On Fun Fonts

If you are writing and have the thought, “Maybe I’ll jazz it up with a bit by using a font that fits the story,” STOP. (You could argue similarly for using all caps for emphasis but that’s another post and not one I will be writing.) Don’t do it. I have seen many a weak, poorly developed plot and cliché rhyme painted over with a “fun” font. Here are some examples.

  • A story about food in the freezer written in “Chiller”
  • A story about a retired journalist written in “Courier New”
  • A poem written as a letter in “Lucida”
  • A story from a kid’s POV written in “Comic Sans”

I’m not talking about well sprinkled font use. If your serial killer has written, “Hello,” on the bathroom mirror and the main character sees right before noticing the shadowy figure in the reflection go ahead and write that in “Chiller”. If your character reads a newspaper, you can put the article in newstype. If the character is writing a note use one of the handwriting fonts if you want. Continue reading

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On Writing About What Makes You You

I was exposed to the genre of Memoir a few years back and it has added to my severely jaded opinion of the modern trends in best sellers. I am firmly against writing about yourself directly. I am even more against being told that stories about self-discovery, about identity, and about the simple truths of normal life are must reads. You might think the self you discovered is unique but I promise you that you are not unique enough and it is incredibly vain of you to look at the massive existence of humanity and think your coming of age is worth my attention. Your story about embracing who you are is just as bad. And the simple truths of normal life are that normal life in the end is forgettable and boring. Continue reading

On Meaning in Writing

After many classes and club meetings and readings I have come to one opinion about writing that I feel compelled to share. I would rather read nothing than read one more poem about that summer on the beach with the waves going back and forth and how it is the perfect metaphor for your first love.

I feel very strongly that all writing needs to be about something and that those things should be fully grounded in concretes. That being said, some topics are better than others.

I have heard countless metaphors about the ocean. How it holds a special memory. How things were so great back then with the late night bonfires and the relaxed kisses. For some reason people associate the ocean with idealistic memories and when things were simpler. I associate the ocean with never feeling quite clean and that little bit of grit left over that never ever leaves. An ocean theme better be pretty darn well done if I am going to read past the word “sand” without regretting it. Continue reading

On Editing Your Writing

Editing writing is something I absolutely abhor. Know this now if you plan to read anything I write ever.

Snarky remark: Editing is the job of people with English degrees. I don’t have one. So I am not going to waste my time justifying four year and lots of money.

Editing serves one purpose in writing, procrastination. Are you afraid to move forward with your writing? Are you stuck? Are you too insecure to share? Revise.

Revision and editing are just the process of going over and over the same old stuff. It’s kind of like ruminating. Kind of exactly like ruminating. Now I could cite a few actual scientific studies highlighting how ruminating is not good for your mental and possibly physical health but that would require me to open up another tab and Google because I no longer have access to the journals I had access to in college. So trust me on this. Rumination is bad for you normally. Trust me, I took a psychology class. Continue reading

On the Purpose of Writing

Please for the love of all that you hold dear and if you hold nothing dear or feel no love then find it in yourself to, whether in logic or ennui or I don’t actually care where as long as you find it, please never write anything without an internally developed purpose. (Please note that I mean write creatively. Do your research papers, kids. They are good for you.)

Be kind to yourself. Don’t write without a proper purpose. Your writing will start to feel like a chore. If you ever enjoyed writing I want to spare you the pain that comes from forcing it for too long. What once felt like a damn you simply had to help flow free begins to feel like a man-made aqueduct. The passion is curtailed and fit into narrow walls and forced into certain paths. You flow where you must flow until all you want to do is be a quiet, calm pond. But once you are a pond you find yourself trapped. You have no outlet. What used to be gushing waves of thrilling language is now a stagnating pool of worthless words. You slowly dry up. You forget how to flow. Perhaps you can overfill and start again but it is very hard to regain passion once you have squeezed it for every grade or dollar or world of praise possible.

I will bring up another point that I find even more important. Be kind to others. If people enjoyed your words before don’t make them see you fade and wither. And don’t you dare subject poor innocent fools to your dried up pages. It isn’t fair. Yes, some drafts are just bad days. Yes, writer’s block is a thing. No, other people should not have to put up with more than one terrible thing from you in a period. It isn’t fair and yes I know that is kind of the story of the world but don’t you dare add to everyone’s misery with your constantly pained attempts. Stop and hope for healing. Continue reading

On Writing Something Inspired

Inspiration can strike at any moment. We all know the clichés. Like lightning. The perfect idea. Pours out seamlessly. But when it is hours before a deadline and you have little or no actual respect for most of the people your first draft is intended for inspiration tends to be of ever decreasing importance. Inspiration often deserts us and we are left with desperation. Whether it is for a friendly reading, a class, or even a post anonymously online (tehehe) we fear the seconds passing as the pages remain blank.

Let me tell you, DESPERATION CAN BE YOUR BEST FRIEND. Now some of you might have no clue how something scrawled in the last moments out of desperation can ever be a good thing. You obviously do no use my favorite writer’s weapon: BS.

There are two ways to BS that I favor and I hope in some way they can help you. Continue reading