Saturday, December 26, 2015

7 Things You Should Say to Your Writer

Merry day-after-Christmas! If that isn't a thing, it shall be now. I hope all of you have been enjoying a restful time with family and friends, and that you writers have been reaching your word count each day (which I have not been doing, due to spending time with family and such).
7 Things You Should Say to Your Writer || Water & Pen ||
Being surrounded by family means said family will, at some point, inquire after my writings. As a writer, there are many things I do not want people to ask or say to me. These things are often funny, but true. But this is and has been covered by others quite often...

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

|| Three Ways Museums Make You a Better Writer ||

The day dawned at an early 7:50. For me, at least. I pressed snooze several times on my alarm, turned over in bed once or twice, and finally rolled out. It wasn't a grey day, but the wind promised a chill. 
|| Three Ways Museums Make You a Better Writer || Water & Pen ||I rushed to be ready by 8:45, when I would leave for the train station. It was the day I would venture into the city. 

The original visit was meant for frolicking around at German Christmas Market. However, one does not simply go to the city for one event. We made a few other stops. Parks, a coffee shop, and museums. 

Ah, yes. Museums. Those buildings of history and art and culture and the present and the future all combined under one roof. Beautiful things, are they not? I love museums. There's so much to see and learn--no matter how many times you visit. 

My friend and I went to a museum based off of the current state of architectural designs. We were passing by on our way to the next destination, and it was free to the public. So we thought, why not?

|| Three Ways Museums Make You a Better Writer || Water & Pen ||As we walked through this place of beauty, there was so much that struck me as story inspiration (which can be anything, really). Nonetheless, there's numerous lessons to gather from visiting a museum:

1. People-watching
This one is pretty obvious. As writers, our job is to people watch. But because it was a cold day and the museum was free to the public, there were all sorts of persons sitting around in the lobby just being them. There was this one guy who had a huge colorful crocheted hat wrapped around his hair. Trust me, this thing was ginormous--it was as if he had an animal hiding under there or something. But he just sat on one of the couches crocheting away at another project. He seemed joyful and friendly. But, being the introverted writerly sort that I am, I just observed and walked away. But that picture is stored in my mind. You can also find large groups of schoolkids running around museums, prissy higher class folks who walk around in their high heels and stand at a piece of art for fifteen minutes, and the everyday joe who meanders along whilst sipping a cup of joe. Use these people to populate your books. 
|| Three Ways Museums Make You a Better Writer || Water & Pen ||

2. Setting
Museums are often works of art themselves. The architecture is intricate and often not something you see on an everyday basis. Take lots of pictures in these unique places. You never know when you'll want to pull something from a real-life setting scene to use in your fiction. Even just a detail like the gemstone colors used in the tiling. Or maybe the antique lanterns that adorned the walls. Museums are chock full of treasures like these. 

|| Three Ways Museums Make You a Better Writer || Water & Pen ||3. Inspiration
Yes, the people and setting are inspiration themselves. But the actual art or history displayed grants extraordinary amounts of plot-bunnies. One usually walks out of a museum with more knowledge than before of something. And abstract pieces of artistic genius fill the walls with questions that you can very well answer in your next novel. Jus' sayin'. 

I might have to venture to the city more often to step into another of these capsules of life.
|| Three Ways Museums Make You a Better Writer || Water & Pen ||

What about you? Are there any settings/plot/characters of yours that are inspired by trips to a museum?

Saturday, December 12, 2015

|| How College Makes You a Better Writer ||

|| How College Makes You a Better Writer || Water & Pen ||It's the day after my first semester of college has been completed. I sit in partial darkness, listening to a playlist that fills me with nostalgia for some strange reason, and staring at my computer screen while white Christmas lights reflect the contemplative mood I'm currently in.

That was a strange sentence. Nonetheless, the first semester of college was like a whirlwind. I learned things I never imagined I would, had experiences I never thought would take place, and met people that I never could have possibly dreamed of meeting.

Continuing free-writing was difficult during those months of busy schedule in which my free time consisted of Netflix, taking walks, or sitting on the floor and staring into (seemingly) space. I had goals for myself, and I failed. But that's okay. Because I've learned a lot. My brain has probably expanded since I started back in August. At least it feels larger.

Classes, professors, chapel, friends, not-so-friend(ly)s, strangers, adventures, sickness.
Every single one of these things (and more) have added to my knowledge. I've grown.
And here's what I've learned:

1. People are worth your time. 
There's so much you can learn from just one person. Think about how much you can learn from the whole school. I know it's tempting to sit in your room for hours by yourself, but it's worth stepping out and actually interacting with people--or, at least, watching them from a distance.
PS: Professors make excellent inspiration. You know those quirky professors portrayed in movies? They're real.

2. There's something new to realize every single day.
Even if all you comprehend is a new existential question, that's okay. Questions like that inspire creativity. New plots, characters, and worlds can pop out of the ground from those questions.

3. Experiences make up a writer's portfolio.
I know a portfolio is considered a conglomeration of one's best work, but our brains have portfolios too, don't they? Everything you experience goes into those portfolios to be stored and dug up at a later time when your writing calls for it. That one person who when they laugh it sounds like they're about to die? Yeah, your brain kept that. Use it for a character. You were about to die within the first two months of school? Your brain kept that as well. Use it wisely.

4. Essays stretch you.
Most people hate essay writing. I don't. Writing an essay is a wonderful exercise that can cultivate voice, style, and thinking skills. We have to craft essays in such a way that our professors will give us, at least, a B. This means word choice musn't be bulky. Make it flow. Make it natural. Even if it's formal, put something of yourself in there. Ask questions. Make people think. There are endless treasures to accumulate from the adventures of essay writing.

5. Time is valuable.
It's easy to sit and watch Netflix for hours. It's easy to take naps and sleep in for hours. It's easy to sit and ponder. Good things, of course, but when you have free time...write as much as you can.
But also know it's okay to stop writing, save your work, and go on an adventure. Relationships and experiences are like gold and they will create fodder for your stories. #amwriting is an excuse that many of us use to get out of social interaction, but know when your story can be saved and go on the back burner--even if for only half an hour. If you don't make these life connections, you aren't going to have much to draw from. Live.

Have you been to college? What are some things that have aided you as a writer? Are there any certain moments that stick out to you from college?