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Category Archives for The Craft

Writing and Creating in a Time of Uncertainty

It is a difficult time to be a human in the world right now.

Not insurmountable, but there are challenges. Aside from a sweeping global pandemic virus that currently has no cure, there is the social distancing and isolation, abrupt changes to schedules and lifestyles, fear for health and financial futures, worry about family and friends … the list goes on and on and could really be an entire piece in and of itself.

But you know the circumstances of your current existence, and probably don’t need me rehashing them for your mind to start spinning on.

Instead, we’re going to talk a bit about the reality of writing and creating in times of uncertainty and chaos, why it is important, how entirely impossible it can seem, and how you can overcome that.

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right word

The Art of Picking the Right Word

The English language has hundreds of thousands of words, and learning how to pick the right one for the occasion is an art. Like every art form, word choice is also partly subjective, depending on the context, and overall often frustrating to “get right.”

Have you ever revisited your older texts, perhaps some early attempts from many years ago? Did you have a slightly odd, cringey feeling of barely recognizing yourself as the author? If so, I can relate! This feeling of perplexed embarrassment is partly caused by the different word choices made by your old self compared to your current one. 

As inexperienced authors, our vocabulary is not very evolved—that’s certainly one aspect of it. In other … words, we might not be aware that there is a more accurate, more specific word for what we try to convey. As a young author, I saw no problem with using nice in every other sentence.

The issue, however, goes far beyond not knowing a certain word. 

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How To Become a Better Writer by Emulating Other Authors

Developing a skill invariably requires learning from others with more experience. Writing is no exception. Improving as a writer involves reading others’ work and—at least at first—emulating it. Put simply, emulating other authors helps you learn what works and what doesn’t.

“Hey, hang on,” you might say indignantly, “are you asking me to copy other writers?”

I know why you may feel that way. Few things are more upsetting to a writer than to be accused of plagiarism. Judging by discussions I’ve had with fellow authors, it probably hurts less to have your own work plagiarized than to be wrongfully accused of plagiarism yourself. So, why am I suggesting that you become a better writer by emulating others?

And so, here comes a giant flashing red light..

Plagiarism, imitation, and emulation are three entirely different concepts. Their meaning, motivation, and results have nothing to do with one another. Whereas one can lead you into muddy waters, both legally and ethically, another can make the difference between a competent author and a great author.

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How To Break Through Barriers To Creativity (or 3 Creative Trailblazers You Should Learn From)

Do you ever struggle with creativity?

For those of us who craft content, creativity is essential.

On the days we feel creative, our words flow with ease. Writing is a joy, and ideas arrive almost as quickly as we can jot them down.

At other times, when creativity has deserted us, making progress with our content is like drawing blood from a stone. A form of mental fog clouds our work, and progress is slow and painful. 

Thankfully, creativity is at least partially within our control. We can influence the levels of creativity we feel, and our writing benefits accordingly.

If you want to take control of your creative energy, here are three ways to do exactly that.

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