New Writing Practice

Yesterday, as I was scanning my Facebook feed, I found this article called How to Write Your Best Story Ever With One Epic Exercise by Jennifer Manuel.  My curiosity was piqued, and I have to say the article really resonated with me. Basically, she advocates finding a book you enjoy or admire the writing of and copy it out by hand every day before your other writing.

By Unknown – Original: Blades, William: Pentateuch of Printing with a Chapter on Judges (1891)

The idea fascinates me. I’ve always thought about how painters learn to paint by copying the masters, but I had never thought to apply this to writing beyond reading good writers. It makes so much sense to me to physically copy out other author’s writing in order to learn from it. It slows us down and makes us pay attention.

And, Manuel sites a tradition of authors copying out other writers to learn their craft, from Robert Louis Stephenson to Benjamin Franklin.

Manuel said that she has been copywriting for a year and has seen stunning results — and has written the best story of her life during this time. I highly suggest visitng Manuel’s page (click on the link in the first paragraph) as she lays out three different ways of practicing copywriting.

So, I’m going to give it a go.  I also have had trouble lately getting into the creative flow, so I am hoping that copywriting will help by getting my brain gently into writing mode. Even if I have writer’s block, I can still do something towards my writing, which I love.

I’m going to start with one of Thoreau’s essays from Walden because I think he has interesting sentence structure. I started today and found the exercise soothing and meditative. I’ll keep you updated.


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Writing Tips to Get Your Creative Juices Going

I’ve compiled a list of writing tips for the teen writing workshop I’m doing next week and thought I’d share. I wanted the kids to have something to take home to help with ideas when they’re feeling stuck.

Anyone have any favorite tips?


Some ideas for getting your creative juices going: Read more

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Writing Resources

writing resources

I’m doing a writing workshop for teens at the end of the month and thought it would be good to compile a list of resources for them — there’s nothing like coming home from the workshop, overwhelmed from the day, and you can’t remember any of the practical things that you can do when you are on your own! I’ve found these sites to have some great generators, exercises, and information. I also just want to collect a list of useful sites for myself for when I’m needing some inspiration. What do you think? Anything to add? Read more

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Top 10 Things You’re Doing Right as an Author

top 10 listI opened my email this morning and was bombarded with taglines such as: The Top 4 Mistakes Indie Authors Make, Ten Ways to Improve Your Marketing; 5 Punctuation Mistakes Authors Make. You know the ones. The headlines that scream to you from Facebook, email, Twitter, basically everywhere. The ones designed to help and inform, but also, at least for me, make me second guess myself and continually hold someone else up as an expert. Read more

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