How Not To Write About Rape

Photo credit: tportal.hr

Writing about assault is never easy: there is a fine line between going overboard with all the gory details and accidentally undervaluing the profound impact violence has on physical, emotional and mental well-being of the victim. While I don’t think that all writing should aim to be political and have an agenda, however, I do think that it is important to consider the message you are sending to your readers, especially when it comes to difficult subjects such as sexual assault. Unfortunately, rape culture is very real, and it is my firm belief that we should strive to change that in any way we can. At the very least, being aware of certain prejudices when tackling difficult issues in your writing will not only make your stories more true to life, but it will also allow you to pay respect to the victims.

Do not:

  1. Use rape as a minor setback for the character

    Rape has often been used as a plot device to create an “inconvenience”, especially for the female characters. This is not only inaccurate, but also an insulting way to approach the subject. In reality, rape victims can take months, or years to recover from the experience. This requires physical, mental and emotional healing to take place. General rule of thumb: if the incident is traumatic for real life victims, it should also be traumatic for your characters.

  2. Justify rape to punish a “bad” wo/man.

    Nobody deserves to be raped. If you use rape as a punishment for someone’s misconduct, you are perpetuating rape culture.

  3. Use rape to make someone a martyr

    The other extreme would be to write a rape scene in order to make someone a martyr, an angelic, idealized heroine (or a hero) whose only purpose is to suffer and show that justice is not served equally. Leave black-and-white characters to the Grimm brothers, and opt for creating more fleshed out characters.

  4. Make the rapist a movie villain

    Rapists are not scary strangers lurking in a dark alley. More often, they are people the victim already knew, maybe even liked/respected them. It is your duty to flesh out both the victim and the perpetrator.

  5. Victim blame

    Do not try to find a rational reason for rape, because there is none. The victim is neither an angelic being nor the lust driven female who provoked the attacker with her sexuality. There is only one reason why rape happens: because of the rapist.

  6. Resort to cliches

    It seems to be more socially acceptable to write about the rape of a beautiful, young woman. However, the reality does not necessarily coincide. Men and older women can also be rape survivors. LGBT community is also at risk of being assaulted, even more so than the cis, hetero-normative people.

  7. Use excessive drama

    When describing assault, allow rawness, brutality and vulnerability, but avoid excessive melodrama. Do not allow your characters to be characterized purely by the violence they have undergone. It would be unfair.

  8. Underestimate the power of healing

    Healing is difficult, but it’s not impossible. While rape undoubtedly is extremely traumatizing, people can, and do get better. Show the glory of your heroine’s recovery, instead of making her commit suicide as a result of being unable to cope with the aftermath of violence. Imagine if you were a victim yourself: wouldn’t reading about someone else’s recovery encourage you more than reading about them ending up committing suicide?

  9. Write about rape as a wish fulfillment

    Just don’t. Rape scenes are not literary tools for arousal. Rape is not sexy: it is a horrible, dehumanizing, violent crime. Bear that in mind.

  10. Write about rape without thorough research

    If you have considered all of the above and are certain that the rape scene is absolutely essential to your story for some reason, than you really should educate yourself and look into some real life experiences of the victims. You might be the most politically correct writer there is, but only reading up on actual assault stories can give you a clearer picture of what the short and long term consequences of rape are, and this will allow you to address the issue with both respect and authenticity.

7 Books I Wish I Read Earlier

There are some books that find you later in life than you would like. When you finally get to read them, you find yourself wishing that you have read them at an earlier stage in your life, when their wisdom would have been of greater usage to you in regards to your circumstances. Nevertheless, it’s never too late for good wishes or good books, and I am very glad that I have had the opportunity to read the books from this list after all, regardless of the somewhat late timing:

  1. 1984, George Orwell

    This dystopian novel has been on my reading list for a very long time, but I have somehow managed to ignore it. After I finally got around to reading it, I realized what I have been missing all along. The manipulation of the public and the constant surveillance by the government sound all too similar to the society we have today. I wish I haven’t regarded this book as a quaint, boring classic I considered it to be before reading, because it is actually a fascinating, and unfortunately, rather relevant read.

  2. Lord of the Flies, William Golding

    While 1984 explores the concept of evil and oppression on a larger scale, Lord of the Flies scales it down to a small group of boys trapped on a tropical island. When I was an adolescent, this book managed to pass me by, and when I have read it as a twenty-something, I regretted not getting my hands on it earlier. I believe that there is the right time to read certain books, and Lord of the Flies is certainly meant primarily for adolescent readers. Not to dismiss it as a light read, on the contrary: only teenagers can fully appreciate the juicy darkness that permeates this book, but it can also be read (and loved) by adults.

  3. The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath

    The only novel written by a famous and somewhat controversial poet, the Bell Jar convinced me that it is okay (even necessary) to accept one’s own darkness. As someone who has struggled with anxiety during puberty and well into my early adulthood, I wish I have been able to read this book earlier. Plath left nothing out: and her sensation of being trapped under a bell jar, struggling for breath, felt all too familiar to me. This novel gives hope to everyone who is struggling, and shows that, under the right treatment, it does get better, and nobody is a lost cause.

  4. The Edible Woman, Margaret Atwood

    The Edible Woman was my first literary encounter with Margaret Atwood, and I was immediately hooked (noways, Atwood is one of my favorite authors of all time). It wasn’t just her master storytelling that ensnared me, but also her profound understanding of a woman’s mind. As a feminist, there were so many times while reading this book that I felt relieved: someone understood. I wasn’t the only one who feels like this. Marian, the protagonist, taught me the importance of taking control over your life and standing up for the things you believe to be true.

  5. Women Who Love Too Much, Robin Norwood

    I have shared my experiences with failed young love (or what I believed was love once, anyway) in one of my previous posts. A friend recommended this book to me, and it honestly blew my mind. Every embarrassing detail felt astonishingly familiar. Everything suddenly made sense. Except for one thing: if I had read this book earlier, I wouldn’t have stayed in a toxic relationship for as long as I did. Noways, I wholeheartedly recommend Norwood to every woman who feels like she is the one putting all the effort in a relationship and receiving nothing in return. The truth is, when love is real, it doesn’t feel like a constant battle. And everyone deserves a chance to find someone who will treat them the way they deserve to be treated.

  6. Stoner, John Williams

    I might not be entirely to blame for not reading this book earlier: Stoner has been under a sort of literary renaissance in the past year. For fifty years, the general public has decided to ignore this book, and today you can’t even find it in the library because all the copies are out. The plot of this book sound ordinary, almost boring, but in reality, it is a novel about what it means to be human: it means to go on with your life, despite everything and everyone. It shows us that work is the ultimate consolation, and it is our dreams and passions which ultimately drive us forward, despite the sometimes dull chores of the daily life.

  7. The Power of Myth, Joseph Campbell 

    I rarely recommend a book based on a film, but this 1988 documentary is an exception to the rule: Campbell’s ideas about the ongoing role of myth in contemporary society are truly fascinating, even more so for writers. It refers to the general mythology, however, much of his theories can be applied to creative writing, and give you some ideas about basic plot structures. Personally, I know that his elaboration on different types of heroes, their transformation and evolution was of great help to me while trying to come up with story outlines.

There goes my list. Do you have a similar one of the books that you wish you have read earlier? Let me know!

Writing Prompts For Friends Who Are Writers

Both you and your friend suffer from a mild case of a writer’s block? These ideas could get your creative juices flowing again.

  1. Ask one another about your earliest memories, then switch the said memories and describe them from the first person perspective.
  2. Each of you should write 3-5 character, plot and setting ideas on different pieces of paper, fold them, mix them up and pick random ones from each category. The task is to write a story about the words you have picked.
  3. Both of you should bring some old family photos, and let the other choose one photo to use as a story prompt.
  4. Each of you should write only the beginning (or even the first half) of the story, and then switch and finish each other stories.
  5. Write about each other’s secrets from the first person perspective.
  6. If you are still struggling to find inspiration, go to a coffee shop together and eavesdrop. It is a good chance that both of you will spot (or hear) something intriguing to write about!

    Remember, writing ideas are everywhere: the difficult part is turning them into actual stories.

    I wish all of my wonderful followers a productive writing day! 🙂

Creative Writing vs Writing as Therapy

I had a rough childhood and adolescence (but hey, who hadn’t?), and often times found consolation in making up stories. I would write short, gothic stories with monsters and witches that helped me cope with my everyday issues. Later on, when I became more serious about my writing, I realized that creative writing is so different from writing to soothe your soul, because you have a responsibility towards your readers (and towards yourself) to deliver something a bit more concise than fumbling notes about how your dad doesn’t love you and all the other kids are stupid. Here are some of the main differences between creative writing and therapeutic writing:

  1. Your audience

    While therapeutic writing is usually intended for your eyes only, creative writing should aim a little higher than that. There are many things that a writer should take into consideration when writing, and his target audience is crucial. Which brings me to my next point…

  2. Editing

    The best way to show your readers you care for them is to edit and proofread your text. As I’ve already mentioned, having an audience means you will have to cut out some of the things which are perfectly fine if you’re writing just for yourself, such as unnecessary adjectives/adverb, cliches, etc. Your readers are not interested in the “truth”, if it’s badly written: they expect good storytelling and prose which is more than a sob story (sorry, I am being brutally honest here). Remember, it’s not all about you. It’s about you, and your readers.

  3. Consistency

    Also, if you are writing a piece of prose you are looking forward to publishing one day, it is important to get organized and to keep a working schedule. While writing for therapy does not require keeping up with the deadlines, in creative writing, consistency is key. Building up a habit of writing regularly, and not only when you feel like it, is what distinguishes professionals from amateurs (mea colpa).

  4. Art for Art’s Sake

    When you are a professional writer, who wants his writing to improve with each written piece, you are looking forward to acquiring new skills and making your prose as good as it can be. Not because of money (let’s be real, nobody takes up creative writing in order to get rich), but because of the art itself. And this is something that is absolutely irrelevant when you are writing only for yourself, because you couldn’t care less about the form or style of your writing as long as you are succeeding in whatever your specific therapy goal is.

The reason why I have decided to dedicate today’s post to the difference between writing as therapy and writing as art form is because I have seen several other young writers struggle with this issue (separating the two worlds, that is), and I want you to know that you’re not alone in this. It took me quite some time to progress from writing down my (then) teenage thoughts to the more polished prose I am striving to write today. But that’s for my readers to judge 🙂

Have any of you struggled with this? I would love to hear about your experiences!

A Cat And His Writer

This is Jimmy. His full name is James Marshall Hendrix, but we only call him by his full name when we get mad at him. We feel very posh those times to be honest, almost like English aristocracy (or aristoCATsy? Hmm.) More often, he is our Jim Jim or Jimbo.

He is actually my boyfriend’s cat, or should I say my boyfriend is his human. He found Jim on the street while he was still a tiny kitten with no teeth, claws or wish for world domination. However, this changed quickly.

The black dot, named after my boyfriend’s favorite rocker, soon realized that he can get away with pretty much everything thanks to his overwhelming cuteness, and developed a taste for throwing stuff on the ground and leaving red marks on the skin of his humans. My boyfriend swears that Jim Jim is, deep down, a good kitty, but at first I wasn’t so convinced. In fact, Jim Jim and I had a very rocky relationship.

At first, I was a little reluctant to play with a tiny black monster. He was also extremely careful around me, and would always run away when I tried to pet him (or, more often, would just lower his head until it practically became flat, because, you know, cats are liquid). With time, much to my boyfriend’s amusement, I have grown to love him despite the manipulative little bastard he is (by “he”, I mean the cat).

The first time I slept over, he actually jumped on my side on the bed and spent the whole night at my feet. I discovered that there are very few things in life that are warmer than a sleeping cat, and if you’re someone whose legs are always cold, like mine, you might consider getting this living and breathing heater. And yet, I woke up with a strange feeling that I was being watched. Sure enough, there he was, staring right into my eyes in a totally not creepy way.

Today, Jim and I have formed a truce. He tolerates my need to pet the shit out of him (especially when he is sleepy) and I occasionally give him treats and try to adapt to his adorable craziness. Let’s face it: no matter what he does, I can’t stay mad at him for long.

P.s. About that world domination thing… yeah, that’s still on.

Top 15 Best Short Story Collections

If you want to write good short stories, it is important to read them, too. Here are some suggestions:

  1. Margaret Atwood: Dancing Girls

    Atwood writes about the complexity of human relationships with a rare intensity which mixes humor and violence, laughter and pain. Her characters feel real and relatable, and I have to admit I was hooked from the very first page. Some of the main topics Atwood focuses on in this collection are the failed communication between men and women, and also the tough choices they are sometimes forced to make. The surreal elements in her stories are a distinctive feature of Atwood’s superb storytelling.

  2. Frode Grytten: Song of the Beehive

    Grytten’s collection focuses on the inhabitants of several apartment blocks in a small town in Norway. Each story is about one person who lives there, and every narrator has a very distinct voice. It’s a great portrayal of the micro-universe consisting of different people living together in a small place with limited contact with the rest of the world. What could possibly go wrong?

  3. Raymond Carver: What We Talk About When We Talk About Love

    Every short story writer has been told to go read Carver at one point. I have to admit I was stubborn at first, and refused to give it a shot precisely because of his admirable reputation. Of course, after reading his stories, I realized there is a reason why he is one of the most celebrated short-story writers in American (and world) literature. Carver accomplishes more in the span of one page than some other authors in an entire novel. A must-read for all writers.

  4. Lorrie Moore: The Collected Stories

    Moore writes about the gulf between men and women, about having one’s heart broken and about eternal craving for intimacy. It is both a funny and a deeply moving collection, portraying men-women relationships with an astonishing accuracy. It is a huge collection, truth to be told, but it is also a a page turner, so you will probably read it sooner than you think.

  5. Lydia Davis: The Collected Stories

    Lydia Davis is one of those writers you either love or hate. Her short stories are really unlike any other and belong to their own category. Davis writes about things so ordinary you would never considered them to be a good sorce of inspiration for writers, and them she twists and turns them until something unusual and extraordinary comes out. Strange in the middle of ordinary really sounds like her writing motto.

  6. Alice Munro: Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage

    A Nobel Prize winner, Munro has written an emotionally affecting, bitter-sweet collection, which is my favorite book of hers so far. The themes range from the underestimated effect of small unkindnesses built up over many years to the disappointment that is a result of a poorly-made compromise. Munro’s characters often times seem to be living perfect lives: until you scratch the surface, of course.

  7. Flannery O’Connor: A Good Man Is Hard to Find and Other Stories

    Connor’s wonderfully gloomy outlook on life is reflected in her stories, which are often grotesque and comic at the same time. This is a deliciously twisted and dark collection. O’Connor takes bizzare and turns it into a piece of art. She writes about ridiculously wise children and insane adults, about self-fulfilling prophecies, about deaths, secrets, assaults and deformities. This is one of my favorite collections on this list.

  8. Isabel Allende: The Stories of Eva Luna

    While Eva is lying in bed with her lover, she answers his request for a story “you have never told anyone before” in twenty-three short stories which are contained in this collection. Her world is magical and poetic, full of extraordinary imagery of love and sadness. Allende’s stories focus on eternal themes: the suppressed memories of first love, aging and death, greed and revenge. All in all, it is a great read for those who enjoy the South American mystical realism genre.

  9. Ernest Hemingway: The Snows of Kilimanjaro and Other Stories

    This collection contains ten of Hemingway’s most acclaimed short stories. To me, Hemingway’s stories always felt pure, almost sublime in their simplicity and remarkable storytelling. If you get past occasional misogynism (after all, Hemingway was a notorious womanizer and this is obvious in his writing), you will find a rare beaty in his stories, where not one word is a surplus.

  10. Neil Gaiman: Fragile Things

    If you read other Gaiman’s work, you know it is impossible not to be hypnotized by his magical storytelling. This collection is no different. It proves that Gaiman is equally brilliant in his short fiction as he is in his novels. His stories continue to send shivers down the spines of readers of all ages. Fragile Things, a collection of short stories but also poetry, will shock and terrify you, but also make you laugh. This weird and magical collection is an excellent read for the lovers of fantasy genre

  11. Edgar Allan Poe: Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque

    One of the oldest entries on this list has earned its place among contemporary authors by its eternal themes of murder, passion and obsession. I really love the title of this collection, it is probably one of my favorite book titles ever. Some readers may find laughing at foreigners and their customs a bit repulsive, but don’t let that put you off this wonderfully dark classic.

  12. Anton Chekhov: Selected Stories

    Chekhov is one of the several writers on this list whose area of expertise were precisely short stories. And expert he was: the tragedy in his writing, the nihilism that often permeates his stories, the little moments of sad life for these belonging to the lower social class do not overshadow the profound beauty of Chekhov’s writing. His characters feel very real and colorful and amazingly human, and so they make up for author’s eternal pessimism. If you want to write better stories, reading Chekhov and studying his story structure is a way to go.

  13. James Joyce: Dubliners

    Dublin is one of my favorite cities in the whole world. That being said, Joyce’s Dublin is a very different city from the one I know and love. The collection reflects life in Ireland at the turn of the last century and offers glimpses into Irish middle class. Joyce writes about love and routine, violence and longing for escape, religion and epiphany. If you are one of those people who reject Joyce because of his difficult, Modernist novels, such as the Portrait, this collection paints a different picture of him and puts him firmly among greatest short story writers of all time.

  14. Italo Calvino: Invisible Cities

    This dreamy collection written by an acclaimed Italian writer feels more like poetry than prose. It abounds in powerful imagery full of symbolic meaning. One could say that the protagonists of this collections are, in fact, the cities themselves, which are different versions of the same city that doesn’t exist. It is impossible to say what this book is about – every reader comes up with a different interpretation. I would say that this is probably the most difficult read on this list because of the extensive symbolism, but it is definitely worth the effort.

  15. Haruki Murakami: After the Quake

    I have previously written about my love for Murakami, and this mesmerizing collection is no exception. It containes of six stories, all set at the time of the catastrophic 1995 Kobe earthquake in Japan. The surreal themes, which are familiar to those who have read other novels from the same author, are also present in this collection. The earthquake acts as a catalyst for his characters, which then start rethinking their lives. Murakami is not afraid to dig into the psychological consequence of the traumatic crisis, resulting in this wonderful collection.

Do you agree with my list?

Tips For Ending a Short Story

It is a well known fact that short stories should go out with a bang. In shorter fiction, where you have a limited set of character and a shorter time span in which the action takes place (unlike novel), every word should bring the readers one step closer to the big finale. Here are some tips and tricks to write a killer ending to your short story.

1. Nice writers finish first

Keep your ending short and sweet. Make sure you don’t over-explain things – don’t underestimate your readers.

2. Finish at the beginning

Circular ending is a good way to round up your story and make the readers feel like the circle is closing and the journey has come to an end. By reintroducing some elements from the beginning of the story, you evoke the sense of completion and leave your readers satisfied.

3. Shock your readers

Another way to end your short story is to say something completely unexpected. Keep telling them about the drunk, unstable woman who wakes up with no memory and blood on her hands, and in the end slap us with an abusive husband who used her weakness to frame her for murder (okay, don’t do that because Paula Hawkins already used this one up in her bestseller, The Girl on the Train, but you get the picture).

4. Zoom out of the story

This is a very visual ending: show the close-up of the setting and then drift away to show the broader picture.

5. Keep it vague

An open ending is possibly the most true-to-life, because in real life, the Earth doesn’t stop turning because a certain event came to an end, or a mystery has been resolved. It also offers the readers to pick the ending they like best.

No matter how you decide to end your story, make sure to achieve the sense of completion, and to show that your protagonist has changed as a result of the events shown in the story.

Similarities Between Running and Writing

  1. First step (or sentence) is the hardest

Imagine this: it’s cold outside, and all you want to do is stay indoors and drink a nice cup of tea. But you know better than crushing on the couch: you put your running shoes on, and start your training, even when every inch of your body seems to protest against it. After you get going, something amazing happens: it gets easier. And when you come home, you are glad that you didn’t listen to the lazy voice inside your head and chose to go for a run instead.

The same goes with writing. Beginning are always the hardest: the decision to actually start writing a new story or a novel is not an easy one. However, once you’ve started, it gets easier. As your word count goes up, your resistance and fear of failure slowly subside. I am not saying that writing is ever easy – especially good writing – but making that first step might be the hardest part of the whole process, especially if you are a procrastinator like me.

  1. Persistence is key

The key to running long distances is gradually increasing your weekly mileage until you reach your goal. Giving up is not an option, because you know how hard it would have been to start all over again. Writing is similar: a lot of writers start from short stories, and than later, when they have mastered short fiction, turn to novels. The key is to not to give up and to try and improve each step on the way. Every run and every story matter.

  1. Success is variable

There will be good and bad running days. Sometimes you will wake up feeling refreshed and energized, and other days you will be grumpy and the weather would be horrible, as if things couldn’t get any worse. Also, with writing, some days you will feel inspired and write diligently without stopping. On other days, you will feel like everything you write is crap and would want to delete the whole thing and give up from your writing career altogether. Don’t. Be aware that success is variable. After all, we are only human: it is natural to change your productivity level according to your mood or outside conditions.

  1. Schedule is important

If you know that you always run on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday, you won’t have the time to change your mind. You will make a habit of it and if would be harder not to do it. The same goes with writing: if you have a fixed writing schedule, you are much less likely to put it off indefinitely or wait for inspiration instead of “going after it with a club”.

  1. Comparing yourself to others is a bad idea

If you are running, and another runner passes you by, the worst thing you can do is to get discouraged and quit running, or try to outrun him and risk an injury. You never know where someone’s start line is, and comparing yourself with others is rarely a good idea. If a writer compares herself with great writers and becomes desperate because s/he feels s/he will never be as good, it is important to stop that line of thinking right away. Use others as a source of inspiration, and not to torture yourself. Try to be aware of your fortes just as you are aware of your flaws, and use this knowledge to improve your writing. Always be the best you you can be.

Are there some fellow runners and writers among my followers? I would love to hear your thoughts on this!

Book Review: Frida’s Bed by Slavenka Drakulic

Today I have decided to write a review of Frida’s Bed, a novel written by one of my favorite Croatian authors, Slavenka Drakulic. The literal translation of the original title (Frida ili o boli) is: Frida or ‘on pain’, which emphasizes one of the main themes of Drakulic’s novel: pain and love. And who could be a more suitable protagonist of such a novel than Frida Kahlo, a Mexican painter who, due to her extensive health problems that followed her during her whole life, was very well acquainted with pain. Consequently, Kahlo’s pain was a recurrent theme in her art. One could say that Drakulic’s novel studies the intricate relationship between pain and creativity.

The novel begins at Frida’s childhood and tells the story how she was stricken with polio, and how she had to deal with a lifetime of physical and psychological pain as a consequence. The author manages to write about suffering in such an elaborate, and yet raw prose, that it is transformed into something beautiful and pure, something that enriches one’s life instead of debilitating it. There are some artists whose art is a mere intellectualism, a game, an experiment: on the other hand, Frida’s art is extremely personal and her emotions can be considered to be a driving force behind her painting.

Despite all the suffering she endures, Frida’s story can also be seen as an inspiration for all those who suffer from chronic condition, to encourage them to rise above a life full of pain and to try and participate in life as actively as possible instead. Without her illness, Frida would not have become an artist she eventually came to be. However, Drakulic not only shows us Frida as the famous artist, but she also offers us an intimate portrait of the women behind the artist. The style is simple and pure, but also poetic without being melodramatic, which couldn’t have been easy to achieve considering the chosen subject.

Drakulic’s collage-style composition works very well and creates a mesmerising effect on the reader. The author has clearly done her research on the life and work of Frida Khalo, however, she also offers us her own perception of what it might have been like to be Frida, resulting not only in a historically accurate but also emotionally compelling novel.

The takeaway? Creating art, or writing, can be an excellent way to relieve physical, or emotional pain and to escape from the prison of bodily limitations.

All in all, this book was a delightful read and I highly recommend it.

10 New Year’s Resolutions for New Writers

  1. Own the Title
    Don’t be afraid to call yourself a “writer”, or to think of yourself as one. It doesn’t matter if you are just starting your writing career: if you write, you are a writer. Period.

  2. Read More

    It is very important to read big authors in your genre. Read the fiction you wish you had written yourself.

  3. Stay Away From Negativity

    Do not expect to gain immediate fame with your writing, but also do not let other people’s negativity affect how you feel about your stories. Do your own thing and surround yourself with those who believe in you.

  4. Carry a Notebook Everywhere

    Carrying a notebook, or a writing tool of your choice everywhere you go is a great way to prevent ideas slipping away from you. You never know where the inspiration for the story may appear, and you may want to write down your new idea as soon as possible.

  5. Conquer Your Fear of Editing

    Nobody likes editing, but also, nobody likes reading unedited stories. Make revision your friend. Your future readers will appreciate it.

  6. Transform Your Browsing Time Into Your Writing Time

    It is very easy to spend too much time on the internet, but no matter how useful your online activities may be (researching for a story, or running a blog), writing and editing should always be a priority.

  7. Finish What You Started

    Try to avoid sidetracking. If you often catch yourself abandoning projects and starting new ones, maybe you need a different strategy: try and finish your story. The worst story you have ever written is still better than the one you couldn’t bring yourself to write.

  8. Get a Dictionary/Grammar Book/Writing Software

    Getting some extra help with your vocabulary and/or grammar can be very useful. Even if you think your use of language is flawless, a little reminder now and then is beneficial to all writers.

  9. Set Realistic Goals

    Chances are, if you set unreasonably high goals for yourself you might get discouraged soon. However, setting realistic writing goals for the following year can be a great way to keep yourself accountable and to get some additional motivation.

  10. Live Life Worth Writing About

    At the end of the day, writing is not everything. In order to be a fulfilled, happy individual allow yourself some stress-free time to pursue your others goals. If you commit to living an authentic life, there is a big possibility that you will encounter something worth writing about.

Happy New Year!