Archive for October, 2006

Haiku #22 Pied Oystercatchers

Pied oystercatchers
Nose-probe tidal rock pools
Seeking tasty morsels

All rights reserved.

Copyright 2006 Trevor W. Hampel.

Poem #10 On Arising While Camping

On Arising While Camping

“Good morning, dear sir.
Welcome to the new day,”
Carolled Mister Magpie
On my emergence
From my sleepy cacoon.

All rights reserved.

Copyright 2006 Trevor W. Hampel.

Just a thought: the trouble with work

“The trouble with work is that…. it’s so daily.”

Before retiring from teaching a few years ago, I too was burdened down with the daily grind of work. Yes, it is daily. It is a burden. It is a grind. For the vast majority of people there is no choice. It is necessary for survival. Granted, many people love their work. That’s great – enjoy it if that describes you.
The thing I like about writing and blogging is the freedom one enjoys. If I want to write for ten hours one day and then take the next one off, I can. If I need to water the garden or go for a walk, I can. If I want to read the paper, do the crossword, read a novel or just watch the roses growing, I can.

There is a danger in all that freedom, however. Productivity can fluctuate wildly, according to one’s mood, feelings or the interruptions of others. A writer’s life needs to have a certain amount of discipline if it is to be productive and successful.

In my case, I set definite goals for the year, the month, the week, and each day. If I need to give a little slack one day I know I can give a little extra effort the next day and catch up. I set goals for the number of posts I write on my blogs, how many words I write and how many hours of writing I want to achieve. This helps me keep accountable to my harshest boss of all – myself.

Remember –

  • read every day
  • write every day
  • take time for yourself every day

Good writing.

Another Seven Short Story Starters

Previously I have written and posted lists of short story starters for writers. These have proven to be quite popular with readers of this blog. So today we have another seven short story starters.

Another Seven Short Story Starters:

  1. Alison was angry. She had worked so hard for so long. Now it seemed to have been a total waste of time.
  2. Ben wasted no time getting to the bank. This had to be his lucky day.
  3. The sudden change in wind direction caught Carol by surprise.
  4. Daniel gave a polite cough. It didn’t attract the attention he wanted. He cleared his throat, took a deep breath and reached for the bell. It was now or never.
  5. As the car tyres crunched on the gravel, Eliza realised…
  6. “I’m going now,’ announced Frank as he opened the door. “Are you coming?”
  7. Gina stared at the doctor. Her mind churned in confusion. How could she…

Conditions of use:

  • Feel free to use any of the story starters listed above.
  • Give it your best shot.
  • Edit your work carefully before sending it off to a publisher or posting it on your blog.
  • Let me know in the comments section how it went.
  • If you publish your story on your web site or on your blog let me know so I can make a link to it for others to read.

Related articles:

So there you go.

Good writing.

Just a thought

“Be yourself… no-one else is better qualified.”

Frank J. Giblin II

Writing courses, books and the speakers at writers’ workshops and seminars often promote the idea of “finding your voice”. What exactly does that mean? How do you find your voice through your writing?

I believe that it comes in two ways:

  1. Frequent and constant practice in the art of writing.
  2. Being yourself, that is, letting the “real you” speak.

There is no substitute for frequent, daily if possible, writing practice. Write, write, write – anything, everything and with great enthusiasm and passion until writing becomes second nature, it becomes a part of you.

I read many years ago about a young writer approached Ray Bradbury (I think – it might have been Asimov) and asked for advice about becoming a writer. His reply, “Go and write a million words, and then we’ll talk about how to be a writer.” His point; practise writing – write, write, write – and then you’ll be ready to be a writer.

New writers expect instant success. You have to do the hard yards first. An athlete doesn’t expect an Olympic Gold Medal the first time he pulls on the running shoes, so why do writers expect their first piece of writing to be a blockbuster?

As you write, write, write you will develop a writing style that is just you. Nobody else can write just like you. That’s your voice. Don’t pretend to be anyone else. It will sound false and it will certainly turn off your readers. On occasions, I have tried to write in a certain style copying writers I admire. It doesn’t work. It sounded pretentious, insincere and downright stupid.

Be yourself – and you will find your writer’s voice.

Oh – by the way – I’m well on my way to completing my second million words!

Related articles:

This one is from another blog called Books and Writing: