My Causerie

"All great change in America begins at the dinner table." ~ Ronald Reagan

Helping you find your writing mojo January 18, 2016

Filed under: ACS 213,ACS 313 — mycauserie @ 7:00 am
Tags: ,

As we begin another semester of blogging, I thought it might be fitting to share some writing tips. Beginners and seasoned professionals can attest to the fact that everyone can hit a wall at some point with their writing. But instead of letting your writing crash and burn, there are a lot of helpful tips that can keep you motivated and meeting deadlines.

Your best writing may not happen the same way it does for one of your peers; everyone needs to find their own

Photo Credit: Cali4beach via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: Cali4beach via Compfight cc

writing mojo. If you are just starting out in your writing career, you might be thinking, “How exactly do I find my writing mojo?”

Thankfully that job is a lot easier in this digital world. Simple searches like blogging, writers block or writing motivators will produce several links with tips to help you find your writing mojo.

“How to get motivated to write for your blog” by Ali Luke offers some great advice. I like all five of Luke’s steps, but No. 1 stands out to me especially for college students. Sometimes students say coming up with the post ideas is the hardest part of the blogging assignment, which is why I encourage students to jot down ideas as they come to them. Whether that means you carry a notebook with you or you use a favorite app on your phone, such reminders can serve as great writing prompts later. In the past, my method was to keep a pen and paper in my nightstand. I would pull them out and jot something down in complete darkness. It wasn’t the best penmanship, but it was enough to remind me of the idea I had in the middle of the night! Now with my phone by my bedside, I can just type a quick note to myself. The point is, you never know when inspiration will strike; be prepared.

Maybe it’s not a lack of ideas but a lack of motivation that is causing your writing stress. Take a look at “Lost your motivation to write? The one thing that helps” by Len Markidan. I like the idea of making better use of our “motivation waves.” This concept helps us be more productive–not just at that peak moment–but later too when our motivation hits another low. I have never looked at my peak work time in this way, but it makes a lot of sense; I definitely want to test this one out.

This last article was actually written for faculty who sometimes tend to let their own writing go to the wayside, but it can hold true for busy college students too. Professor Sharon McGee, from the SIUE English Language and Literature Department, offers some great tips, and No. 1 on her list is a good one, especially for students in the ACS 313 online class.

“Pay yourself first.” If saving is your priority, you will put that money aside first–before the other incidentals eat away at your paycheck. And as McGee points out, this is also a great perspective for writing. If improving your writing is your priority, you will put that time aside first–before the other incidentals eat away at your day. Blocking out that time each day to focus on your writing is important…and the timer is a great idea too! It doesn’t seem nearly as overwhelming if you know all you are doing is 15 minutes or 30 minutes of writing. We can do that.

What about you? Have you come across some creative strategies to keep your writing mojo in tact? If so, be sure to share.

In the meantime, pull up a chair and let’s talk.



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