Saturday, June 28, 2008

Issues in Writing

I have some issues in writing. I don't mean issues with writing, in the sense that I think writing is a bad thing. What I mean is that I have personal failings that keep me from developing my writing as I should.

One is procrastination, which plagues me in a lot of areas besides writing. I think with writing, though, it is a bit of fear--fear that my writing won't be good. Then there is just downright laziness. I don't do the research to write a good, intelligent piece of writing. I don't write drafts and then edit them so that my writing is coherent and has points supporting what I am trying to say. I tend to just sit down and write off the top of my head, like I'm doing right now.

What do you do to get yourself to sit down and write, and to put in the necessary work to produce a good piece of writing? And while we're at it, what do you do to overcome writer's block--to decide what you want to write about and then narrow the subject enough to make it an interesting, informative piece of work and not just a ramble about a very general topic?

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Reading and Writing

I do a lot of linking to websites that I think you might find interesting. I'm no expert myself and so I like to point you to places where you can learn more about reading and writing and researching. I hope that you find sites that will be of use to you or that you just enjoy reading and exploring.

One new site I found is written by an English professor for his classes, but he puts up a lot of background information that is helpful for anyone. You can see it here at Dr. Wheeler's Homepage at Carson-Newman College. In the left-hand sidebar are links to the various pages.

Another site for readers is Dan Kurland's Critical Reading. It looks full of useful information for getting more out of your reading, and that can give you ideas for your writing.

Vocabulary is another area that can help you with both reading and writing. Learning about words can be fun, and it can help your writing by giving you access to more precise words to say what you mean. It helps your reading in that you can understand a piece of writing more completely and spend less time looking up new words in a dictionary. One website that can help is Vocabulary. Another is Web English Teacher with pages for vocabulary and many other topics (see the lefthand sidebar). You can do a search for "vocabulary" on Google or another search engine and come up with many other sites to explore.


Saturday, June 14, 2008

A Little More on Writing Podcasts

I have enjoyed listing to writing podcasts as referenced in my last post. Fantasy Writers Weekly has its first podcast up now so you can check that out.

As for The Writing Show, they have another podcast up, but also you can check the archives for past podcasts that appeal to you and address your writing interests and concerns. They also have contests that you can enter, transcripts for some of the podcasts, archives for their newsletter, and other archives that may be of interest to you. It's a very interesting site!

One thing that really appeals to me about podcasts is that listening to them gives you a sense of being in on a conversation about writing, or taking a writing class or workshop. Some of us don't have much opportunity for that sort of thing and podcasts fill a void for us.

You can find podcasts on many topics around the internet and that may help you with research for your writing or getting ideas of what to write about. Windows Media Player, iTunes, and Winamp are free programs that you can download to save and listen to podcasts you especially like. Usually, you can just listen to the podcast on site, as well, to see if it's something you might want to save. You can also subscribe to a podcast and have new episodes automatically downloaded.

Podcasts are enjoyable for me and I hope you will enjoy them as well.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Some Podcasts about Writing

Since I last posted, I have discovered that there are podcasts about writing out there! Imagine that! I will share links below. Some haven't put up new podcasts lately, but you can still enjoy what is there. You can download or listen at the site. They are free.

Creative Writing Podcast at American Writers

Fantasy Writers Weekly (This one doesn't have any podcasts yet, but promises to soon.)

Holly Lisle on Writing

The Writing Show

If you know of a good writing podcast, please post the url in the comments. Thank you!!