Wednesday, July 29, 2015

My Name’s Lily and I’m in Writer’s Support Group

Of course, there are writers in the world who can shape and develop their talents without any external help. And they are better on their own. Bust most of writers gather knowledge from the surrounding world: books, mentors and writing colleagues.

 There are numerous websites, Facebook pages, LinkedIn groups that share tips and guidelines on how to improve your writing quality and productivity and it seems that these people are real professionals with deep expertise in the field. And it’s really great because there is a mere part of information you can’t find nowadays (God bless the Internet). But what can you do when you happen to look for the answers and don’t come across them after all? That’s right! You ask questions.

From my experience being a member of previously mentioned communities in the web gives writers an advantage to stay relevant and know all the tendencies of the writing world. And it seems that these are the places where you can pose questions and get the answers. But frankly speaking, when I really needed some advice and guidelines, these were not my first aid post. I was shy and couldn’t make myself type a question and, to tell the truth, I was too afraid to appear stupid or incompetent in front of my colleagues. That was silly and I know this now. But back then, I was in search of help and that’s when I discovered special writer’s support groups. I got what I needed and most importantly, I overcame this barrier and started to ask questions without any hesitation.

Now there are many online resources like The Self-Doubting Writers Support Group where you can surf the forum pages and find the information you need (or better to say the confidence you lack) and start your own talk. Another helpful web site is Insecure Writer’s Support Group which offers various information and writing tips together with announcement of different relevant events. Also you can follow Writing Meetups and share your views or seek the answers in live communication.

As you can see there are loads of opportunities you can make use of and there is nothing shameful in the fact that you need help. It’s natural. So, push your fears aside and go for it! Maybe that’s the solution that will change your life.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Have a Writer's Block? Take a Light White Noise Pill

Writers are special people not because they create something beautiful or can draw clear images in your mind with just words. They are special because they need particular conditions to successfully produce their share of writing. They are special because they can’t sit from 9 to 5 in the office, make quarterly reports for the boss and talk about baseball with colleagues. Every writer needs their personal space with their own flexible “decor” that changes very often due to the weather, taste of morning breakfast or mood.

There have been lots of talking about writer’s block and creativity. There are many ways that can improve your productivity and help overcome this barrier that sometimes makes you stuck in one place. However, they are very individual and what greatly boosts one writer’s work can disturb the concentration of the other. But I bet it’s always good to try new things and then share your experience with others.

Well, recently I’ve made a discovery that really surprised me. You know when you need to write something deep and thought-provoking you always search for silence. You think that a quiet place will definitely let you focus on this difficult stuff. But I’ve started to notice that I work better when there is some white noise on the background and I’ve tried to analyze why’s that so.

When you face with something unknown what do you usually do? That’s right. You google it. And that’s what I did. It appears that, in general, noise is considered to be stressful and causes problems with concentration. But there has been one research that has shown the opposite results. It says that light white noise can boost your creativity only if you are a highly original individual because it encourages abstract thinking and, thus, pushes mind to generate ideas. The findings are quite interesting but they lack enough proofs to be claimed as solid statistical data. I also found some people with ADHD who say they are more productive in noisy coffee shops and sometimes they sneak out from quiet offices to work in the environment of people ordering lattes and music playing in the background.

So, quite curious about that, hah? I suppose it never hurts anybody to try something new and I will definitely take a shot and visit cafés or parks to work on my writing projects.
And, will you?

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Harper Lee's New Book and a Stamp with Alice Munro

Last week happened to be very rich in literature events.  You know, I sometimes get very excited when I talk about books or authors. They are my real passion and I just don’t have enough strength to walk past any bookstore I come across (sometimes it gets even problematic cause I swear, I don’t know how I lose so much time there). Thus, as I’m a true reading geek, I just couldn’t miss the opportunity to share my impressions regarding literature news. There are two of them, in particular, that impressed me the most.

So, here we go.

A new book by Harper Lee “Go Set a Watchman” has been released on July 14th. I haven’t managed to buy it yet but I will certainly do! “To Kill the Mockingbird” is one of my favorite books and here comes the next one. It’s surely on the bestseller list on Amazon and I suppose it couldn’t be any other way. However, I’ve read the first chapter kindly published by The Guardian and I have very mixed feelings. That’s certainly not what I expected but I can’t evaluate without seeing the big picture. I definitely want to purchase the full version and then I’ll be able to settle on my opinion.
By the way, you can also listen to the first chapter of “Go Set a Watchman” read by Reese Witherspoon. Intriguing, isn’t it?

But that’s not all. Canada Post created a stamp with the image of Alice Munro, the first Nobel Prize winner in Literature from Canada. I think it’s a real honor and she totally deserves it. I love her short stories written in a simple style. They are so deep that you sometimes wonder how it is possible to fit this world in such a small number of words.

That’s quite impressive and I suppose gives some food for thought.  Well, I hope next week will bring me more joy in the form of literature events and I will definitely share with you.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

“Writing Agency of Spring 2015” Award with!

Here it is! Finally, the event where you can pay tribute to your favorite writing agency and choose the winner of the Spring 2015! is holding the “Writing Agency of Spring 2015” Contest, where freelance academic writers can choose the winning writing agencies in several categories. For example, “the most writer-friendly agency” encourages you to select the service with the best conditions of work for its employees. “The most generous agency” suggests choosing the company with the highest salaries (it will be interesting to know :)). “The most punctual agency” means that your employer doesn’t delay your payments and sends everything on time. “The most demanding agency” supports your choice of the company that has the highest quality standards and “the agency with the best design” is a service that has the most functional and creative website and makes you want to visit it again. So, that’s it. A wide range of choice I would say.

I suppose this is also a great opportunity for me to express my gratitude to the best writing agency for me – ThePensters. I’ve been working with this company for almost 5 years now and I have only positive emotions and associations with it. And, of course, I will vote for ThePensters :)
So, dear writers! Get to your computers, click this link, create your own accounts and vote for your favorite writing agency … or for ThePensters :).
Thank you!

P.S. If you have concerns that your writing agency will find out you haven’t voted for them, don’t worry! The voting process is totally confidential. So, this is your chance to express your opinion on this or that writing company and share with the public.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

After-Birthday Talks or What You Need to Do to Be a Happy Writer

I bet you know the feeling when you enjoy everything that surrounds you: morning coffee (even if it’s without milk), your old but dear laptop (even when it doesn’t want to collaborate) and your neighbor’s golden retriever Bumblebee (even if it sometimes wakes you up in the middle of the night). So, that’s the feeling I have now and that inspires me to write. Thus, I’ve decided to make an after-birthday blog post, analyze my previous year and think what I should or shouldn’t do.

First of all, I clearly decided to avoid a few things: leaving for the airport without plane tickets, following all tips from and adding too much baking soda to the pizza dough. But these are little things. The most incredible discovery I made last year is free writing. Seriously, it’s one of the best things I’ve learned during my writing career. I’m sure that every writer eventually faces that unfortunate block and I’m not an exception. In fact, it was a real problem for me to overcome and I tried a lot of things: changing environment, listening to music or drawing mind maps. But there were times when even those pills didn’t work. Finally, I came across free writing and understood that when you have a writer’s block and nothing works out, you just write continuously for a certain period of time about anything that comes to your mind. And it fades away. And then even your Transformers-loving neighbor’s dog can distract you from the creative process. 

Now, when I am surrounded by people I love, when I do what I really like and know how to overcome the obstacles and enjoy every bit of my life, I can surely say that I feel happy and delighted. That’s what the life must be for me. So, it means that I’m doing great J