Writing in the Rain: Monday Morning Round-up

Falling_water_rain_279538_h It is raining this morning.  I know, I know, I live in Oregon, its to be expected.  And, truthfully, I don't mind.  I love going out for a walk in the rain and coming back inside where its cozy, warm, and dry, to curl up with my writing or my reading.

And this morning my reading served up two good nuggets.

First, while eating my yogurt and nuts I read a review, by Jeff Baker, of Annie Proulx's recent lecture in Portland.  Apparently, she loves research and reads voraciously.  But what I loved the most about this article the advice she gave out to writers at a small private meeting the next morning (I sulked for a little while about not being invited).  Here are some of the gems:

  • Use times when you are waiting in line, for a flight, whatever, to work on descriptions of people.
  • Read your work aloud to yourself.  (Whenever I read my work or do a lecture, I always take a pen with me to the podium, because I can't help but edit when I hear myself read.)
  • Listen to the way people speak around you–hear regional dialects and everyday speech.
  • Draw a landscape to remember it.
  • For a writing project, research the years around your birth.  What was the world like back then?
  • Be interested in what you write.

Read the full article here.  It is worth it, there's some real gems.

And then, when I opened my inbox, I found a fabulous article by Chris Guillebeau, who gives reliably good advice, whether it is on travel hacking or creating your own unique way in the world.  The title of the post is "How to Write 300,000 Words in 1 Year," and in it he gives good tips on focus, one of my favorite topics.

One bit:

"Make your art your obsession.  Fall in love with it. Experience withdrawal symptoms when you don't give it your attention."

And another:

Rather than worry about quality, "Worry instead about getting your words in. [He strives for 1,000 per day, and he wrote this post while waiting for a delayed flight at the Nairobi airport.] Wake up early, stay up late, use that notebook you are carrying, appropriate those ten or fifteen-minute breaks in the day with nothing scheduled."

There's other good stuff on this post as well.

What are you best tips for writing?  Care to share?

***One of my best writing tips is to start with the images.  Learn how by downloading a free copy of my Ebook, Jump Start Your Book With a Vision Board.  Sign up in the form to the right and you'll also get a free subscription to my newsletter!

Photo credit: imageafter, from Everystockphoto.

Writing in the Rain

It rained yesterday.Umbrella_with_raindrops

A lot.  I drove home from a meeting on the freeway last night and waves of water splashed over the windshield, just like in winter.  But I didn't mind.  All day yesterday I waited for the rain to come in.  It was hot and muggy in the morning, but there were hopeful clouds to the west, the direction all good storms come from.  I didn't fully believe that it would rain, because its been a horrible hot summer (several days of temps near 106 degrees) and because along with that hot summer has come this weird weather pattern.  The day will start off sunny and cool, with a nice breeze, thus lulling one into thinking its going to be a gorgeous Oregon day.  And then, boom, no warning, all of a sudden it is hot.  Like flippin' hot, uncomfortable hot, sweaty hot.

So that is why I was looking for rain.  Because I was sick of the nice weather. And because I missed sitting in my office with the window open, listening to the rain as I typed away.  I missed falling asleep to the sound of raindrops.  Sometimes the rain makes me melancholy, but in a good way, if you know what I mean.  Yesterday I felt tired and unfocused until the rain actually began, something to do with the actual low pressure system making its way inland.

And once it began raining, I thought, oh good, we're back to normal around here.

I'm a native Oregonian, in case you hadn't guessed.  Which is why, to me, there is nothing better than writing to the sound of rain.  And no better explanation of writing, then this quote from Tom Robbins, another Northwest kindred spirit:  "People ask me who I write for, I tell them I write for the rain."              (Images courtesy of Wikipedia)