Posts Tagged ‘help’

I’ve decided to wait until May 10th to start the 30 day writing challenge that I posted on Monday. I will be out of town this coming weekend, and the following week will be finals week, so I figure it would be best to start with summer.

 

On to today’s post: The Bucket List.

Many of you may be familiar with the TV show, The Buried Life.

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Basically, Ben Nemtin, Jonnie Penn, Duncan Penn and Dave Lingwood go around the world marking items of their bucket list, while helping others cross items off their bucket lists as well.

These guys have crossed off some major bucket list items over the course of their project:

#89: Play ball with the President.
#59: Ask out the girl of your dreams. (In this case, it was Taylor Swift.)
#124: Be on Oprah.
#91: Get married in Vegas.
#25: Capture a fugitive.

Ok, so back to reality. Most of us don’t have MTV funding our bucket list adventures.

Creating a bucket list has been on my bucket list for a long time (see what I did there?) but regrettably, I’ve never gotten around to it. What does one add to a bucket list? I think we all have a mental bucket list, whether we realize it or not. If you see the a picture of the Eiffel Tower and say to yourself, “wow, I would love to visit the Eiffel Tower before I die!” That sort of counts, right? That’s been basically the extent of my bucket list making, but I’ve decided I want to actually write 100 things I want to do before I die. Also, are there rules for bucket lists? Are you allowed to add and immediately cross out something really cool that you’ve already done? I’m sure that around #50, I’ll start getting desperate for ideas and my list will begin to look a bit like this:

#51: Visit England.
#52: Go shopping in England.
#53: Eat shepherd’s pie in England.
#54: Buy an umbrella in England.
#55: Take a picture in England.
#56: Sleep at a hotel in England.
#57: Fly home from England.

While all those items (ok, maybe not #54) are [somewhat] legitimate, I want 100 original ideas. I have quite a few already, but I want you guys to give me some insight.
If any of you have a bucket list, what items do you have on it? Or if you don’t have a bucket list, what would you put on it if you did? Have you done anything that you really enjoyed that I should consider adding to my own bucket list? Leave me some comments and let me know, I’d love to hear what you have to say!

 

Also, this is a really cool website you should check out if you’re interested in making a bucket list for yourself. You can look at what other people have on their lists, and you can also keep track of your own on the site.

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“A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.” -Thomas Mann

To anyone reading this blog who is a writer (more than college essays, less than Ernest Hemingway) I know you’ve been in the same boat. Sure, it’s comforting to know that even the most renowned authors like Stephen King and J.K. Rowling struggle with writer’s block, but that doesn’t make it any more pleasant as you sit in front of a blank page waiting anxiously for something to happen. All the how-to articles tell you to “just write.” They claim that all writing is good writing (*scoffs*) and that it doesn’t matter what you write. Just begin to get the ball rolling. It’s not always that easy when you absolutely can’t think of anything. Every writer has their own technique for writing; some are highly ritualized – same time, same place on the third Wednesday of every month, while some write best in a spontaneous decision to jot down some ideas while you’re drinking a macchiato at Starbucks. Once I get going, I will be glued to my laptop for (literally) hours on end. Other days, when I just can’t muster up anything interesting, I give up after about 30 minutes (if we’re being honest, the last 20 minutes were probably spent browsing Pinterest).

It’s hard, for me anyway, to create a fool-proof formula for success with writing. I would venture to call it impossible, in fact. There isn’t a technique that will magically turn me into Charles Dickens every time I sit down at my computer. So, I come to you all for advice. What is your technique? What is the process that you go through when you have a successful (or unsuccessful) writing session? Do you have any tips that you find helpful in either busting writer’s block, or keeping you focused on your writing.

One technique that I really think helps break writer’s block is to go online and find “story starters.” You can Google it, and find them for any and all genres. They are either prompts for you to write about, or a basic thought for you to elaborate on and build your story from. (Like I said, you can find them for any genre, but here are some horror story starters.) Even if these prompts don’t serve as the premise for your next New York Times best seller, they can help you brainstorm. The prompt will inspire a new thought, and you can build and build, and before you know it you will have the premise for your next New York Times best seller.

Please don’t hesitate to post a comment telling me about your writing techniques, and tips on how you overcome the dreaded writer’s block. I’d love to hear it, so let me know! Thanks everyone!

“You just have to trust your own madness.” – Clive Barker