When I think of my writing resources, the first thing that pops into my mind is the Internet. I’m constantly online looking for the information I need, from names for my characters to the latest in dart guns.
Today, I’m following a suggestion that I write about non-digital resources that make my writing life easier. Well, that stopped me. Not digital? What else is there?
I can hear the groaning ghosts of writers past. “Somehow, we managed, and quite successfully.”
Of course they did. As did I not too many years ago. As a matter of fact, I use many resources that don’t beep, click or light up. For instance, I’m writing this post in a hospital cafeteria with pen and paper.
That’s right, pen and paper. I often find myself in situations where I have to stop my busy life and wait: the doctor’s office, the registry, auto mechanics, airports, etc., perfect places where I can block out the world and write. Somewhere, hidden in the mystery of my purse, I keep paper and a pen that quietly await my inspired thoughts.
Quiet. That leads me to another important resource–time alone by myself. Any time I’m not checking email, answering the phone, taking care of household chores, or playing with the cats is primo writing time. Unfortunately, to discover that Nirvana, I have to leave the house. During my travels, I’ve found a couple of quiet coffee shops where I can write. But my favorite writing get-away is the library where I can concentrate in peace, surrounded by what I love, books.
Books are another excellent resource. Reading is an important part of understanding how to write. The genre doesn’t matter. All books can be teachers. With well-written books, I can learn things like sentence structure, pacing, and how to make my characters stand out. When I find myself zipping through a satisfying story, I stop and go back over the scenes I enjoyed, so that I can see how the author moved me along. Conversely, if I see grammatical errors, passive voice, and constantly changing POVs, I understand why I want to put the book down and move on to something else. Sometimes I have to laugh as I recognize all the things I’ve had to correct in my own work.
As you can probably see, my non-digital list is growing. I’m surprised at how many other writing assets I utilize. Simple things like people-watching or picking up interesting stories in the newspaper that stimulate my imagination. I also use the expertise of friends with occupations that could help in my work like law enforcement, real estate sales, and writing (authors who have done the research).
I have to give a huge shout-out here to my amazing writing group. Without their honest critiques and enthusiastic brainstorming sessions, my writing would be focused in a narrow line that curtailed any exciting bouts of fancy. Thanks to my group my writing horizons have expanded.
I enjoy writing humorous cozies and paranormals, but decided to try my hand at horror. I wrote a short horror story, completely unlike anything else I’ve written. Micah’s Gift has been published online in Black Petals Magazine, Issue # 70 under a pseudonym, M. C. Colby. People like it. People dislike it. That’s okay. I’m a writer.
Remember, wherever you are, use your resources and keep writing!