Tag Archives: words

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Writer’s block is something every writer faces from time to time. But while it’s a common problem that can get in the way of productivity and making money, it’s not all bad. Here’s why: Not every writing session has to be devoted to writing for the job. Practice writing can be just as purposeful by giving you the opportunity to hone your skills and recharge your mind and creativity. In fact, a day of practice might just be the ticket to reversing writer’s block. Even better, there are ways to practice writing that can pay off big. Here are ten to get you started:

Write To-Do Lists

Not only are to-do lists fun to write; they’re a great way to organize your routine. Check out my earlier blog post on writing to-do lists. Make them as short, long, simple, or detailed as you want. Then use your lists to help you get back on track with your professional writing endeavors.

Compose an E-mail

To anyone! Write to a family member you haven’t spoken to in a while. Send out a request for writer’s guidelines to publishers you’re interested in querying. Or, draft an anonymous e-mail—just for practice and the sheer fun of it.

Design a Flyer

Are you’re planning a garage sale? Organizing a fundraiser? Design an attention-grabbing flyer for the event. Have fun choosing words, images, and fonts. Your creative practice can earn you plenty of kudos, along with cash.

Pen a Thank You Note

Handwritten thank you notes may be a thing of the past, but that doesn’t mean they’re not appreciated. If you have someone to express gratitude to, go for it. They’ll appreciate the gesture and you’ll get satisfaction too, along with some useful writing practice.

Offer to Edit

A writer friend or spouse may be able to use your help with something they’ve written. Offer it up. You’ll gain editing experience and the joy of doing someone a favor. Editing is also a nice diversion from writing that still offers practice working with words.

Rewrite a Bio or Resume

Bios and resumes always need updating. Find a fresh photo and revise your experience to reflect your growth. It’s great practice and something you’ll need to do eventually. If your bio and resume are already up-to-date, offer to rewrite one for someone else.

Make Up a Word Game

Love to think up word games? The sky’s the limit when it comes to conjuring up puzzles using words. Make up with something unique or create your own version of a familiar word game. Be sure to test your word game out on friends or family—that’s half the fun.

Record the Details of Your Day

Whether you journal regularly or not, it’s a great way to practice writing in an informal, liberating way. For tips of how to get started, check out this post. The benefits of journalling go far beyond the writing sphere; you’ll gain confidence, peace of mind, and an optimistic outlook too.

Cut Words

Find a newspaper article or blog post that interests you and start chopping away. Take out everything you can without changing the meaning and readability of the piece. It’s great practice for slimming down word counts in your professional work.

Create Captions

Wish you could put a caption on your favorite picture on the wall? How about the scene outside your window or last night’s dream? Writing captions is a satisfying way to practice writing and pass time, not to mention a great activity for tapping into your creativity.

You don’t always have to write to sell. Whether you’re facing writer’s block or just want a day of simplicity, practice writing can be the perfect solution. Give the above ideas a try, and see how fun and rewarding it is to practice your craft.

Image by Nick Youngson

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sunset beach joyLife is full of joy, sadness, laughter, hardship, surprises—and stories. Why not share your life story in one of these new writing contests? Deadlines are coming soon, so get your creativity flowing and your fingers typing. Your effort may pay off in publication and cash. And what a great way to end the summer and welcome in the fall. Check these out:

Real Simple Magazine – Life Lessons Essay Contest. Did one decision change your life? If so, Real Simple Magazine’s Eighth Annual Life Lessons Essay Contest might be just for you. There is no entry fee for this contest, and essays should be no longer than 1,500 words. First, second, and third prizes of $3,000, $750, and $500 are available, along with publication for winners. Deadline to enter is August 21, 2015. See guidelines for more information.

Silver Linings Story Contest – Good Housekeeping. Here’s your chance to tell about a time when your life took a wrong turn but it all worked out in the end. Good Housekeeping Magazine is sponsoring this summer writing contest that offers a $2,000 prize and publication for the lucky winner. Stories should be 1,500 to 2,500 words, and the deadline for entries is September 1, 2015. Click here for more information.

Stage of Life Vacation Contest. Are you in high school? A college student? On your own? Whatever your stage of life, you can enter this fun contest by writing about a specific memory from a vacation. There are no writer’s fees, and essays should be no longer than 500 words. Gift card prizes go to winners. Deadline is August 31, 2015. Stage of Life holds monthly contests, so check back next month for more opportunities to enter.

Fan Story – What’s Your Story Contest. “Everyone has a memoir. Not an autobiography.” Write a story about a piece of your life for this Fan Story contest, and get the chance to take away a $100 cash prize. Stories should be anywhere from 500 to 7,000 words and be submitted by September 28, 2015. Contest is free to enter, and all writers receive feedback on their entries. What’s there to lose?

Everyone has an interesting life story to tell. Take advantage of these four exciting contests, and get the chance to share yours.

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Crosley Contest Banner

If you like contests and you're good at making up words, especially wacky words, you're in luck. I’ve been invited to share information about a fun new contest from the author of the Night Buddies adventure series for kids. Interested word crafters, young and old, can read more about it at the Stories for Children/Family Matters blog. Top Five Winners will receive prizes. Deadline: June 15, 2013.

Check out the contest flyer below:

http://web.mail.comcast.net/service/home/~/Crosley%20contest%20flyer.pdf?auth=co&loc=en_US&id=410040&part=2

Good luck!