5 Things To Do With ‘Bad’ Writing

August 21, 2010 at 5:20 am (Thoughts on Writing) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

We could probably agree that very little writing is actually bad in the sense that at least words are getting written and it is a lot easier to make bad writing good than to make a blank page turn magically into good writing. However, if you’ve decided once and for all that what you’ve written is terrible and all you want to do is make it go away, here are five things to try that just might make you feel better.

1.  Line the bird cage, rat cage, any other animal cage you can think of, with the print outs. Technically this is recycling and not only will the writing be well and truly gone, you’ll get that warm and tingly feeling from saving the planet.

2.  Blow it up on the screen and then print it out. Cut up all the words and then stick them back together in random order. Read repeatedly to whomever you can trap long enough.

3.  Cat toy. This one I have actually done. Cats love chasing scrunched paper, particularly over hard surfaces because the paper makes a great scratching sound that keeps them intrigued for minutes. Once they start getting bored all you have to do is throw it again and they’ll dive after it. If you really feel the need you could probably read the writing to your cat first, then scrunch it and throw it.

4.  Art work. I don’t study art and don’t know what the style is (I could probably have googled it but I wasn’t really in the mood) but you can always paste various parts of your writing into the background of your painting. Call it something depressing and hang it up somewhere prominent.

5.  Finally – something actually useful to do with bad writing – put it in a nice yellow folder on your desk top called ‘Junk’ and save it for the day when you just might decide you can do something with it.

What do you do with ‘bad’ writing?


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5 Ways To Gain Inspiration While Shopping

January 25, 2010 at 5:38 am (Thoughts on Writing) (, , , , , )

Grocery shopping that is. How can writers use this mundane experience to inspire themselves?

1.  Looking at all products. Normally when you shop you only look at the items you intend to buy but sometimes you can find the strangest things just by looking a little to the left of the item you were going to buy. Then you start to wonder who is buying it and what they are using it for and it can really help get you thinking.

2.  Conversation. While buying meat at the deli or asking for assistance, and certainly while waiting to pay, there are lots of people you can strike up a conversation with fairly quickly.

3.  Setting. Everyone (almost) has to go to the grocery shop at some stage (assuming your story is set in the real world). What could happen in the grocery shop that would be interesting enough to end up in your story?

4.  Advertising. Advertising is always inspiring, even if it isn’t inspiring you to buy. Seeing language used for deliberate purposes (successfully or not) in bright colours can really start your brain moving.

5.  Car park encounters. If the grocery shop didn’t inspire your writing then any number of incidents in the car park might. Did someone steal “your” spot? Did you steal someone else’s? Did someone bump your car and not leave a note? Is the child really throwing a fit in the middle of the drive way? All sorts of incidents that might inspire you.

How do you use your trip to the local store to inspire your writing?

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