Writing is hard.


Writing is hard.

Really it is.

Not the writing itself.

The process of pen to paper or fingers to keyboard now that's the easy part.The putting words out there is relatively easy in itself. But the true process of writing consistently, effectively and efficiently. That's the hard part. The writing that gets your audience to read. Now, that's challenging.

Writing as though you really have something worth saying. As though you have something worth writing about to share. For someone to want to read it? That's the hardest part.

The most important part about the writing process is to keep taking action.

Even when you think it's all too hard. You must keep taking action (keep writing).
As Nike say, "Just do it!"

Do it every day.

Do it with fervor

Do it consistently

Do it consciously (with purpose).

To make your writing happen and to improve your craft you cannot simply write once a week as you really won't improve by doing that minor effort. Seriously, you won't improve much at all.

If you seriously want to become better at the craft of writing then you simply must (like anything) practice. That is, write like anything and write anything. But keep doing it.

And, when you are not actually writing you must be thinking about what you will write about the next time you get the chance.

Here's some interesting facts:

Stephen King says he writes 2,000 words per day.

In his younger days Stephen Donaldson was happy to achieve over 2,000 words per day. Nowadays he can write anywhere from 1500 to over 7,500 words per day.
Note: He takes weekends and public holidays off.

Dame Agatha Christie wrote 69 novels and 19 plays. That's a lot of words per day!

Another Dame, Dame Barbara Cartland wrote 722 books. That was one book release every 40 days!

Of course, when NanoWriMo comes around in November many writers will strive to write 1,667 words per day for a whole month!

With writing, practice really does make perfect or at the least perfect practice will make perfect ~ let's hope.

Now go write!

Zak - writes at least 250 words every day of the year 
(except for the days she doesn't) ...

Source: http://www.stephenrdonaldson.com/fromtheauthor/gi_view.php?Year=2004&Month=11&NewWindow=yes&Filter=&all=&any=&none=


photo credit: Î’ethan via photo pin cc

Eating Healthy for Writers. A non-scientific guide ...

Whether it’s a delve into first time writing, your latest blog post or writing a beautiful piece of poetry many of us snack on different foods or drinks while sitting at our desks writing. Tsk! Tsk! 

But Yum Yum!


BEFORE long we are fidgeting, scratching or thinking about something else we could be doing when really all we want to do is write. 

We’ve set this time aside and we know we JUST want to WRITE but our nagging tummies or the birds chirping outside or the twitterers twittering online set our mind to constant distraction.

One thing that helps our writing is developing healthy eating habits. 

In order to maintain good energy levels and receive the necessary amount of nutrients we need to maintain the quality of our overall health and by default our writing.

Eat a healthy breakfast. 

We all know breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

But what is a healthy breakfast?

It’s certainly not found in breakfast cereals which are mostly made from processed sugar. 

WE NEED healthy natural sugars.

So where do we find healthy breakfast food for writers?

What we need is foods that simulate our creativity and keep us comfortably sitting at our keyboards.

No more twitching, fiddling, going off to the toilet or noticing something out the window or remembering some chore we haven’t done.

No more distractions!

Strangely whenever we need to seek out healthy information about foodstuffs we end up reading big words and it all gets too hard and we give up. I found two of those words today:  tyrosine and tryptophan. 

Why have I mentioned them?

Tyrosine-rich foods include almonds, avocados, cottage cheese, egg whites, red meat, poultry, milk and yogurt. 

Foods high in tryptophan include soy milk, tofu, beans, rice, hummus, sunflower seeds, etc.

I mentioned them just to annoy and distract you and also to let you know that: 
Those foods are okay if you’re not into junk food but what about if you like something a bit more filling and substantial like chocolate bars, lollies and potato chips? 

See! See how the distraction sets in?

IT has also been said about foods that: 

 ... Nothing moved us into bigger brains faster than the consumption of animal products” (and I didn’t say that) but many others have. Check with Dr. Jude Capper from Washington State University if you don’t believe me.

CHECK OUT what healthy stuff I'm made of
Suffice to say and in a lot less wordy, distracting and confusing way:

EAT LOTS OF (preferably organic):

Naturally grown vegetables and fruit.

Naturally grown meats (of all kinds red/white and (include fish in this)).

Proportions of around 70% fruit & Vegies (that’s 2 fruits and 5 vegetables equaling around 2.5 to 3 cups per day)
and 30% meat (around 70g per day).


Coffee (and smoking ~ anything). 

Coffee is a roller coaster: Sorry
It’s problematic for writers because it’s often used as a quick high morning cuppa followed by another rather annoying afternoon slump. The caffeine produces the “jittery” effects and increases a writers’ level of anxiety. A definite “no-no” for the serious writer. 

IF you just can’t go through the day without a coffee at least limit the quantity to less than 300 mg a day and drink a glass of before the coffee to help keep you hydrated AND (big breath) because coffee is actually a diuretic keeping hydrated by drinking water helps keep those headaches, dizziness, and fatigue away. You should be drinking at least 5 to 8 glasses of water a day. That’s about 2 liters a day (be aware though just as not enough water can be dangerous so to can too much water because too much water can cause electrolyte imbalance).

Tea is okay especially if you drink green tea instead of black tea. Black tea is okay in small quantities. I'm not about to give up my cups of tea ~ no thank you.

Sugars (Think before riding the roller coaster of “sugar highs and lows”. Sounds like fun but ultimately it’s not). 

Different sugars impact our brains differently. Natural sugar from your fruit eating habit is fine. Highly processed sugars found in lollies syrupy drinks BAD!  These sugars are quickly used up by our bodies (and our writers brain) causing blood sugar levels to drop quickly to a “sugar low.” Avoid soft drinks and limit alcohol consumption (or give it up if you can).  

 The “down” experienced after drinking fizzy or soft drinks releases adrenal hormones which extract stored sugar from the liver to bring blood sugar levels back up causing another “sugar high.” This constant roller coaster leads to neurotransmitter imbalance causing writers to be fidgety, inattentive and irritable. 

All the things a writer doesn’t want or need.

This may have a large impact on the quality of your writing.

Gaining concentration and staying on topic is greatly increased by a healthy diet. Let’s not say diet. I prefer to say a healthy way of eating. The healthy stuff for our brains is found in complex carbohydrates with natural sugars. These stop the roller coaster because the complex molecules take longer to break down and you benefit from this. These days I think they call them GI or something like that. 

There are heaps of great websites to check out for how to eat healthy. The main thing is to start being healthy as soon as you can. The sooner the better and the better writer you will become.

Keep writing!

 photo credit: akatrya via photo pin

Zak ~ Going organic orgasmic or-something ... 

* Note:  Not one person or organization has evaluated any of these statements other than the writer. The content of this blog post is not to be considered medical advice and is for educational or entertainment purposes only. If you are experiencing health challenges always consult your doctor for medical advice and make up your own mind. Zak says, if you'e a writer, you're mind should be alert, exercised, and cautiously suspicious. You would never consider suing the writer of this blog for false or misleading information and you would realize all writers are broke (that means they have no money) anyway. You should be capable of making your own decisions and guiding your own life. ~ If you are a vegetarian or not a writer, good luck with that! *

Get That Manuscript Out of the Bottom Drawer ...

SO YOU think you’re Manuscript is going to miraculously rise up out of the drawer like a  Phoenix. 

Poof! Pow! Cha-Ching! And Waalaar! There it is: A shiny masterpiece complete with glittering stars, jewels and flames lashing wildly at its edges: BUY ME BUY ME NOW!

Sounds like something a fantasy writer would believe doesn't it?

Forget it!

Unless you are a fantasy writer and have an incantation that can actually make this happen then you know what? The manuscript wont grow a million little legs and tinkle winkle its way off to the Publisher on a Wednesday and get itself printed or Nooked on its own. 

No No No! It's NOT gonna happen! Get real!

Be nice though, wouldn't it?

Okay, here comes the cruncher. 

And you know what's coming ... 

You've heard it ALL before but you just want to hear it again a little differently, don't you. 

You want your butt to catch fire and suddenly be enthused to finish those dreaded edits and swallow that heart that's been clogging your gob for the past umpteen years. 
Well buddy. Get over yourself.

Nothing's gonna happen unless you make it so. 

Now, go do that!

Make it so.

Zak - Heading back to the Cauldron
OHS Note:Fumes by cauldrons may cause delusions of grandeur ~ always wear recommended PPE
And, always read the small print!

photo credit: allspice1 via photo pin cc

Flash Fiction? Tell Me What Happened and Now!


What is flash fiction?

Flash has many classifications depending on where you search for the definition.

Flash fiction is a short story told in few words as possible. It has a beginning, middle and an end. 

It should be short, sharp, preferably have a twist and leave the reader thinking.

Ernest Hemmingway was a master at this form long before it got its name. Just read his famous tale aptly named A veryshort story.

Personally, I didn’t enjoy this Hemmingway tale but it left its presence in my mind. It sits with me like an unanswered question.

Flash fiction often does that.
And this is what I believe good flash fiction does. The writer weaves you a story and it stays with you for whatever reason. It can be caused by subtle suggestions that create pictures in your mind or evoke feelings, good or bad.

Either way flash fiction done well can be a very compelling form of writing.

Here’s a story I read back in 2006 called Once A Week by Jeff Cercone. It’s slightly longer flash fiction than most definitions would have it but the story still sits with me after all this time and if you read it too it may sit with you ...  

don't say I didn't warn you! 

Rated by Patchwork Project as NC-17 for disturbing imagery