Whether you like to draw, paint, write, choreograph, or play music, you're probably familiar with the creative block, where you just can't seem to do anything despite your motivation. To escape that rut, try doing what you do best, only terribly.
Tagged With writing
Of all the tricky grammar topics, who versus whom ranks right up there: get it wrong, and you risk looking like a rube. Get it right and you risk looking pretentious. Get it wrong in a different way and you risk looking like a pretentious rube. So we at Lifehacker, who want to be both right and non-pretentious (but only sometimes succeed), thought we'd do a little research and break down the whole who/whom thing once and for all.
Very, very few sites can make a name for themselves in the "funny fake news" format. There's basically the Onion, and Reductress. Today we're talking to the one with the tagline "Women's News. Feminized." Recent headlines include "How To Stay Calm Even Though Everyone Missed What You Just Said and It Was Really Good" and "Wow! This Beautiful Woman Won't Shut Up and Take the Fucking Compliment".
Tim Clare's Couch to 80K writing podcast is a delightful, intense, encouraging eight-week journey towards writing a novel. For the best experience, go into it blind; all you need to know is that it's good and it's appropriate for any experience level. If you want to know more, keep reading, but be aware that here be spoilers.
Ever notice those "reading level" stats that Microsoft Word shows you? They make it seem like writing to a higher level is good, and writing to a lower level is dumb. But the opposite is true. Shane Snow, founder of content-marketing site Contently, compared the reading levels of several bestselling books. Michael Crichton's work came in at an year eight reading level. Thomas Pynchon came in at year seven, Jane Austen at five, Ernest Hemingway at four, Goodnight Moon at three.
Every now and then, you have to write something longhand for someone else to read: A note, a notice, a birthday card. If you're like the many people we've gotten notes or notices or birthday cards from, it sometimes comes out illegible. We've presented many methods for improving your handwriting, but before you try them, just try slowing the hell down.
We all listened to Oprah's acceptance speech for the Cecil B. de Mille Award? Yes? Good. Did you notice how even though she's Oprah, and could probably make us cry by reading a takeaway menu backward, she put a ton of work into her speech? And how through that work, she took a celebration of her accomplishments, respected that premise, but turned it into a rallying cry for the forces of good? Next time you speak in public, would you like to be a little more like Oprah?
Learning how to write is like learning how to play a musical instrument: Once you learn the basic rules -- grammar, spelling and punctuation -- and are writing technically correct sentences, there's a still the whole world of syntax, diction and style to conquer. And this is where writers, like musicians, have opinions: Is it better to write straightforward, no-frills prose, or to weave verbal flights of fancy that illustrate complex, poetic sentiments?
Stories have shapes. Any story you tell works best if you recognise its shape, then strengthen that shape. This applies to a story of any length, whether you're putting in your 50,000 words for National Novel Writing Month 2017, or honing your favourite party anecdote, or even marketing something, including yourself. It even applies to Hemingway's famous six-word story, "For sale: baby shoes, never worn."
Roxane Gay has published five books in the last seven years, all acclaimed, all incisively addressing social issues that define our society, such as feminism, race, body image, racial and sexual violence, and the immigrant experience. Three - her essay collection Bad Feminist, her short story collection Difficult Women, and her memoir Hunger - were US national bestsellers.
This one is for the hardcore novel writers who are doubting themselves, the ones who committed last month to writing 50,000 words in 30 days, but then... uh, something happened.