February 11 Writing Tips, Tricks, Thoughts

Birthdays: Sidney Sheldon (1917), Gordon Lish (1934), Jane Yolen (1939), Joy Williams (1944), Pico Iyer (1957), Mo Willems (1968),

Quote: “Exercise the writing muscle every day, even if it is only a letter, notes, a title list, a character sketch, a journal entry. Writers are like dancers, like athletes. Without that exercise, the muscles seize up.” – Jane Yolen

Tip: Go to a library and browse the stacks. Check out areas you don’t normally go. What can you find that’s new and different for you?

Jumpstart: Make a list of images you find disgusting or ugly. Choose one and write a description that redeems that object.

I’ve read a lot of Sidney Sheldon and Jane Yolen. Love them both. But one of Jane’s personal favorites? “Take Joy” about finding the joy in writing when you’re struggling. “Are you a writer longing to rediscover the joy that you once had in the craft (or even find it for the first time)? In this inspiring guide, Jane Yolen, an author who has been called America’s Hans Christian Andersen, shows writers how to focus on aspects of the craft that bring them joy.

She remarks in the first chapter, “Save the blood and pain for real life, where tourniquets and ibuprofen can have some chance of helping. Do not be afraid to grab hold of the experience with both hands and take joy.”

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