internal processes. Talk to people who have similar personalities or tendencies as your character. Go people-watching. Observe movies or novels with similar characters to see how to better depict their personality in a related medium. When it comes down to it, every one of the citizens of the worlds you create is at least somewhat based off your own experiences with other people; go back to the original and get to know your character better from there.

Finally, one of my favourite pieces of advice (it’s not laziness!) (probably!): take a break. Let yourself rest from writing, and/or let your character rest from socializing. Consider inserting those thought monologues your character gets lost in; let your introverted character process and ponder over the events of the past few days; take a breather from that character who seems to want to single-handedly wreck your story. Use your extra time to people-watch, to brainstorm, to compare the character’s personality type to other familiar and well-known figures. Use the cushion time in your story to flesh out your themes, your characterization. Sometimes both you and your character just need the time away from other people — or each other.

Remember: ultimately your character is another human (assuming your character is human). You can’t force them nor draw them from thin air without any basis, but you need to motivate them, know them, and let them be themselves. Next time your problem character gives you a hard time, ask yourself what you can change, not why they have to be so painful to work with. (Because we all know you are technically the reason they are this way.)

Thank you for reading this ultra long ordeal! Since you stuck it through to the end, you must be incredibly desperate, and I wish you the best of luck with your most difficult of children. I hope reading this helped in some way or another.

Be sure to drop in next week for the next episode of Character Parenting – Difficult Characters Part 2: Educating Teens on Why They Can’t Have a Relationship with That Character.

Posted in Writing, Writing Tips

The Basic Components of Writing (a Novel[la/lette])

With longer writing projects, it can get incredibly easy to wander off-track with writing until you begin to wonder, ‘What’s the point anymore? How does it all fit together?’

This post is probably more for me than anyone else, since I’ve recently been trying to get my brain to start working on revamping a novella from about a year ago. Since the story had been written for a project in a creative writing class, it had had word count limitations that resulted in rushed scenes, underdeveloped characters, and an overall undermining of emotional impact that could have been there had the details been fleshed out more. As I face the daunting task and challenge of re-working the entire piece, I have been helping myself out immensely by overthinking everything and making it seem more complicated than it has ever seemed before, probably just because I’ve gotten lazy recently and forgotten the meaning of taking on the challenge of bothering to plan out and write a longer work of writing.

With that lovely unnecessary bit of introduction and background to this post, I thought we should take a look at the basic components of writing a novel (or any other form of the word) just to solidify the simplicity of it before we go into the juicy deets. As far as I’m concerned, these are probably the most basic components of (honestly pretty much any, but in this case mostly) novel writing projects.

Let’s dive in.

  • Plot.

Most writers will probably not tell you this from the very beginning, but let me tell you now: your story does, indeed, need a plot of some kind. Rather shocking, I know, but even more shocking is probably the fact that this part can be incredibly simple. While plot provides the overall drive and gasoline for the entire story by supplying one major problem that needs to be solved, the overarching plot doesn’t need to be (and isn’t usually) all that complex. Usually the problem is something as basic as, ‘Aliens are attacking earth, and humans need to fight back.’ Life isn’t all that complicated all the time; don’t overthink it when really you should be able to present the major problem to readers in one sentence if you had to.

  • Characters.

Another shocking bit of information: your story will need characters to go through… well, the story. Characters are your major columns as well as support that fill in the little details of each scene; their actions are ultimately what determine how everything falls into place down to the minute specifics. In the day-by-day scenes, they’re what keep readers engaged; in the overall story, they’re what keep readers invested. This is why you always need at least one well-developed character to breathe the life into the rest of the story. It’s always worthwhile to know your characters so that the readers can know them too.

  • Subplots.

Now that we’ve got the foundations and the columns, it’s time to put in walls to flesh the story out more. Since the overall plot is generally rather simple, subplots exist as mini problems that, whether solved or not, should ultimately point in some way toward the overall plot. You might think of these as the battles that make up a war; each fight is unique with its own challenges, but in the end they work toward the same goal. They are the supporting points to your argument that help to keep the story interesting by throwing in new twists that still head in the same general direction.

 

To be honest, those three are probably all you really need to write a novel. To add in more details, there are settings, places, themes, and other fancy things, but in the end, every scene included in the final copy should help to progress the plot or characterization. (Or the other fancies you may add in.) Writing a novel can seem like a daunting challenge, but breaking it down and taking it in more generalized components can simplify it to make it almost seem doable. 

With that in mind, I shall strive to work on this revamped novella now. It’ll get done. Eventually.

Posted in Hehe, Writing, Writing Tips

Things Your English Teachers Probably Didn’t Teach You

-It’s fine to screw with English if it’s stylistic and purposeful.

-using no caps gives writing a more casual, personal feeling (and/or immature teen feeling but pft).

-Breaking up a compound sentence with a period is fine, really.

-Fancy notebooks don’t actually help you (and cost more money).

-Not everyone believes in the Oxford comma (but most editors do).

-There is a time for (almost) everything, including:

  • Repetition of a word
  • Fantastic breakings of many rules.

-Coffee shops don’t work for everyone.

-Neither do pen and paper / computers.

-Coffee is actually very bad for you, so even if you’re a writer, you shouldn’t be living off coffee alone (for Jesus said, ‘Man shall not live on bread [or coffee] alone…’).

-Fiction writing is an art. Do whatever the heck you want to get the message across in the most impactful way possible.

-Only you can tell when a piece of writing is finished. That’s up to instinct and input from others.

Posted in Completely Random!!, Hehe, Writing, Writing Tips

Blogging: A Realization and (Half) Apology

Hm. I don’t know if any of you remember about a year and a half ago when I started this blog and threatened to steal your sandwich, but for the two of you who do, I kind of wanted to apologize. You probably thought you signed up for some light-hearted, brainless, happy blog of a cheerful/weird kid. Then the Fire Nation attacked and it gradually turned more emo.

(Critique: 1. I’ve used that reference way too many times already; 2. The word ’emo’ is already highly misconstrued and I am not helping with that in any way; 3. Did you really just link this to another post? [It was for the new people.])

(I don’t have Dissociative Identity Disorder yet.)

Anyway, I was just having a conversation with a friend and new-ish blogger about blogging. We were talking about how there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to do a blog, because every blog is different anyway, and it’s a relatively informal form of writing. True, there are supposed methods of getting more people to follow your blog, but in all honesty, who really cares about that? Blogs are for ranting and pretending like you know stuff. No one cares if the content is actually read or something.

Just kidding. But I don’t think most people blog for fame; I find it tends to be more of a hobby. It’s more fun to just do it (Nike) for the sake of doing it. Do it to be yourself; you don’t have to worry about what others hate about it. (I sound like such a millennial. Love yourself! Haha.)

…well, all this to say, I’m sorry many of my posts have been pretty heavy and/or dark lately. However, I am also not sorry because this is a blog and I can really do whatever I please with it. Because that’s the way I like to live my life~

So yerp. Bloggers, blog for fun. Unless you have to do it for money. Then still blog for fun but also money but also make sure you post stuff you’re passionate about because I hope that’s the reason you started your blog in the first place. (Look! Helpful tips from a complete amateur!)

(Maybe I posted happier things before because I was always slaphappy tired? Hi, it’s 4:04 NOT FOUND AM.)

Posted in Completely Random!!, Writing, Writing Tips

Writing Inspiration

Such a stagnant environment; how can it possibly inspire ideas? For you need variety, excitement, thrill, to stimulate the mind and get the words flowing. If you always stay in one place, how can you see something new? If everyone thinks the same way, where is the challenge that forces you to expand your argument? Where do you think ideas come from, if not from the outside world? You think you come up with them? What then is the meaning of inspiration?

If nothing changes, nothing new is born. The old dies a slow death as ideas cease to exist.

Hence why I have been posting less often.

Posted in Completely Random!!, Writing Tips

Random Writing Reminders

Confession time (is it just me or do I have quite a few of these?): I haven’t been writing anything for a good while. At least, not anything I consider ‘legitimate’ aside from blog posts. So while I was writing a short story for the first time in forever the other day, I had a relevationary (The Good Dinosaur has ruined me) revelationary (not an actual word) moment where some random writing reminders popped into my head.

Therefore, here I have a short list of random but important reminders to keep in mind while writing, mostly concerning characters:

-A single character comes across differently from different characters’ perspectives.

-Most of your characters think differently than you do.

-A character you like can find another character you like annoying – not all characters that you like necessarily like each other as well.

-Every character has an intricate and unique background that has shaped who they are regardless of how flat they seem.

-Actions speak louder than words, and words can have different meanings depending on how they’re read.

 

Posted in Writing, Writing Tips

Why We Need Clichés

I write as the inspiration strikes. Inspiration strikes at random times of my life. Huh. 

Oh, and yeah, you probably did read the title of this post correctly. I mean for it to be in writing mostly, but I can kind of see how this will apply to real life as well. (….I’m not sure if I was being sarcastic there, either.)

If you’re like a lot of writers, you probably see the word “cliché” and freak out a bit. “What? No! I AM ORIGINAL. You cannot take away my freedom! I will not follow your silly stereotypes! My character will not follow your silly stereotypes! I am not one of your silly stereotypes! Fight me to the death!!” (Cue the writer’s dramatic sip of coffee [Cliché….].) 

I know I’ve also said things about avoiding clichés in the past. However, I wanted to confuse you all by giving you mixed messages, so now I’m going to talk about why clichés (I am way overusing this word) are, to an extent, so important. So buckle up, grab your popcorn, and let’s do this. 

  1. Humans are silly, forgetful creatures. (You can see my low opinion of humanity simply beaming through here.) Truth is, we humans just like to forget a lot of stuff. When we read, we still forget a lot of stuff. Therefore, your readers are going to forget a lot of stuff. As a result of this almost-scientifically-sound proof, we need to use clichés just so that our readers’ minds don’t explode. Good reason, right?
  2. It’s impossible not to use any clichés anyway. Nothing is new under the sun. It’s seriously impossible to avoid clichés entirely, and why? Because fiction writing is supposed to reflect the real world in many extents, and the real world is full of clichés. Hat, my life is a cliché. (Just kidding, but my life has had its share of very predictable moments.) The problem comes when you lean too heavily on predictable, easy answers, rather than taking the time and energy to develop your story / characters better. Don’t. Use. This crutch. Because it will leave your story limping sadly along. (I guess Twilight was one of the sad excuses that got away with this somehow.)
  3. Readers need a sense of familiarity. And when it makes sense for a story, it just makes sense. Besides, clichés tend to underlie all the major themes… no, all the themes we’ve used in writing, so again, it’s impossible to avoid them entirely. Besides, if we throw a neck-breaking twist in every other chapter, the readers will find it hard and/or frustrating trying to keep up, so sometimes it’s better to try to save the audience from whiplash and just keep plodding along toward Mordor. 
  4. Finally, clichés are just fun. It’s fun over-playing the dramatic high school cheerleader; or the flat Mr. Nice Guy; or the completely random, adorable talking animal with an IQ of negative three. Writing is for fun anyway, isn’t it? If all we’re writing for is the audience/money, our writing gets dry and boring (I’m looking at your second PJ series, RIORDAN). (Agree to disagree, readers.) 

We should just never forget that writing is never fully for ourselves, but neither is it never fully for the audience, either. We need a balance of that, just as we need a balance of clichés, just as we need a balance of vegetables and candy. 

The life lesson learned from this? Having a world power in control of your fictional world is OKAY. So go… live your dreams. And rest easy about how you’ve slipped some clichés into your story, because it’s only natural and not all-bad. 

Cheers!

Posted in Hehe, Writing, Writing Tips

Writerosis

We writers have to deal with things a lot of normal people don’t have to worry about. While others have health complications that are mostly physiological, our crazy minds tend to make up some other issues for us to deal with, and most of the time, a doctor won’t help.

Writers have a lot of unique diseases — thoughtitis (formerly known as “writer’s block”), fanepnea (“fangirl/boying so much over something that I can’t even write my own story right now”), excimea (the urge of wanting to start a new story already despite having ten others waiting to be finished), Amafic’s Disease (the action of falling in love with a fictional character), and AHPPTMSQPDLPS (Anti-Hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia Syndrome, or the addiction of using overly and unnecessarily long words) — to name a few.

Yes, we’ve certainly got life hard.

Today, I’d like to write about a specific condition that all writers have struggled with at one point. If you’ve written anything before, you know exactly how it feels. It’s that crippling disease that erodes all rational thought until you’re left with nothing but panic; it’s that awful feeling in your gut as you stare at your work with absolute loathing. It is, yes, possibly one of our worst enemies as we face our characters in our twentieth attempt to get them to cooperate with us. It’s… writerosis. Non-fake-medical term? Writer doubt.

Uh-oh, things just got serious.

You know what I’m talking about. It’s that moment a few days after you write that stunning story or essay, that moment when you open the page again to re-read your work of genius…

And you throw it on the ground.

Stomp on it a few times, just to be sure.

Then you swear that you’ll never write anything again, because your best efforts are, at best, a piece of garbage. The end. The writer did not live happily ever after; the writer tried (and failed) to write a good happily ever after but didn’t get it right.

And No One Lived Happily Ever After.

…Oh, but wait. There’s more.

Epilogue

Alright, you depressed writer, let me tell you something: we’ve all gone through that before. All? Well, yes, all. We’ve all had those perfectionistic moments where we’ve wanted to quit because all we can see is how awful this story is. We’ve all wondered how anyone could possibly read through this without thinking the same. But you still have a story to tell, and encouragingly/sadly enough, I can guarantee that there’s always going to be something worse out there than this supposed bit of trash on your desk. All you need to do is keep plugging away and fight off that doubt.

But… how?

Glad you asked! After long consideration as I struggled with my own writing problems, I managed to procrastinate enough in everything else that needs to get done just so I could write this post. And I came up with a list of some all-natural, easy-to-follow home remedies for writerosis:

1. Breaks. Yeah, there are always people who tell you that you should keep writing no matter how bad your piece turns out to be, but face it: you ain’t Superman. There are times when you just need to back off from your project and give it a break before coming back to it. Give your characters and your brain a rest; stop thinking about it for a while, then re-read what you have for a fresh perspective.

2. Readers. It’s a terrifying thing to share your writing with others, but if you haven’t already, you should try to get others to read your work for you and give you feedback. You might think your writing is terrible; but if your friend that you respect is telling you that it’s actually good, that might just be the push of encouragement that you need to keep going. Readers can also point out things that might be confusing or weird that you as the writer don’t notice; they’re always worth having around.

3. New inspiration. Maybe your story just feels too old and stale. What if you threw in a twist? Read other books to try to spark ideas, or research topics related to your story to see if you get any inspiration. Talk through your story’s problems to a friend or even aloud to yourself to see what can be fixed or changed.

4. Editors. I can’t believe I just added this, but editors are also a very real option for when you feel your story is just too… bleh. (That’s another writer-specific medical term; I might define it later.) Problem is, most of us aren’t serious enough about our writing to actually hire a legit editor, but who says an editor has to be professional? You can ask a teacher, a parent, or even a friend to help you edit your work. They add a new perspective and can help you figure out some of the kinks that you couldn’t work out on your own. Honestly, writing isn’t something you should be doing alone.

5. Planning ahead. Of course, if you’ve already started writing your story, there isn’t much you can do about this — but for future projects, try to plan out your story more thoroughly. Have a general idea of what’s going to happen and when so that your story doesn’t slowly veer off-course without you noticing. Stick mostly to your initial plan, but if you move faster/slower than you originally thought, give yourself the freedom to adjust the outline if something turns out to be different than what you planned. This won’t help much once you’ve already started your story, but it may help to prevent future writerosis.

6. Blind eyes. After trying all the above, if you still feel awful about your story, sometimes you just have to turn a blind eye to every bad part in your story. Let the mistakes pass. Uh….did this perfectionist really just type that? Yup, because sometimes you just have to finish your story just for the sake of finishing it. It’s not uncommon to look back later and find that your project isn’t half as awful as you thought when you finished; for now, keep plugging away until the very end instead of simply quitting.

These are my life tips on dealing with writerosis! If you’ve got other tips, let’s hear them. If these don’t work, I hear candy is also an effective remedy.

Yeah, so now that I’ve shared, I get to go work on my terrible story. Peace.