Have to have a job to pay the bills, but it’s far away and I spend three hours a day commuting. J is for Job in the sense that I don’t get paid for writing and I like to have nice stuff.
And then, help. Help, I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what to blog about. I don’t know how to make what I want to say sound interesting. What do you do when you need help?
When I get stuck in my writing, I have a few places to turn to for help. The first is my extensive collection of books on how to write. Which can always be supplemented by buying more books. This is particularly useful when I know what I need to do, I just don’t know how to go about it.
Or I can turn to either of the writing groups I’m involved in. I can get lots of different perspectives on the problem, which helps open up potential solutions. Most useful when I don’t think I’ve fully got to grips with what the problem is and I need help seeing it from other angles.
And of course, there’s always the interwebs. Opinions and advice galore! It takes time to filter it and you often have to wade through a load of shit in order to get to what you need, but on the plus side, I’m quite likely to find myself going off a tangent and finding something new. I love following internet trails to find out where they go.
Where do you go for writing help?
Grammar, punctuation and spelling are the tools we use to convey subtle meaning to the reader. Even if the reader doesn’t know enough about grammar to truly appreciate how we’ve done it, they will respond to what we’ve done. The word grammar derives, via Old French and Latin, from the Greek grammatike tekhne meaning ‘art of letters’. It is an art – you’ll notice I said fashions of grammar rather than rules. Grammar is what the majority agree is an understandable way to structure language. It is how we order words so that we can communicate.
The ‘rules’ change, sometimes slowly and sometimes quite fast. What you were taught at school may or may not be correct and I guaruntee that, unless you did linguistics at university level, it avoided the glorious complexity of language structure. Grammar in written English is different to grammar in spoken English. Lolspeak becoming a language of its own which is incredibly exciting. The writer who gets what grammar does and how to use it in both expected and unexpected ways has the power to use her words to maximum effect.
An excellent resource for improving your grammar is the Daily Grammar Lessons blog. The other is reading a lot.
mental and emotional strength in facing difficulty, adversity, danger, or temptation courageously
Fortitude is something that writers need. Writing can be hard and very often it forces us to face our inner truths and demons.
Weirdly, an image search for fortitude mainly returned pictures of trainers so I made my own. First, there’s the demotivational poster, just a reminder that taking things too seriously can be counter-productive.
And then there’s the seious one.
The artist who created the second picture (which is amazing) is Gild-a-Lily on DeviantArt, but I can’t find a link.