On Fun Fonts

If you are writing and have the thought, “Maybe I’ll jazz it up 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

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 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