I Haven’t Been Writing Because ________

You’re probably wondering what happened to my blog since we posted regularly for years and then suddenly vanished for months. I’s been one very sick puppy.  😦    After four surgeries and two bouts with bronchitis, I’m rearing to go, so this blog is aimed at the procrastinator in all of us.

I Haven’t Been Writing Because ________

by Deborah Owen

CEO, Creative Writing Institute

Do you feel unfulfilled? Like you’re barely surviving life, and not really living it? Like things “are getting done,” but you aren’t enjoying the journey of life? When a writer doesn’t let the words out, life gets very sour.

Are you ready to face the truth? Seriously. Are you ready? No lie? I can’t tell which way your head is bobbing. You’re really sure? Okay. If you insist. You haven’t been writing because you don’t make writing a priority. You don’t look impressed.

If you want to state it in kick-butt style, you might say: “Writing was less important to me in the past _____ weeks than everything else.”  *ouch 

Life is too short to coast from one week’s heart attack to the next, to the next, to the… before long, your kids will be gone and you’ll be studying dandelion roots from the south end. For however long your body stays in the grave, you’ll stare at the tombstone that should have read, “Here lies the greatest wannabe writer ever born,” but your loved ones will be too kind to write that.

Writing is a learned skill. No one is born knowing how to write, but there are varying grades of writing aptitude. If you don’t commit to at least three writing courses to learn the basics, how will you know if you could have succeeded?

It’s time to quit playing games and get serious.

Where to Begin

  1. Organize your life. For instance, my list might look like this:

Worship, family, job, WRITING, clean underwear, food, sleep… see? Put the unnecessary things last.  🙂

  1. Establish the best time of day to write. Maybe you can only write 15 minutes on your lunch hour. Fine! Do what you can. At least you’re trying.

3. Commit to a writing education so you’ll know what you’re doing.

I Confess…

Back when dinosaurs roamed the earth, yours truly had the attitude that she didn’t need writing courses so she wasted ten years writing a heart-wrenching novel. There I was with a finished manuscript in my hand, thinking, “Where do I sell it? How do I pitch it? Where do I even find an address to send it? Well, maybe I should take just one course.” [You would think these things would have crossed my mind earlier, but no one can teach a know-it-all anything.]

So I plunged into advanced marketing on my first course! No lie. And by the end of that course, I learned I didn’t know diddly-squat about marketing, writing or even how to break into the writing industry. Today I have a copy of that unprinted novel in every room of my house to remind me how a beginning writer thinks.

Are you ready to get serious about this craft? If not, I promise, you will regret every day you procrastinate.

Choosing the Right Course

Begin with nonfiction writing, even if you hate the very thought of it. Next, take Creative Writing 101, followed by Short Story. At Creative Writing Institute, real people will really care about you. Our courses are written by published professionals and you will have your own private tutor.

Sign up today and start tomorrow. Make your writing dreams come true at Creative Writing Institute, a nonprofit charity that sponsors cancer patients in writing courses.

A Writer’s Pop Quiz – See How Well You Can Do

Do You Have What it Takes?

by Deborah Owen

Creative writing is whatever you want it to be. It can be a poem that expresses emotions,  a novel with scenes that replay over and over in your head, or a journal that helps you deal with everyday life. While there is an abundance of freedom in creative writing, there are some terms you should know in order to describe your writing and help improve it. The sentences below describe these terms, except some of the words are missing. How much do you know? Test yourself and see the answers below.

  1.  The turning point in a plot is called the ________.
  2.  The main idea of the entire story is called the ________.
  3.  How you phrase your thoughts is called your writing _______.
  4.  The four kinds of conflict are _________.
  5.  Name the four points of view.
  6.  Name the two kinds of voice.
  7.  Another word for people “speaking” is _______.
  8.  The first paragraph should set the ________.
  9.  Developing a character is called _________.
  10.  Making the readers see the setting in their minds is ________.
  11.  Use _______, don’t tell.
  12.  When you have finished writing, the next step is  _______.
  13. The end of the story is called the __________.
  14. Fantasy, horror, and romance are three different ____________.
  15. Don’t split an ___________.
  16. Wordiness is called _________.
  17. A person who writes an article for someone else and receives no byline is called a _______   _______.
  18. A writer’s pseudonym is his/her _________ name.
  19. A writer sends a ________ letter to see if the editor wants to buy his work.
  20. When a writer submits the same story to more than one place at the same time, it is called a _________  _________.

Answers:

1.  The turning point in a plot is called the the climax.

2.  The main idea of the entire story is called the theme.

3.   How you phrase your thoughts is called your writing style.

4.  The four kinds of conflict are man against man, man against nature, man against self, man against society.

5.  Name the four points of view – first person, third person, third person limited, third person omniscient.

6.   Name the two kinds of voice – active and passive.

7.   Another word for people “speaking” is dialogue.

8.   The first paragraph should set the hook.

9.   Developing a character is called characterization.

10. Making the readers see the setting in their minds is imagery.

11. Use show, don’t tell.

12. When you have finished writing, the next step is editing.

13. The end of the story is called the resolution.

14. Fantasy, horror, and romance are three different genres.

15. Don’t split an infinitive.

16. Wordiness is called verbiage.

17. A person who writes an article for someone else and receives no byline is called a ghostwriter.

18. A writer’s pseudonym is his pen name.

19. A writer sends a query letter to see if the editor wants to buy his work.

20. When a writer submits the same story to more than one place at the same time, it is called a multiple submission.

If you got all 20 questions right, pin a rose on you!

If you got 18-19 questions correct, you get a rose, but you have to pin it on yourself.

If your score was 15-17, you get a kiss from yer mum.

If you got 13-14 correct, you don’t get tucked in tonight.

If you got less than 12 right, hmm… now that you know the answers, you better take the test again.

If you liked this article, be sure to follow our blog here on WordPress! You can also find links for our Facebook and Twitter pages at our website:www.CreativeWritingInstitute.com.

Are Creative Writing Classes Right for Me?

A Free Writing Evaluation Can Answer that Question

by Deborah Owen

Are creative writing classes for everyone? No, perhaps not… but the fact that you’re reading this article indicates the answer may be yes for you. Ye olde subconscious doth not lie.

What Will You Learn in a Writing Class?

Even if you have good sentence structure, a good background in English, and are talented beyond your wildest dreams, you still need the inside dope on how to sell what you write. Writing classes will not only teach you the latest writing requirements, but you will also learn how to target a market, research it, write for that particular market, establish a rapport with editors, write a cover letter and develop the self-confidence to present yourself properly.

Writing shortcuts are only for geniuses or those who have connections in the publishing world. If you fall short of being a genius and you have no publishing connections, roll up your shirtsleeves and get ready to sweat with the rest of us. Anything worth having is worth making a sacrifice for.

What Will a Writing Analysis Do For You?

Do you need a punctuation review course? A brush-up course on creative writing mechanics? Do you need to learn “Show, Don’t Tell”? A writing analysis will provide an unbiased view of your skills and offer a suggested beginning point.

Almost anyone can become a writer if they really want to. Creative writing is a learned occupation, just like anything else. If you have average punctuation skills and you can craft a decent letter, the chances are good that you can become a full or part-time writer.

How to Get Started

Most people can begin selling articles to newspapers in their first writing year. Even if your goal is in the fiction realm, this is the place to start. Local newspapers pay about $15 per article (+ $5 for each picture used). Although the proceeds are low, this is a great way to fund your writing courses, collect press clippings and establish a résumé.

Creative writing seems almost romantic to some people, but it is no such thing. It can be downright frustrating and it’s very hard work. Writing classes are exciting, but they can also be difficult. The dropout rate is over 50%. To keep yourself out of the dropout bracket, develop the right mental attitude before you begin.

Creative Writing Classes – What Will be Expected of You?

You’ll need to set aside 60-90 minutes a week for homework. More is better. Some options for working that amount of time into an already pressed schedule are: rise 15 minutes earlier, stay up 15 minutes later, or use 15 minutes of your lunchtime for studying/writing. If all else fails and you can’t keep up with the workload, extensions are usually available at no additional fee.

You must have one thing in order to succeed – creative writing must be a priority in your life. Isn’t it worth the investment to become more than you are now? Isn’t it worth the investment to find out if writing is for you? Life is short. Why not take the leap?

Next Steps

For a free and honest evaluation of your writing skills, send a G-rated 1,000-word story or article to Creative Writing Institute’s CEO, Deborah Owen: deborahowen@cwinst.com. Please see http://www.creativewritinginstitute.com for writers’ guidelines (rules) to receive the best results. Your 20-point analysis will cover such things as imagery, characterization, dialogue, structure, plot, strong and weak points, “Show, Don’t Tell”, style, verb action, wordiness, passive voice, and presentation, among other things.

So go ahead. See what your potential is. You might be surprised.

If you liked this article, be sure to follow our blog here on WordPress! You can also find links for our Facebook and Twitter pages at our website: www.CreativeWritingInstitute.com.